Monday, April 20, 2009

The Jesus Hokey Pokey.



13 to 20 Apr, 2009 - Managua, Nicaragua

No, it's not quite "You put your soul, in..." but it is sung to the Hokey Pokey tune. We have spent a week with La Capilla de Calvario, a mission organisation in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. I have been throwing my expertise in to some of the computer issues here, while Jo (and myself on a few occasions) have been helping out in the school they run. There is also a bakery, but that is entirely run by locals. Actually, so is the school, but we go in and help with English classes. We talk about ourselves and Australia, so they get to hear native English speakers. We teach them games and songs in English, which they love. And we help them with exercises and pronunciation.


Helping Grade 2's
Helping Grade 2's
I think we were drawing kangaroos... This is the school run by the Calvary Chapel of Managua.


The Youngest Out For Exercise
The Youngest Out For Exercise
The preps stretch their legs.


Doing the "Jesus Hokey Pokey"
Doing the "Jesus Hokey Pokey"
OK, so not all the grade 2's worked out we were up to "right" leg, but it could be because we were singing in English, not Spanish. It was English class, after all.


Jo, Renee, and Carolina Lead the Singing
Jo, Renee, and Carolina Lead the Singing
English songs, with actions, and a message. The kids at all year levels love to be taught new songs!



We took Saturday off, to go and see the sights of Managua. Expectations were not high as a few people had told us not to bother with this city. We think they are wrong, and that Managua was definitely worth seeing. Low expectations made for pleasant surprises, and we had a very pleasant day. Renee (a long term volunteer at Calvary) joined us.

The downtown area has a fantastic museum. Armando, an 8 year old boy who spends his Saturdays in the museum because his father works there, became our impromptu and very devoted tour guide. A gorgeous kid with a fantastic sense of humour, he waited patiently while the three of us studied various displays, and then showed us where to go next. He took us to the roof for some views of the city, and followed me out on to a balcony which I could only access through a hole from which the air conditioner had been removed. He was very patient when I struggled in Spanish (although the struggles are getting fewer, but children don't always understand that you as an adult may not speak their language very well!) My only regret is that we didn't have any little koala toys with us at the time, as I would have loved to have given him one to say thankyou.


Thinking or Sniggering?
Thinking or Sniggering?

Funny Face, I Love You...
Funny Face, I Love You...
Either the artist was liberal, or the model was buck toothed, cross eyed, and lop sided. Either way, we found this pot rather amusing.


Our Tour Guide
Our Tour Guide
We visited the museum on Saturday. Armando has Saturday off from school and comes to work with his father. He became our impromptu tour guide.


Stone Carvings
Stone Carvings
Stone carved and worked in to a seat, with an animal head decoration.


Roof Top View
Roof Top View
Armando took us up to the rooftop of the museum to show us the views over Managua. Managua is a very green capital!



Other significant sights in that area included the old cathedral, still a shell nearly 40 years after an earthquake flattened most of the capital. Closed to the public, it would have been nice if we could have at least gone up to the gate for some photos, but a guard was fairly insistent that we had to keep our distance. Although the guard was inside, and the earthquake was 37 years ago, we were told that it was in danger of falling down!


Ruins of the Old Cathedral
Ruins of the Old Cathedral
Still unrestored since the earthquake of 1972. The shell of the Old Cathedral is a magnificent structure, but remains off limits.



The peace park, nearby, is largely unmaintained. The reflection pool has no water, and the lighthouse is damaged and is not lit any more. But the sculpture in the park was a piece that stirred deeply, in an uncomfortable and disturbing way. And I totally think that was the intention. Hundreds of weapons, mainly handguns and rifles, but some powerful machine guns and even a tank, all buried in tons of concrete.


Firearms in Concrete
Firearms in Concrete
Part of the Managua Peace Park sculpture.


A Tank in Concrete
A Tank in Concrete
The centrepiece of the Managua Peace Park sculpture.



After a couple of coffee breaks, lunch, climbing to a volcano rim, visiting some other sculptures and memorials, etc, etc, when finished the day at the new cathedral. A rather controversial structure, it looks quite large from afar, but is not overly big. Nor is it ostentatious. The controversy comes from the domes, which make it look very mosque-like...


Managua's Controversial New Cathedral
Managua's Controversial New Cathedral
The domes add structural support to a cathedral built on an earthquake fault line. But still, it looks a lot more like a mosque.


Interior of The New Cathedral, Managua
Interior of The New Cathedral, Managua


1 comment:

KindaSassy said...

teaching English would have been such fun... and what is it about domed roofs that make us think of mosques?