For one week, members of VtNOF will be "suffering with," eating only rice and beans, the common diet of a malnourished child in Nicaragua
After my fourth trip to Nicaragua, my heart is heavy with an overwhelming sense of emotions. I, along with 38 other Virginia Tech students, have just returned from a week long trip to Managua, Nicaragua. While there, our group worked with children who live in Nueva Vida, a forgotten refugee camp that has now become a makeshift town. The families here are living in extreme poverty, with few clothes and often only one meal a day. Some of the children suffer from physical abuse and others have illnesses that are hard to treat in a town with next to nothing. And while this is all very hard to witness- I know that my being there was not accidental. Everything we saw was REAL- I can look at all of the pictures I took and know that. Now we just have to ask ourselves, "How real do we want Nicaragua to be?"
The one thing that I know no one will forget is the feeling that you have when you're with these children; you hop off the bus, they grab your hand, and want to be your friend for the whole week. They'll braid your hair, wipe the sweat off your brow, refill your water bottle, pick you a flower, and eventually tell you a little about their family. You'll notice the scars, unwashed bare feet, and torn apart clothing BUT most importantly, you'll notice their desperate need for someone to care for them. In those moments on the swing, holding their hand, or sitting in the shade, you feel a sense of freedom and joy. An innate sense of purpose and belonging overcomes you and frankly, it crushes you. You'll have to leave these precious children behind after one week and return to the chaos of our world at home. Now we must decide if we'll bury these thoughts and feelings OR will we act upon them and remember that they are REAL.
This is why our group VtNOF, works to raise money and awareness throughout the year for our friends in Nicaragua. This is not merely a week long spring break trip, but rather, a life long commitment. During the week of March 19th-23rd, our group will be eating only rice and beans, the common diet of one of the 140,000 marginalized children in Nicaragua. After spending a week with them in which they opened my eyes to poor around me, I am choosing to make Nicaragua real. I do believe that changing just one life is possible and I know that you can too. Whether with prayer, monetary help, or merely telling their story, I do believe that we can make a difference in the lives of these children. I am on fire for this organization and I hope that you too would join the cause- thank you in advance for all of your support.