Posts Tagged ‘Nicaragua’


We’re Back!

August 8, 2010

I’m enjoying a leisurely evening at home with my siblings, recovering from the day of travel. The past two weeks were incredible. There’s so much to cover, and I’ll get to some of it later once I have photos to add. (With 1400+ transferring as I type, it will be a while.)

Wednesday, August 4th, I went to the dump for the third time during this trip and brought the books. We presented them to Maria; it was surreal. I’ve been seeing many of these books on a regular basis for months. They were piled in my room, stacked in my closet, and lugged back and forth from the church. To finally hand them over was an incredible encouragement. I got a chance to talk about what The Library Mission will be working on this next year and I’ll write a post about that soon.



July 7, 2010

I’ll be leaving for Nicaragua in 18 days–the 25th. Here a some things that have changed: I’m nixing the book laminate and instead going for the significantly cheaper rolls of clear packing tape. This can be used to repair and reinforce pages as well as bindings, and it can be used for a myriad of other things.
Though Marcia’s been looking for cabinets, we really haven’t been able to find what we were looking for in Nicaragua. At this point we are strongly considering giving Maria money to build/purchase something she considers suitable. Another option is large Rubbermaid bins like so:

Regarding the encyclopedia set we’ve run into a problem not knowing the age group. We have conflicting ranges of 3-6 and 4-10. There are some good sets, but they might not be of use to certain age groups. I’ll keep working on this, and we probably won’t get a set until after this trip. I’ll know a lot more of what the school’s like now and what it may be like later once I return. Also, the book evaluations haven’t gone as planned. I lost touch with the volunteers, and have decided to sort the books into “uncertain” and “okay” piles. Pretty much all the kids books should be fine, but the longer ones or those theological in nature I’ll mark in some way so Maria can get someone to go through them.


Mission Trip Prep – More Details

April 20, 2010

I mentioned earlier how my youth group broke into groups to plan various aspects of our forthcoming trip. We had our second breakout session yesterday, and I have a bit more detailed outline of our Library Mission project. Bob and I threw around some numbers and came up with a current projection of $1,500 to cover costs. What will this money go towards?

  • $300.00 for book laminate (this number is almost exact because I know how much the stuff costs; it will cover the books we already have and leave laminate for later.)
  • $300.00 for approx 3 cabinets (this is an estimate because we have no solid source of obtainment)
  • $500.00 for a quality Spanish encyclopedia set (this is based on the prices I saw on Amazon, though we hope to purchase this in Nicaragua)
  • $100.00 for various reference materials (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas)
  • $30-40 for The Chronicles of Narnia (Again, Amazon.)

This is a little of $1,200. We rounded up because you never know what extra expenses may occur, and then if we fall a bit short we’ll presumably be okay. If we have extra it can be given to Maria to purchase more books later, or we could get them ourselves. How will this money be raised? Through fundraisers like car washes and cookouts, and anyone who wants to contribute. (Hint, hint.)

If you don’t have money, there are things other than books that would be great to have. Some ideas for donations are puzzles, Memory games, checkers, chess, art supplies, and items similar to those found here and here.


Book Evaluations (Among Other Things)

April 19, 2010

There are a few people that have committed to helping me read and review all the books donated thus far, and I am grateful for them. I read one of the bilingual books myself (so short it hardly counts), but I plan on reading other longer ones.

I did a bit of comparing and I think I found the best deal on book laminate (book protection). Woohoo! Now I need to decide whether or not it’s worth it to get book tape as well. First, how much better is book tape than regular tape? And will the entire book last long enough to make the extra expense worthwhile? I’m leaning towards forgoing book tape and instead looking for Spanish reference materials–something Maria professed a need for. Ideally, I would like to purchase them in Nicaragua. Then we don’t have to ship them, it’s putting money in the economy, and I’d know it’s the type of encyclopedia/dictionary/thesaurus/etc. that they would be useful and of interest to them.

Today I stumbled across a very interesting site while comparing prices: Learning Resources. I’m not planning on getting anything there now, but it gives me lots of ideas. What I like is that the site has learning games made with native Spanish speakers in mind, rather than for those learning it as a second language. I wish I knew more of what kind of school materials are available in Nicaragua and their cost.


