By Over the summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams went on a one week mission trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, with his sister and three other members from her church in Temperance, Michigan.
During the mission trip, Adams stayed with fellow missionary Kathy Kemmer, who has been living in the country for the past six years.
While in Nicaragua, Adams and his team were involved in many projects to help the local impoverished communities which include working at a local orphanage, building furniture for a preschool and helping elementary students make Ojo de Dio or God’s eyes, which is a simple arts and crafts project.
Adams and his team also completed larger projects. For three days, they built one 11 foot by 11 foot house each day using only concrete for the floor, a wooden frame and tin for the roof and siding. Although it may seem like not such a nice home, it was a vast improvement to their previous homes which were made from trash from the city dump.
“There are many beautiful parts to Nicaragua, but there are also parts that are devastatingly poor and need help,” Adams said.
10 days in Spain
|Woodmore students and students from another school that traveled with them
in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jonathan Adams)
Adams, accompanied by three students and a chaperone, also took a ten-day adventure to Spain last summer. Woodmore Spanish Club has not taken a trip like this in many years but have tentative plans for a Costa Rican trip already in the works for next summer.
Those who went on the trip were students Andrea Bouldin, Ben Czeczele and Lora Zatko, and Laurie Czeczele, who went as a chaperone.
“I liked seeing all the different places in Spain, especially the palaces,” said Bouldin.
While the most exciting part for Adams was the bullfight, some of the favorite stops they visited included Granada and Toledo, Spain.
Students even got to try out their bilingual skills by conversing in Spanish when buying things and at dinner by asking for the check.
While there, several cultural differences were noticed.
“In Spain they hardly ever wear shorts unless they are going to work out,” said Adams.
Bouldin noticed that people seemed to be dressed up all the time, even while just walking around town. The meal times also differ from Americans as they eat a large meal in the late afternoon and then eat something light at around 10 p.m.
All who traveled seemed to enjoy their experience. The only thing they would have changed would be their traveling group.
“We went with a bunch of eighth graders from another school who didn’t seem to appreciate it as much,” noted Bouldin.
Adams hopes to provide another opportunity for his students by setting up a trip to Costa Rica. This idea has only been pitched to the Spanish IV students, but the trip would be open to current Spanish II through IV students. It would take place in June.
Seniors Meghan Haar and Carly Pendleton are ecstatic about the idea.
“This trip would offer a lot of exotic opportunities such as horseback riding, zip lining, seeing volcanoes, and surfing,” said Pendleton.
Reprinted with permission by journalism advisor Carolyn Nitz from the September 2010 issue of Window to Woodmore, a student publication.