Hi, my name is Mia McCoy; I am one of the lucky girls to go to Nicaragua with Project Lumina. Yesterday we started the day by waking up early and going surfing, which was an amazing way to start the day. But the whole time the only thing I could think about was the orphan girls who were coming to have a beach party with us. We went the day before to go meet them and invite them to the beach. They were kind of standoffish and didn’t seem very excited. I was nervous for them to come because I didn’t think that they liked us and I didn’t want to ruin their beach day. But I was completely wrong. When they got here they immediately gave us all hugs, we became quick friends. We got partners, and the first thing my girl said to me was, “you have pretty eyes”. That was when I realized I had nothing to be worried about. We painted each other’s faces and went down to the beach. My partner kept telling me she was really scared to go into the ocean because she didn’t know how to swim. But as soon as we got out there she grabbed my hand and we ran out into the ocean. You could tell she was having so much fun; she was smiling the whole time and would not let go of me. Then we came out and played soccer. She was amazing at it. I have never really liked to play soccer, but I had a lot of fun playing with them. She went over to some of her friends, so I went back into the ocean, when I looked over half of the girls were trying to surf. I thought it was incredible that they rarely went to the beach, didn’t know how to swim, but they still wanted to learn to surf. I saw that they use every chance they get to do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do because they are so isolated from these kinds of things. Then we came back and all had lunch and hung out for a little. We said goodbye, took some pictures, and they left.
Meeting them was absolutely amazing for me. They all seemed like the happiest people, and were grateful for what they had, even though they didn’t have a lot. It made me realize how lucky I am to have a family. Some of the kids didn’t have parents, but some did, their parents just couldn’t take care of them. In a way I feel it would be worse to still have parents, but them not being able to take care of you or not wanting you. As I sit here, writing this in a hammock and looking a one of the best views I have ever seen in my life, I realized how lucky I am able to experience things like this, and know that I am going home to an amazing family. This experience made me look differently at a lot of aspects in my life, and I know will change the way I look at life forever.