Tuesday, May 5, 2015


This past month has finally felt like the dry season.  We enjoyed a fairly cool ‘summer’ with some unusual bursts of rain, but the heat has finally set in even up in the hills of Matagalpa.  The temperature has reached into the 90s, which is extremely rare for this area.  And just in case you’re wondering, no, we do not have AC nor fans in our classrooms!  Our best cooling off mechanism is a cold shower at the end of the day, that is of course if we have water!  The dry season also brings water shortages, so the city regulates water by randomly shutting it off.   While this can get a bit tiresome, we find it is just part of living here in Nicaragua.  We’re becoming quite good at quickly washing dishes, clothes, filling water filters, buckets, and taking showers when we do have water.

On the school front things are going very well!  We are so extremely thankful for how successful our teaching mission is proving to be this year.  Karla continues to take on more teaching roles; we rotate subjects about every 3 weeks.  I can’t begin to explain how drastic the change is in her teaching and understanding from the beginning of last year to day 50 of this year.  Its like marveling at a student learning to read and then watching them just take off in January or February.  Teachers and parents can relate to all the ‘work’ that goes into teaching a child to read; talking to them, singing with them, reading to them, playing letter & rhyming games.  Eventually all of those pieces come together and a child effortlessly begins to read and write.  I see that happening now with Karla’s transition into teaching.  All the little teaching moments last year, are showing up in Karla’s teaching this year.  Even more exciting is watching Karla gain self-confidence and realize how far she has come in her teaching methods.

Unfortunately, our school did lose two of our new primary teachers this past month, in the same week actually.  One teacher has already been replaced, the other we are still searching for.  It is difficult to express how different NCA Matagalpa is from the average school here in Nicaragua, for many teachers the changes and teaching style is just too much and can be quite overwhelming.  It is not an easy task to first find teachers who are open-minded enough to be able to adapt to a new way of teaching, nor to mentor and guide those teachers into a very new way of teaching.  So while it has been difficult to lose two teachers just a few months into the school year, hopefully we will have a stronger staff as a result of it.  One positive result for example is seeing all of the primary teachers come together to help the new 4th grade teacher.  Now that Karla and our Kindergarten class are doing well and established in our routines, I have more time as well to work with the new teachers. 

Mike is heading up our 2nd annual soccer tournament here at NCA Matagalpa.  He officiates one game each day during the secondary lunch hour, and the students are Loving it!  It’s really fun to see the excitement it generates from students playing as well as watching.  Mike has also been helping with after school soccer and volleyball practices.  It is great to see students becoming more physically active at school and learning ‘rules of the game,’ many for the first time.

As for our family, the kids are all doing really well.  I am often shocked by their Spanish speaking ability, and envious at how easily they have picked up the Nicaraguan accent and local vocabulary.  Mackenzie continues to amaze me with how she can memorize great quantities of information in Spanish for her classes, Evan writes and presents a book report in Spanish each Friday to his class, and Kai likes learning Spanish songs and singing them for us at home.  Other good news, after a few very hot weekends (107! & humidity) searching in Managua, we found a very reliable older car we could afford!  After five months without a vehicle this will be a welcome change making life a little easier, allowing us to do more things safely within our community, especially after dark (which always happens here at 6pm!).

Soon the heat will pass and the rainy season will be upon us (we hope!).   Until then we continue to appreciate the beauty of Matagalpa and Nicaragua, so thankful for the opportunity to be here.  The more changes we see happening at school, the greater the potential we see for positive future change.  We’re excited for what the rest of the school year holds and look forward to working with more teachers for long-term real change. 

If you have any questions about our teaching mission or living in Nicaragua please send us an email annette.muellers@gmail.com.

May the Lord’s Peace, Which Surpasses Our Understanding, Be With You Always,

Annette, Mike, Mackenzie, Evan, & Kai Mueller

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