Global Missions Team

March 11, 2010

On Tuesday I was privileged to drop in on Ginger Creek’s Global Missions Team meeting and tell them a bit about the Library Mission. There were a couple familiar faces and a couple new ones, but, regardless of our acquaintance, they were all friendly and encouraging. And it was neat experience to see Marcia on the webcam.

Although I can be fairly eloquent in writing, my words got jumbled together a couple of times. Still, they hung with me as I told them about how the Library Mission got started and what I envisioned for the future. It was wonderful to have their knowledge and experience available to draw upon. What can I say–I like talking with adults.

I believe I mentioned Tipitapa in a previous post. I wanted to bring it up again, because it’s a name you’ll be hearing increasingly alongside Pochocuape and La Chureca. People that used to be in La Chureca are now living there, and I intend to include them in the Library Mission later on. Right now I have no specifics, but I thought I would let you know all the same.

I’ll leave you with a link to a slideshow.


I Had the Opportunity to Speak with Maria

February 15, 2010

This past week Maria spent some time in the United States and, with the help of a translator, I got to speak with her on Wednesday. Right now there are 80 kids in the school ages 4-10–that’s all they can handle–and about 300 kids total in the community. Maria said she’s been praying for a library for ten years, and her vision is for it to be a place where all the kids can come even if they aren’t attending the school. She wants them to be equipped to get jobs.

She had a list of all the materials that were needed for the school for the whole year, from books to erasers. The translators, Jessey and Madaline Pacheco have a copy, which they offered to clarify a bit for me. (Right now it’s entirely in Spanish. I could figure it out, but it would take quite a while.) Naturally, many of these items cannot very well be purchased here. Thus, if the Library Mission is a part of getting the items on the list–which I hope we will be!–then our focus will be on raising the necessary money.

I asked if Maria would be interested in having things such as crafts or puzzles, and she said she would. When talking with the group as a whole she said that basic things such as pencils and paper or basic art supplies are always welcome and needed. So, I think it’s fair to say that if you wanted to donate a box of colored pencils or something, then I’ll get them there. After all, libraries are so much more than books, and a school is so much more than lectures–especially in some cultures.

There’s another thing I wanted to let you know about. Jessy Pacheco came up with a great idea that personally would give me so much more peace of mind. He suggested forming a Book Approval Committee. These people would be fluent in Spanish and help me go through every book making sure it meets certain standards that we would create. So, I need to find some people who would be willing to do this, begin forming standards, and then put together some simple spreadsheet that could be filled out to evaluate a book. If you yourself would be interested in helping with this or think you know someone who might, then please send me an email or comment below.



February 8, 2010

Because the Library Mission is meant to be something useful, expect to see a lot of practical changes in the next couple of months. As I mentioned before, when my youth group returns to Nicaragua we will be doing something Library Mission related. Several adults planning the mission trip have been brainstorming how my youth group can be involved in this mission: what are the most practical and beneficial ways. I’ve only heard snippets, but I am extremely grateful for all the thinking they have been doing. Something they thought of that never occurred to me is the matter of cleanliness. Originally, it was the idea to establish two library branches that would share books over a period of time. Aside from the logistical challenges of transporting them between places, the matter of germs is something to pay attention to. It makes much more sense medically to keep the books where they are originally put so that less children are exposed to germs from other locations. In conclusion, it is now the plan to establish separate libraries.

Another thing I expect to be reevaluating is the books themselves. Once the library is already in place on however small a scale, I hope to have communication about what type of books would be of interest and usefulness to the children. Culturally, literature varies. The collection of books may be unusual in the beginning, so I want to want to make sure that it grows with applicable materials. What does this mean practically speaking? I’ll be revising book donation standards over time. It also means I want to look for ways to in the future to raise money that can be used to buy books that are specifically chosen by someone in Nicaragua. I could do that on a small scale myself by having a garage sale and using the proceeds for the Library Mission. Groups of people interested in helping could do something similar.  The Library Mission has a long way to go. Let’s enjoy the journey.