Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Team Nicaragua 2012 blog of a Montclair State University group participating in a WFP delegation to Nicaragua.
By: Leah McClish
The experience of staying with families within their community was an opportunity of a lifetime. The community was welcoming and friendly to every single one of us. My home-stay experience was difficult to handle at first, what with outdoor bathrooms, no contact with the outside world (no phone service or internet), no television, minimal lights, and my minimal Spanish... but what made it easier for me was when my host mother gave me and another delegate her two sons' room to sleep in. Despite that her house has two bedrooms for five people, it was just heart-wrenching for me to see her give up the small amount of things she had for two individuals she barely knew. Throughout the experience, my host-mother sincerely wanted to spend time with us, to get to know us, and to share her personal experience with us. She even shared that we were the most wonderful part of her day. For a woman I barely knew to share her home and feelings was remarkable.
As the weekend continued, I was able to see how the community grew to have so much love, respect, and warmth toward one another and amongst their families was beautiful to see. The community shared their love through exchanging their cultural dances and with religious ceremonies. The faith and hope that sparkled through their eyes despite the community's struggles was a vision that will always be in my mind.
In the end, my host family will always remain in my heart. I feel that they not only added to my experience in Nicaragua but also showed me how to be a better human being.