After settling into our new temporary home in Esteli, our first priority was connecting with NGOs to give to. The one that we were eager to meet with was the Bibliobús (mobile library bus)–a brand new education project. We were first introduced to the program by our beloved Jane of the San Juan del Sur Mobile Library, who mentioned it to us when we told her that we were moving up north.
Ironically, the founder of this new mobile library is also named Jane. She is from the wonderful country of England and owns our favorite cafe in town Cafe Luz as well as a Hospedaje Luna. We introduced ourselves and Life Out of the Box to her via email and she kindly responded back with an invitation to the actual launch of her mobile library. It was perfect timing–the Bibliobús was going out on its first outing to a school in Estelí. We quickly accepted the invitation and were very excited to join her on their big first day.
A few days later, we walked to Cafe Luz, grabbed a cup of coffee and then hopped on the big Bibliobús with Jane’s awesome team. We drove down the highway for a bit and then turned down a windy dirt road to get to the rural school that was anxiously waiting the Bibliobus’s arrival.
We each grabbed a box and walked in to help with the set up. This was one of the biggest schools either of us had ever been to and the event was directly proportional in size. All of the desks from the classrooms were outside lined up in front of the stage that was complete with a Nicaraguan flag, two large speaker sets, a handful of chairs and a podium.
There were hundreds of kids in all of the chairs eating plantains for a snack, laughing and playing in anticipation for the event to start.
To the right of the stage was an art area where kids could either get their faces painted or actually paint/draw art themselves on the ground on large sheets of paper.
In the midst of the art area was the reason this whole event was set up–the very special library section. We helped Jane and her team lay out the books on the table and as we did, one by one, I began recognizing some of my childhood favorites in the collection.
They were of course all in Spanish but I remember reading each one of them during the time I began learning how to read and how much I loved them. It made me smile to think that these kids would all have that same experience here in Nicaragua.
As we completed the set up, Jonathon and I got put in charge of face painting all of the kids. Luckily, the team had face painting crayons that were easy to make hearts, stars and anything else simple–we were not professional face painting artists by any means.
We had a lot of fun with the kids as we painted their faces because each one of them lit up when we did. They were all so excited to have paint on their face. I had forgotten how exciting getting my face painted once was. It took me right back to elementary school and I felt like a kid again.
There was an announcement made and, suddenly, all of the kids had to go back to their seats. We put our supplies away and walked over to see the exciting main event.