Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for June, 2011

Nicaragua video collage

12th June 2011

This post has a bunch of videos, so if you are reading this on facebook you will need to view the post on our blog in order to see the videos. Here is the link:

Here is a collage of videos from our trip … enjoy! But before you watch our videos, you should watch the first video below which explains the work of Nuevas Esperanzas in the community of El Ojochal.

Here are all of our videos with descriptions ABOVE each video:

This is a video of a short segment of the road to the El Ojochal community. The road is extremely rugged, but the Toyota Landcruiser is able to make it up and bring supplies for building rainwater harvesting tanks and other projects.

Andrew explains the view that we are seeing around Volcan Telica. The communities of Agua Fria and El Ojochal are high up on the volcano. Agua Fria was temporarily evacuated after the recent eruption. Hopefully it has settled down, but there is no evidence that the magma activity has subsided.

A gecko grabs a moth off the wall right outside our room. These geckos make a sweeting kissing sound when they are calling to each other. They are lightning fast and catch all kinds of insects – if only they ate mosquitoes!

Andrew explains some of the views from our vantage point on a hillside summit overlooking the crater of Volcan Telica.

A member of the El Ojochal community explains some of the challenges with the reforestation project.

Horseback riding from the lower part of El Ojochal to the very top. The road built by Nuevas Esperanzas stops at the school, which is the central part of the community. To get to the highest houses, you have to hike or take a horse. We chose to take a horseback ride up the steep mountain.

Members of Nuevas Esperanzas see one of the bee hives up close. Amazing that team member Erica (in the white shirt) didn’t even have gloves on!

Enrique from the Nuevas Esperanzas team explains to us the gardening project.

El Ojochal preschool (3-5 yr olds) kids welcome us with a short song.

More video of the drive up to El Ojochal on the road built by Nuevas Esperanzas.

A collage of videos from the arsenic project in the communities of Nuevas Amanecer and La Union.

Video of the school in the community of Nueva Amanecer – plus view of the El Ojochal hillside.

Riding in the back of the truck to Nueva Amanecer and La Union.

Anna plays a very large game of hopskotch after church.

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Nicaragua good-bye for now!

9th June 2011

If you had told me last week how much we would accomplish in our short visit to Nicaragua, I would not have believed you! What an amazing visit this has been seeing this beautiful country, seeing the impact of Nuevas Esperanzas on the communities of El Ojochal through the effective long-term development strategies being implemented in projects as diverse as rainwater harvesting and beekeeping. Yesterday was a special opportunity to worship alongside most of the entire Nuevas Esperanzas team during Friday tea (moved to Wednesday to accomodate our tight timeframe). With Leo on the guitar, Andrew on the trumpet, and Emma on the flute it was a special time of reflection thinking of what we are thankful for and for what we would petition God for Nuevas Esperanzas.

Before the photos, some maps of where we went on Monday and Tuesday … on Monday, we spent the day in the communities of La Union and Nueva Amanecer

Tuesday was our day full of hiking, horse-back riding up a steep volcano hillside, beekeeping, and meeting people from the community of El Ojochal.

Only a few more pictures to post from our day full of meetings and reflection yesterday including a very early bike ride to the beach. I’ll be posting several videos over the weekend.

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Nicaragua Day 5

8th June 2011

What an amazing day today was at El Ojochal del Liston on the side of the Volcan Telica here in Nicaragua. We saw firsthand all of the project work that Nuevas Esperanzas has been doing in the community – road building, rainwater harvesting, gardening, beekeeping, and reforestation. It was quite the adventure as told by all the captions in the pictures below!

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Day 4 pictures

7th June 2011

Yesterday, we had a great day visiting two communities at the base of Volcan Telica. Then we came back to the main offices of Nuevas Esperanzas and had a couple meetings reflecting on how the organization has gotten to where it is today and how everything fits into the strategic plan for the future. A common theme was how it is easy to see the hand/guidance of God throughout the entire process.

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Day 3 – more pics

5th June 2011

Great day today here in Nicaragua. I started out with a 45 mile bike ride, spent the morning catching up with board members who arrived late last night, and spent the early afternoon working with Leo on our Joomla vs. WordPress decision. Then at 5pm, we headed over to La Iglesia San Sebastian for mass where Andrew and Emma were playing in the worship band. The whole experience was surreal as we worshipped in Spanish in a church rebuilt on the grounds of a church that was bombed during the Sandanista revolution in the 70s. Afterwards, everybody from the board gathered at Luke and Stephanie’s house for a cookout and an excellent time of relaxing and reconnecting.

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Pictures on the way down to Nicaragua

4th June 2011

After an awesome night’s sleep, we spent a leisurely morning with Jane and Andrew followed by a working afternoon exploring the website framework options for Nuevas Esperanzas — Joomla or WordPress. Both of have great features, but which will be better in the long term? Hoping to have that question answered in the next couple days! Also, Luke and I went to the market and bought a bike. Hoping to ride out (and possibly partway up) a volcano (Casitas) in the morning.

Great flight on the way down to Nicaragua – flew over lots of really cool places – downtown Nashville, Sand Mountain/Lookout Mountain southwest of Chattanooga near Mentone, Stone Mountain in Atlanta, a nuclear power plant (I think), Cape Canaveral, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Miami, the Florida Keys, Cuba, and finally directly into Nicaragua (at night in thunderstorm). Here are the pics!

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Nicaragua Arrival: I’m not who I was then

4th June 2011

When I arrived in Nicaragua in Sept. 2001 (or in Jan. 1999), I didn’t know what to expect. I had ideas, expectations and pictures in my head of how I thought it would be. But my time in Nicaragua was far different than I imagined – and far better. Both of those times spent in Nicaragua changed me and taught me the ever-important lesson (and truly the cornerstone lesson of my life) that God’s plan is often quite different and much better than I could have imagined.

So tonight we’re flying through a sunset sky about to land in Managua. I’m about to drive down roads that I’ve traveled many times, see people from a different season of my life, dive into a culture that’s much more familiar than foreign. But I’m reminded gently by my gracious God that 12 and 10 years later, I’m a different person. My experience in Nicaragua is bound to be far different thanks to the amazing experiences that the past 10 years have given me. Add to that the fact that I’ll be here only 6 days rather than 1 1/2 years, and I’ll gently lay down my memories and expectations. I’m praying now that I’d be fully here and focused on how God wants to use me and change me in this short visit. Beyond this week, I’d love for God to show Brian & I how to keep the people of Nicaragua and the awesome work of Nuevas Esperanzas at the forefront of our family mission.

¡Aqui estoy, Señor… enseñame!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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