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¡Saludos de Nicaragua! (Greeting from Nicaragua!)
One Month…Wow! It is hard to believe that I have already been here that long. I arrived at the end of May and started my six-month internship with MEDA where I am working with one of their partner organizations MiCredito, a microfinance institution. I am inspired by the way that MiCredito develops working relationships with small scale entrepreneurs to provide financial services and a more promising future. I am very grateful and blessed to have this experience. I feel blessed to experience a different culture and to learn how micro-finance initiatives are empowering individuals and businesses.
Looking back on this last month, the main theme has been learning. My goal was to take in as much knowledge as possible from each new situation.
I spent the first week getting settled into my living space. I also met some of MiCredito’s welcoming and helpful staff who introduced me to the MiCredito organization and some of the work they are doing. They helped me to find a nice place in Managua to call home for the next six months. Aside from learning many people’s names, one of the main learning challenges this week was figuring out how to operate my cellphone in this country, specifically due to language barriers.
I spent the next couple of weeks outside of Managua at a Spanish school. This proved to be a great way to be introduced to the culture of Nicaragua. I was able to greatly improve my language skills and I was introduced to some of the history and culture of the country. Improving my Spanish was the main lesson learned from these two weeks. An added bonus was the opportunity to learn the history of the people and through a few excursions experience some excellent aspects of Nicaraguan culture. I was pleased to visit Granada and Leon, visit a crater lake called “Laguna de Apoyo” and look into the crater of “Volcan Masaya,”an active volcano.
This past week was spent gaining a better sense of the MiCredito organization and the work that they are doing with local individuals and businesses. I have been spending my time working from their newest branch located in Massaya where the staff welcomed me into a warm, hospitable and friendly working environment. I am at the frontline of the work that MEDA does and have gained a sense of the impact that they are having with their clients and customers. Over the next five months, I am certain that the learning will continue. I am looking forward to the remainder of my time here and the many new learning experiences that it will bring.
Hasta luego, (See you later)