Rows and Rows of the Finest Virtuosos

In Nicaragua we visited the Betania Foundation where a set of primary, secondary and vocational schools as well as a hospital clinic and gardens were built in the 1990s in order to break the cycle of poverty for the many families of Chinandega and its surrounding communities. The kids were working diligently learning skills and trades such as sewing, mechanics, and carpentry. They all seemed excited by our visit and loved slapping high fives and giving fist pounds whenever they were allowed to take a break from their studies to interact with us. Our guide to the grounds was a thirteen-year-old tourism student named Daniela, and she was sharp as a tack — not to mention the fact that she was just about the cutest thing we’d ever seen.

daniela

As luck would have it, our visit coincided with the school’s band practice. They invited us in and played three songs for us. They were phenomenally talented and even had choreographed movements to go along with the songs they played for us. I thought our cheeks would burst open from the size of the grins on our faces as we danced with them, tapped our feet, clapped our hands, and thoroughly enjoyed some of the best music we’ve heard on the entire voyage. Everyone in the group agreed that this was one of the most heartwarming experiences we’ve had on the trip so far. Some of the kids were so tiny that it was a wonder they could hold their instruments at all–one little guy’s alto sax was about 3/4 of the size of him, and he played it like he was six feet tall.

The tiny mic on our video camera doesn’t do justice to the fat sound of their horn section, but you can still get an idea of how much fun we were having.

looking_like_miles

samandshannon_with_band

We rounded out the day with a fun and charming caponera (tricicleta) ride through the streets of Corinto to a beautiful beachside seafood restaurant.

tricicletas

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4 Comments

  1. Staci
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    They need to record that music and sell it. It was great!

  2. Eric
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I’m happy to see that you are able to break free from your job as the ship’s IT consultant for just a moment or two and get out on an excursion. Looks like you are getting to see lots of amazing sights!

  3. Aunt Carol
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I finally got a chance to read everything and see all the videos >catching up since we got back from Charleston,S.C. Loved it all so much,could really identify with your journey. It touched me deeply in many ways. I cried with gusto when I saw the band video! Thanks for this beautiful journey journal! There was a wonderful farewell to Beck and Jordan’s old abode last night as they prepare to move this week to a great new home.Missed you, but Amelie was having a grand time with cousin Frank. Love you two!

  4. Posted May 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the comments, guys. It’s fun to have you all traveling along with us virtually!

SHANNON BLOOMQUIST
librarian, writer/editor, floundering guitarist, breakfast addict

SAM BLOOMQUIST
mobile software developer, dog owner, hiker, adventure racer, enemy of bureaucracy
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