Life in Nicaragua

A weekend at the orphanage

Casa Bernabe is undergoing some staff changes, which left them short-handed last weekend, so I spent a few days hanging with the kids and helping out where I could. It was really nice to be able to relax and enjoy my time there – not rushing off to get to the bus before dark. The days were mostly filled running around outside, searching for the last of the mangoes, and playing some games (they just got a few new ones and are VERY excited about them:jacks, UNO, Candy Land and Trouble). You know how much I love games, but it still amazes me how long they can be entertained with one particular thing. After about the 6th consecutive game of Trouble I had to take a break!
On the hunt for mangoes…

Rina, the main caretaker for the girls is out sick, so Friday night another employee, Payita, and I went to her house for a visit – hopefully she’ll be back with the kids soon! On Sunday I headed to church with the kids, and then went on my my way, enjoying yet another adventure on the bus. Fortunately, the kids are used to me coming and going at this point, so the goodbyes are much easier – something I’m very grateful for!
Watching Beauty and the Beast before bed (they now have a whole collection of Disney movies!! :))

For more details, click the title of the post…


Just what I was looking for…

playa popoyo

I’m used to things not turning out quite the way you thought they would here in Nicaragua, yet this time it was even better than I imagined. I picked a random, less traveled beach in hopes of a peaceful relaxing weekend in the sun…and that is exactly what I got! Aside from a few die hard surfers, there were no tourists. A few hostels, restaurants, and the wonderful locals in this poor beach town, Las Salinas, the perfect getaway. The long stretch of beach was stunning, the sunsets were some of the best I’ve seen, and the hospitality and amazing culinary talents of the locals were unbeatable!

To read more click the title of this post…

A new road in Nicaragua

UPDATE! Life down here in Nicaragua is changing yet again! While I love the people at the Nehemiah Center, and it was a great opportunity, it just wasn’t the right fit. I’ve found that my passion is working directly with the people, especially children, and I have decided to follow a new path and work at Casa Esperanza. There are still many details to be worked out, but I will be moving in to Casa Esperanza when the director, April Havlin, returns from the states on Sept. 20th. Yes, my return date is still the same (I’ll be home in December) but April is already trying to talk me into coming back in February…who knows how things will turn out!

As for now, I’m still working at Casa Esperanza every Tuesday, heading out to Leon every week with John and Helen (Manantial), helping to edit papers for the Nehemiah Center, and working with other people and organizations as the opportunities arise! Tomorrow, August 13th, I’m taking a little vacation and heading to the beach for the first time! I can’t believe I’ve been here since March and I am only now finally making my way to the ocean – I can’t wait!!

To read more about my new adventures into House of Hope, click the title of this post…

So many changes, so little time…

Life here in Nicaragua has been pretty typical; therefore, constantly changing. Nahum and Gener, the boys that have been living with John and Helen for the past 18 months have moved out. They have moved in with a young Nicaraguan couple that John and Helen have known for almost 5 years, and they live in a safe neighborhood in the middle of Managua. With John and Helen leaving in February of next year, this will hopefully be a good transition into typical Nicaraguan life for the boys, and it’s the next step towards being out on their own. While it’s a good transition, I really enjoyed their company so it was hard to see them go. Gener is like the pesky-yet-hilarious little brother I never had, while Nahum is my sarcastic guitar teacher (I can now play a few chords :)) – life is very different here without them!

To read a bit about my visit to their new place, click the title of this post…

Gener packing up to head out…

Here we go…

Hi All,

Yes, it’s finally up and running! I’m hoping that this site turns out to be a little more user friendly than the last one, but if you have any suggestions please let me know. I’ve tried to post some recent stories to get you caught up – I know it’s been a while! Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope you enjoy it!


A week spent with women

For the past week, life here at the Little’s has been very different; the house has been filled with women. Helen had organized a women’s team to come and stay at the house, and to head out into the community and serve other Nica women for the week. We spent time with the women of El Faro (the church right outside the dump ‘la chureca’, we went to Casa Bernabe to serve the women who work there, we spent a few days in Leon working with the communities of La Ceiba and Las Chacaras, and we also had a chance to spend some quality time with the women of Casa Esperanza.

All in all it was a great week filled with new experiences and new friendships – I’m sad to see them leave! To read more about our week, click on the title of this post…

The new housemom

The young girls that live at House of Hope range from ages 10 to 14. The number of girls in the dorm varies, as some leave to go back to the streets to live with their mothers (also prositutes), some move out of the dorm and into a ‘house’ of their own, and new girls can arrive at any time. Generally there is around 10 girls, and Brittany is their current house mom. She’s 23, from Maryland, has been here since March, and will be here till the following March.

She needed a well deserved break, so I came in and spent 3 nights and 4 days with the girls – giving her a much needed rest from her typical day-to-day routine.

To read more about my week, click on the title of this post.
A few of the girls
A few of the girls during one of their posing sessions 🙂

Why do ‘goods’ always have to come with ‘bads’?

I’ve been back to visit Casa almost once a week since I left, and while I love seeing the children, it can be tough going back. Many of the children already have such abandonment issues, so the fact that I left – yet still come back to visit is hard for them to understand. It’s hard to attach, because they know I’m going to leave again…in a matter of hours sometimes. But they know me, are comfortable with me, it’s easy. It’s a wonderful, dreadful, happy and extremely sad event – every week – that I can’t stop doing. Don’t want to stop doing. Won’t stop doing.

To read about my latest visit, my beautiful little Ana, and our difficult relationship, click the title of this post…


Casa Esperanza

A bit of background on Casa Esperanza: it is a vocactional center/home for prostitutes looking for a way to get off the streets and still be able to support their families. Helen and I go every Tuesday to teach jewelry making with the women they bus in off the streets. They make an honest days wages and the products are sold both in Nicaragua and the US to help support the House of Hope.

Helen and I working with our second group of women.

For more details click on the title of this post…

A little background

For those who haven’t been tuned in since the beginning of my journey, Casa Bernabe is the orphanage that I lived and worked at for my first two months in Nica. I stayed with and cared for the young girls, ages 6-14, and it was a beautiful, difficult, learning, stressful, joyful experience. While I was excited to experience life outside of the orfa, it was hard to say goodbye and part from all my wonderful kids.
from mels cam 015
To read older posts and see more pictures of the kids, you can visit