It was over three years ago that charter class graduate, Emir Ricaño (NPH Mexico), turned to me at our weekly meeting and asked “when are we going to do the Posadas?”. I am now so grateful for his question and for how the Posadas have become a tradition here, allowing our NPH students to offer a gift of their culture and tradition to their family in the Northwest. It also gives them an opportunity to practice leadership and intercultural skills – as they must find a way to integrate traditions from their various countries and then explain the tradition to folks here. Doing all of that in your second (or third) language is no easy task!
This year, as we have for the past three years – we gathered to enjoy the Christmas Posadas. This year’s group decided to include a short skit, which was both funny and a good reminder of the first Christmas. The crowd participated by joining in the singing of “We Three Kings” and later “Feliz Navidad”. After the Nativity Play, it was time for the piñata which was homemade according to NPH tradition. The youngest guests had a great time swinging at the piñata, even as Cesario and Dennis pulled it barely out of their reach. Even the youngest (2 years old) was able to participate!
As guests lingered over a potluck dinner, the sense of community that surrounds these young people was palpable. Thank you to everyone who participated, and to the students for putting on such a wonderful evening.
Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year!
This past Sunday, we celebrated our Fall Mass, thereby officially kicking off our third year!
Father Tom celebrated Mass with about 40 people gathered at the home of Linda and Victor in West Seattle. We sang and prayed in English and in Spanish, met the new leadership group (who introduced themselves in English!) and praised God for bringing so many wonderful souls together. The leadership students and their host families all shared thoughts and observations from their first weeks in Seattle.
After Mass, Father Tom blessed Linda and Victor’s home as well as the new Leadership Van!
Finally, we had a communal dinner and time to catch up with old friends and/or get to know each other better!
Please continue to hold these students and their host families in your prayers!
Today, meet Daphney from NPFS Haiti!
Daphney is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about leadership and improve her English during her time in Seattle. She is currently studying Administration at the University level in Haiti. Her year of service to NPFS naturally led to this career, as she worked in the social work office helping with files, documentation, and child sponsorship. Through her work with the Salesian Sisters, she continues to develop her skills working with people in need. During her time in Seattle, she hopes to receive training on becoming a better leader so she can help more young people in Haiti, as well as improving her English. She says that “NPH is my life. Like a mother, a guide, a shield. Because of NPH I was able to continue my education. For all these reasons, NPH is everything”.
Dinora Saribel García de León
Saribel is currently studying Business Administration at the Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. She also serves NPH as the assistant director of the baby house, and as she describes “her babies”, it is easy to see how lucky they are to receive her care.
During this year in Seattle, she hopes to improve her English, learn about the culture of the Northwest and other areas of the United States, grow in her leadership abilities, and to learn about each of the people she will meet while here. In thinking about her NPH family, she says “NPH means the opportunity to have the family I dreamt of for so long. It means a brighter future for me and for my brothers and sisters”.
Today, meet Ricardo Klayen from NPH Mexico:
Ricardo talks about what he has learned during his years at NPH: responsibility, commitment, unconditional giving, and a strong work ethic. All of these skills have served him well during his University studies in Monterrey, Mexico. This past summer, Ricardo completed the final requirements for his Nursing Degree and graduated! Part of his final year of studies included internships and social service. He had the opportunity to work in the internal medicine department as well as the home care and psychiatry departments of two distinct hospitals in Monterrey.
During this year in Seattle, Ricardo notes “I hope to learn much about the culture, leadership, language, and people of the US. Most of all, I wish to understand what kind of leader I am, what kind of leader I can be, and what I want to change or improve. It is my intent to use these tools for the benefit of the people around me; in my work, in my community, and in my NPH family”.
Today, meet Mila from NPH Nicaragua:
Migdalia Meza Gutierrez
Migdalia is in her fourth year of the Pediatric Nursing Program at the University in Managua. In order to participate in the leadership institute in Seattle, she is taking a break from her studies which she will complete upon her return. She hopes that when she finishes she will be able to work for NPH.
This year, she hopes to prepare to be a strong leader in order to offer all she can to NPH in the future. She reflects, “NPH, my wonderful family. I can’t describe it other than to say it is a blessing from God, my brothers and sisters are everything to me. Every child is a story – stories that identify us as siblings, stories that help us grow, learn, and get back up again when we fall. I am grateful to have Father Wasson guiding us from heaven as we each take our own path”.
Each day this week, we will introduce one of this year’s leadership students….Today, meet Dennis from NPH Honduras!
Dennis Duron, Honduras
Dennis is currently studying pedagogy at the National University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He hopes to finish his studies, gain work experience, and be able to bring his knowledge to NPH.
During his year in Seattle his goals include personal growth, learning more about leadership, improving his English, gaining knowledge about the other NPH homes, and learning from everyone he encounters here. He refers to NPH as a wonderful family and writes “it always grabs my attention when a young child says that the best thing that has happened in their life is coming to NPH, it shows that NPH has meant so much to them and given them love, hope, and new light on their path. Just like it did for me.”