Saturday, May 30, 2009
Back from Nicaragua May 30, 2009
This trip to Nicaragua was a good one. In six weeks, a lot has happened. We were able to complete the first two weeks with US Gringo's Daniel Pullen (professional artist) and Ryan Ziegler (high school student) working among the local area of Las Salinas and venturing into the orphanage of Managua and also La Chureca. With lots of memories and rewarding moments teaching and taking the joy of Art to these children I felt that the first two weeks flew past us. I did stay an extra month with my Nicaragua friends and the good ol' family at Popoyo Surf Lodge www.surfnicaragua.com. With the start of a new English class in the making with new teachers Mike Moremen and Kim Yemma, they will be able to put to use the supplies I am leaving this season with Nicaragua Art Missions. We also had outstanding numbers of kids that started coming back to Sunday school once we opened up the doors to the "Brazos de Amor" house. Since I left last September I have had a few locals help teach the kids on Sundays and the art classes were canceled. Thankfully now we have some people offering to facilitate and use the gifts Nicaragua Art Missions has left to reach the kids while I am stateside this summer saving up finances to return.
On a personal note, I am very happy to say that I am engaged. It happened on May 4, 2009, I said yes to a man who won my heart with his ability to Love, Care, Calm, Encourage,and carry the beauty of meekness while serving the Lord and others. I have been friends with local Nicaraguan, Roberto Moraga, for three years. We dated last year and I needed some time to grow and learn, so we agreed we would keep the friendship alive and close until we felt God lead to other ventures. Coming back to Popoyo this spring I had no idea I would leave engaged and planning a November Nicaraguan wedding, but I did..I am. I am not surprised that the one place I love, the people I love, the culture I love, would call me into becoming even closer to it's origin...a spouse of a native. Roberto loves God with all his heart and is quite the opposite of me, he's quiet, patient, not very artistic, and quiet dark compared to me. We share many things in common such as our faith in Jesus, our love for people and kids, surfing, being adventurous, and living on faith not by sight. This will be a very interesting road for us I am sure. Like many typical Nicaraguans, Roberto is not wealthy, actually his family of 7 siblings (I LOVE HIS FAMILY SO SO MUCH) all live together in a small house with a dirt floor. On the other hand, they are happy, healthy, and love each other, and that's what matters the most. I know God will lead us into some new territories and I really think that the work I will be doing in Nica will be strengthened once I am married to man who will become a partner to my work there. I will keep you posted on the wedding and other news. Below is a photo of us together and a few of him.
I also will share the picture of my last horse accident in Nicaragua on April 20, 2009. My horse and I were heading out when I made him gallop up a hill not seeing a cable wire I am lucky to only have gotten knocked out with a blow to my arm and stitches to my nose...I could of gotten my head lacerated is what the locals said. I am very thankful..and if you saw my face now, you can not even tell I had an accident. Here are the pictures...and please know I am thankful for your prayers and support.
I will be raising money through my art sales for the next trip planned in September and will be hoping to start building onto the Mama Ruth Jewelery and Art Store to create a small coffee/smoothie place and rancho where we have in mind to start many community ideas with the local women and kids. For information on my art please visit www.dawngrayart.blogspot.com
Below is also a video of FUEL TV's On Surfari Nicaragua
which aired us in Nicaragua last summer and shows just what Kind of work Nicaragua Art Missions is doing. (note, fastforward the first 50 sec's due the commercial spacing on the rough draft copy)
ON SURFARI NICARAGUA