On Feb. 1, I wrote about how 21 junior and senior standing students and five staff were in full swing of their semester overseas with the international rescue and relief program. Now two months later as I write this the team has completed their journey and are back in the U.S.
These past 90 days were filled with adventure. From journeying down a river, hosting medical clinics in rural jungle villages, surviving the jungle and ocean, recovering on the beach, and finishing strong with expeditions, a dull moment seemed rare.
Here’s a glimpse at some photos and various posts shared on the Facebook group created for friends and family. If curious about more of the adventure, pull aside one of these brave students.
“FIRE!! This week I had the opportunity to lead one of the student shifts at the Managua fire station. Throughout the week my fellow students and I worked three 24-hour shifts every other day. While on shift we participated in cleaning the ambulances and fire engines, stood in formation for the shift change ceremony, exchanged knowledge and training and assisted in fire and EMS calls.
"In the fire service a large emphasis is placed on continuous training and learning. The firefighters, or Bomberos in Spanish, were excited to teach us some of the firefighting basics. They ran us through several drills.
"These included rolling and unrolling hoses, running an obstacle course, advancing on a fire with a hose line, and a search and rescue drill with blacked-out-masks. In returned we helped them review technical rope skills. Everything from knot tying and anchors; to harnesses and mechanical advantages.
Over all fire week has been a unique and exciting experience. Many students have expressed a new appreciation for the work that firefighters do. We are grateful for all the work that the bomberos do here and for taking the time to share their knowledge and experience with us."
“This week was our week of expeditionary leadership. The group was split into two teams and given a lump sum of money based on how many people were on the team. The two teams then planned and budgeted a week long trip with at least 3 days being focused on education."
“Day 7 was a challenging day for the majority of the group.
"They set out at 4:30 that morning to climb the infamous Volcano Concepcion that looms over the entire island at a whopping 5,280 feet. Students had to climb on hands and knees in some spots because the incline was so great. I was not among the brave students who endured the grueling 12 hour hike, but I did enjoy a lemonade and the beautiful view of the volcano from the farmhouse.”
- Kiana Meyers
IRR director Rick Young added that this has been the largest group ever taken to Nicaragua!
They were a self-motivated group who experienced another culture through studying, playing, living and traveling as a team in a variety of learning experiences thrown at them.
This semester is designed to be the capstone of the IRR program by turning the many college classroom hours into not only experiencing life but also understanding life through a different lens. The goal is to help each student find God’s path for them and help them realize that the only limiting factors in accomplishing that path is in their hands.
“IRR students are pushed and challenged throughout IRR, between our Colorado summer program, the Nicaragua expedition and all the courses in-between; students understand their limits and capabilities and are motivated to be the hands and feet of Jesus–reaching out to those in need,” he concluded.
Emily Wood is a senior studying communication.