Student Experiences Life and Learning in Nicaragua
Subjects ranging from the challenges of broken Spanish to the feel of a Nicaraguan breeze fill the blog page of Dilaun White ’09, a recent graduate from Yorkville, Illinois, who spent her last Trinity semester in Nicaragua. White, a business communications major, began the semester abroad with some discomfort and doubt, but eventually came to love the country because of the hearts of the people she met there.
The Semester in Nicaragua partners with the Nehemiah Center, a place of rebuilding and transformational development, driven to help the local peoples of Nicaragua through students who are training for a future career in media and communications. Several courses are offered at the Nehemiah Center, varying from beginning Spanish to the history of Nicaragua to media and communication studies. Trinity senior Dan Sealy of Lynwood, Illinois, also participated in this semester’s program.
“I believe part of the reason I am here is to experience God in ways that I never have before,” said White, after helping in an outreach ministry, “[and] to know trust and faith and humility outside of the comforts of my United States.”
While in Nicaragua, White found that the language barrier was difficult at times, but ultimately rewarding. After practicing her Spanish for a few hours with her host family’s relative, White said, “It was definitely a cool cross-cultural communication moment.”
Her communication skills were also put into practice through an internship at the Center. Furthering the knowledge she gained through her classes at Trinity and a prior public relations internship, White traveled locally to observe and report on the work of Food for the Hungry, a partner organization of the Center’s.
With studies and work completed, White said returning to the house of her host family at the end of the day was like “coming home.” Alex and Maria have been involved in youth ministry for 19 years, and every Saturday morning, they would take White with them to a poverty-stricken neighborhood nearby to lead the children in Bible study and feed nearly 80 children.
“Every time the children would see our red van approaching, they would come running out of their tiny houses,” said White, who appreciated another opportunity to serve.
She explained that her semester in Nicaragua was “bigger than studies, bigger than academics” and that she has developed a deeper sensitivity to how Americans treat people from different cultures and a better understanding of this country’s immigration issues.
To see White’s blog page, visit http://dilaun.blogspot.com/ or check out http://tcc.trnty.edu/nicaragua/about.html for more information about Trinity’s Semester in Nicaragua.
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