Two boys at the Los Qunichos farm in San Marcos, Nicaragua.

Two boys at the Los Qunichos farm in San Marcos, Nicaragua.

As a delegation of Washburn students prepares to travel to Nicaragua for the ninth time, many things are different. None of the students making the journey this year has gone before and beloved Professor Rick Ellis, who has lead seven previous groups and started the program, won’t be joining us.

Rick was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we returned from Nicaragua last year. Although he is in remission and back on campus full-time, his immune system is too suppressed to be able to safely join us. So, we’ll have his voice in our heads as we interact with the people he loves so dearly.

Rather than let the trip stop until he’s well enough to go back, Rick worked it out so Michaela could be Washburn’s staff leader while in Nicaragua. Rick and Michaela led group discussions prior to the trip to prepare the Ichabods for what they will see, hear, taste and experience while in Nicaragua. Along with Aldo and Cyndi, the ProNica guides, she will ensure the small group of students gets the most possible out of the experience.

This year seven students are making the trek. Between January 3 and January 16, 2015 you will hear directly from Caiti, Carmela, Jessica, Hayley, Shelby, Shelby and Samuel (with light editing by Michaela). The hope is each student will write twice. The group will visit many of the same places it did last year and we’ll do things that Washburn groups have never done.

We hope you will check back often throughout our journey. We will post at least daily as Internet access allows.

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