September 14, 2021
It has been 18 months since Canadians in person last served the home in Nicaragua at Casa Padre Wasson.
On September 7, my husband Peter and I landed in Managua via Panama City to attend the wedding of our godson, Jimmy Garcia, on September 18. Preparations for this visit began months ago, when the quarantine period for Canadians coming in from abroad was lifted and we proved a negative test for COVID through a PCR/NAAT screening for 72 hours before our arrival in Managua.
The situation here is complex. Children younger than 18 years were removed from the home and dispersed among family members around the country willing to take them in, orders of a new government policy brought down one year ago this week. The remaining dwellers of the home are a limited staff of caregivers, office workers and students giving their year of service. Most "casas" are empty but the school functions daily with students coming on site for academic classes as well as technical studies. Today, the children only come to school for the Independence Day march. The remainder of the week is a holiday, but when classes begin again is undetermined as six teachers are out sick and suspected of having COVID.
Only four people on site are fully vaccinated. Two of them are my husband and I.
Everyone wears a mask (inside or outside). Our rented car is sprayed down at the control gate. Hand sanitizer (alcol) is everywhere, even when we gather in the church, one person sitting at each end of the pew. Marlon Velasquez, the national director makes sure to dose each set of hands with enough spray to suffice.
While it is a blessing to see "familia" again, it is disheartening to see the emptiness and the fear that permeates the one-time child-filled area.
There is hope- always hope. And we are here to assist in determining what the future will look like for our Canadian teams, here and in all the countries of NPH.
Your prayers, donations, attention is welcomed, needed and appreciated in the past, present and in times to come.