Whether it was endless hours spent skateboarding on neighborhood streets during hot summer afternoons or roller skating at the local air-conditioned rink while avoiding the heat and listening to popular 80s tunes, those activities account for many enjoyable memories for me as a child.
Because of this, one of the most fun parts of child visit day during my recent visit to Nicaragua was watching my sponsored children try out the very activities that shaped own childhood.
Sometime after lunch, the boys made their way to the skating area of the park, where they could choose between roller-skating and skateboarding.
The two oldest boys, Jose and Esteban, along with my son Aidan, opted for skateboarding, while the youngest, Jefry, wanted to try roller-skating. After the attendant helped them all suit up in appropriate protective gear, they were ready to go.
The boys were cautious on the skateboards at first, but after some coaching from one of our translators, Silvio, their confidence grew. He joined them on the skateboards, and soon they were criss-crossing the course, smiling, laughing and enjoying their new skills together.
While the older boys practiced skateboarding, our other translator, Nicole, patiently helped Jefry’s mom to keep him on his feet in the roller skates.
This was no easy task, as Jefry found it much more fun to kick and flail his legs than to make any progress with the wheels attached to his feet. He seemed to find it hilarious, and would make his legs fly out from under him fearlessly, laughing the whole time.
Jefry managed to wear himself out, and all the boys seemed pleased with their efforts. It was priceless to see their happiness when they finished, and to know that they have added this time to their own collection of childhood memories.