Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. – Rick Warren
The first morning of volunteering at the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation Special Needs School and I am anxious to begin even though I am not quite sure exactly what I will be doing. The time is 6:15am as I pull myself out of bed and look across the room to find that Marc is already awake and moving about. In spite of my monetary bribes he still refuses to use his toothbrush and even as I sneak to place some Listerine in his water container, he dumps it out on the ground with a cheeky grin as if to say, nice try. This man-child refuses to accept the most archaic forms of hygiene and therefore I have given up in my numerous attempts. Maybe one day someone will get through to him, but apparently, today is not that day. Shortly after 7:30am we head out with our small daypacks and bottles of water. Walking north down the cobblestone streets that ends with an uphill climb around the bend in the road, the early morning sun is already causing us to feel the exhaustion of the heat. Upon arriving at the school we are told that the bus should be arriving shortly, which gives us a brief moment to relax in the upstairs portion of the building dedicated to Spanish lessons. Sitting on an old couch as the ceiling fans stir up the air and muffled conversations continue around us between teachers and their students, suddenly we hear the commotion downstairs and what I thought would be a school bus is actually a small passenger van that has arrived to take us to the remote school location. Squeezing in to the front seat we are greeted with smiles and many holas, as we begin driving down the road.