We were all pretty excited about the arrival of the British ambassador to Nicaragua. We'd been told about it when we arrived but suddenly he was actually going to be here in real life - I think some of us were hoping he'd be wearing tails and carrying a British flag! We were all a bit nervous in anticipation but when he arrived smiling and looking thoroughly friendly and normal, he put us all at ease immediately.
Having been to see Progressio's work in previous cycles in other parts of the country, this was the first time he had visited Masaya to see the charity's work. We made our way up to the Monimbó school accompanied by Josué on the drum and showed him the work of the previous cycle of volunteers. They had built a classroom and ran recycling workshops in the school. It was really great to see the work that had been done there.
Then we all got on the bus and went up to Pochote school where the ambassador heard a talk about this cycle's work on the eco-latrines and why it is so necessary and we were treated to some more amazing Nicaraguan dancing (and the ambassador even got pulled up to do some dancing himself).
He wanted to hear from the Nicaraguan volunteers about what sort of projects they thought would be useful for the people of Masaya and he wanted to hear from the English volunteers about what sort of things they were learning from their Nicaraguan experience. It was great to see how keen he was to hear about the needs and the lives of the people whom he is representing.
After the meeting we walked around Pochote to meet with some of the families who are going to be receiving the latrines this cycle and the ambassador was really happy to see how much of an impact our work would be having.
On the walk, the British volunteers had a chance to chat to the ambassador about their lives back home and, in turn, about how he got into the work he was doing now. He commutes from Costa Rica and has meetings with people in the Nicaraguan government when he is in-country. After some refreshments he said thank you to the volunteers and wished us all the best of luck.
It was a really great day and good to see how involved and interested he is in the work that Progressio is doing in Nicaragua.
Written by ICS volunteer Nathan Ellis