Dance Camp

The Little Things...

The Little Things

While it may seem intimidating at first, making the leap to volunteering in another country is something that everyone should experience. I know what it's like to live in a comfortable little bubble, hiding behind all of the eccentricities of middle-class American life. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and haven't seen much else outside of that town. However, upon entering college, I began a desperate search for new sights and experiences.

Since coming to Nicaragua, I've talked to mothers in La Chureca, helped teach English in Farito, and played soccer with kids in Salero. I've seen kids dance their hearts out on the dirt floors of their homes. What we're told is the face of poverty actually has a smile on it. These people truly enjoy the little things in life, and make the best out of less pleasing situations. They have inspired me so much, and I truly appreciate being able to meet them.

Whether it's volunteering with Manna Project or not, find what is calling you and go after it. Stop hiding behind all of the comforts of home, and explore the world. Volunteering abroad has been one of the most rewarding experience I have had, and I am glad that I did it. The types of people I have met and the experiences I have had are just not something that I would have been able to take part in if I hadn't ventured outside of my comfort zone.

_Bryant Sheppard
Bowling Green State University
Manna Project Intern '12


My first experience with MPI was as a Summer Volunteer in Quito, Ecuador in 2009. A fellow Summer Volunteer and good friend of mine, Rebekah Ann Chappell has been living in Costa Rica for the past 14 months, working and volunteering as a dance instructor. This past week we were lucky enough to have Bekah visit us in Managua and teach a dance camp for girls in Cedro Galan. The classes included basic ballet, jazz, and songs from High School Musical. Needless to say the girls absolutely loved it. Bekah's lessons focused on exercises that would help teach the girls body awareness as well as dance technique. The week passed way too fast and it was really sad to have to say good bye to Bekah this morning as we dropped her off at the bus stop to head back to Costa Rica. This past week I couldn't help but think about how great it would be for a the community to have permanent dance classes. I really hope that a future Summer Volunteer or PD will have a dance background and the skills to implement such a program.

despite varied foot-ware the girls in Cedro Galan still all were able to

Maria and Laurita learning a little bit of Jazz

Every class this week started with sitting in a circle and talking about respecting each other while learning how to dance

Bekah liked to call this one the "Michael Jackson"