Written by Brenna Murphy, Feed the Children Volunteer
Nicaragua is an experience that had an immense impact on my life and the lives of so many others. I have always been very fond of Mother Teresa’s quote, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that single drop.” My experience in Nicaragua really put this quote into perspective. I am beyond elated to be a drop in the ocean for the people of El Crucero, El Callao and any other community members we may have touched. I love the concept that although we may look different and speak different languages, we are all one. Across the world, there is love deep seated in the human heart, and I certainly experienced this in my short week in Nicaragua.
Since I have never traveled out of the country, I had no idea what to expect. When we finally landed, we took a big breath of the warm Nicaraguan air and enjoyed the ever-present friendliness. Throughout the week, I came to know Nicaragua as a home, and I think it will stay that way in my heart. The relationships I built during this trip has a special place in my heart, and I wish we could have stayed longer.
My sponsored child is a six-year-old girl named Ingrid. She has a fervor for life and a beautiful soul. A group of us had our sponsored child visits one day, so we hopped in the back of the truck and made our way down the dirt roads past the school we had been working with in El Callao. Her home was the second stop of the afternoon and I was so excited to meet her. After a short walk, I saw her past a fence of small palm-type trees. She stood there with one of the brightest smiles I’ve ever seen and immediately gave me a tight hug. Her mother was there to invite me into their home for a tour. Her home was no bigger than my dorm room and was comprised of a tin-like material on the outside with the base of the home comprised of wood. In the small room where we sat, there were dirt floors, a few chairs, and a shelf where Ingrid’s pet bird hopped around.
As I sat with Ingrid, I noticed her mood was affected by the commotion of six people in this small room. She immediately became shy and withdrawn. However, when everyone but her mother left the room, she let her guard down. During our time coloring in the Dora the Explorer book I brought her, I colored Dora’s eyes on one page green, and on the opposite page I colored them brown. I said, “Look she has green eyes like me and brown eyes like you!” She smiled very big at the realization. I was so happy to have been able to experience such a short, but profound, set of moments with her and I loved knowing that she felt comfortable enough to open up to me. Just recently, I came home to a letter from Ingrid and I was beyond thrilled to see that she had written me back! She said, “We all truly thank you and may God bless you. I love you so much. You have no idea how happy you made me.” I hope to stay in contact with Ingrid for the years to come. The blessing of having a sponsored child is something I will carry with me for life.
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