Friday, September 12, 2008

25th Anniversary Celebrations!

Greetings family and friends!
Laura and I have been very busy this past month with preparations and festivities for the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte's 25th Anniversary celebration. We celebrated in March with a painting exhibition and theatrical event, and this month we were able to celebrate even more with various chorus and orchestra concerts and a "Revista Cultural" which included the Center's chorus, orchestra, theatre students, dancers, the National Orchestra and Philip Montelban... a famous Nicaraguan reggae singer. Our very own Laura Hopps even participated in the show through a folkloric dance! The event was a beautiful testament to the hard work and dedication of the Center's staff and students throughout the years. It was a unique experience for many of the students, since the event was held in the National Theatre. My favorite part was watching the younger girls (8-12) dancing on stage beaming with excitement. Everyone's hard work definitely paid off!!
We were lucky enough to have the company of three of the Friends of Batahola Board Members, Terri, Mary Anne and Sr. Helen Prejean, who were visiting for the events. They do a lot of fundraising and support work for the Center (and us!) in their U.S. networks, so it was nice to be able to share this time with them. We even got to take a little field trip to an overlook of a volcanic lake. We shared a beautiful lunch and then got soaked on our ride home in the back of a pickup truck thanks to the Nicaraguan rains that are in season. We had a great time.
Now that the 25th Anniversary celebrations are over, everything is a little more relaxed. English class is progressing well. The students have finished 3.5 levels... 1.5 to go until the end of the year! Laura and I are looking forward to a retreat with VMM at the end of September. We'll be heading to Lake Aticlan in Guatemala, which is supposed to be gorgeous and very relaxing. I'm looking forward to some time to relax, reflect and have some good chats with the other VMM volunteers who are placed in Guatemala and El Salvador. We'll post pictures!
Sending much love to all of you. Thanks for reading and for your support.
En paz,

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