Get to Know Miss Lillemo! by Bryan Sandahl

At NCA, changes are a normal part of life. Many people come and go, depending on where the Lord takes people. While it is sad to see some people go, such as friends and teachers, we can also rejoice and welcome the new members of our NCA community! Among our new teachers for this school year is Miss Lillemo, currently working as the second grade teacher at NCA. Many of you got to see Miss Lillemo at intermurals and have a chance to speak to her, but many have not. So here is a little information on Miss Lillemo so that we can get to know her a bit better!

1. Welcome to NCA Miss Lillemo! Would you care to describe to us who you are, where you are from, and what you are doing at NCA?

So, I hail from the great state of Virginia– I’m tremendously proud of my state, so if you ever want an earful, just ask me about VA!  I came to NCA because over this past year, I felt the Lord call me to teach in Latin America.  I’ve always known that I wanted to live and work in Latin America, and then my friend Katie McGrew introduced me to NCA and encouraged me to apply.  And after two months here, I’m incredibly grateful she did.   

2. What were you doing before you got to NCA?

I was actually in law school.  I had just completed my first year, and while I enjoyed the material, I could not imagine a career in an isolated office where I was not interacting with students.

3. What have been your initial thoughts of NCA and Nicaragua?

Phew, that’s a big question.  Let’s see– fritangas are awesome; the people here are kind and welcoming; I love the variety of birds and plants; and NCA has a great staff and fun students.  On top of that, transitioning to a new country, new job, culture, and language is a tricky thing, but the Lord has provided friendships and allowed me to feel him close in the midst of a huge learning curve. I genuinely wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world right now, even though I’m missing the juiciest election year we’ve had in a while. 

4. What is something you have enjoyed and not enjoyed as much during your time here so far?

Hmm, I’ve really enjoyed how spontaneous life is here.  Back in the states, my week was always planned out perfectly without much room for extras.  Here, a friend could randomly invite me to go hiking over the weekend or out to coffee on a random afternoon, and I’ve really appreciated that.  Also, the pace of life seems more natural here.  I’m accustomed to people being more concerned about timing and scheduling, but in Nicaragua people take time for each other and take the day more slowly.  

As far as things I have not enjoyed– not having a car is a bit of a doozy, especially when you’re used to being independent.

5. Do you have any hobbies or something you really enjoy doing?

I enjoy playing around with calligraphy, and when I’m feeling wild– poetry.  I used to read all the time, but in college and after I haven’t had as much time for pleasure reading.  That being said, I’ve challenged my students to try and beat my AR score, so that means I have to get back in the game. I also love a good long walk or hike, and when I’m home, I’m almost always at the beach. 

6. Many of us saw you playing soccer for the teachers team in the Intramurals and absolutely crush it. When did you learn to play soccer? Do you enjoy playing soccer?

Haha, well I don’t know about crushing it, but thank you– it’s been about six years since I played.  In high school, I played defense on a varsity team for a couple years and I really loved it.  I  think soccer is the greatest sport and really loved seeing you all play during intramurals. 


7. If you were stuck on an island, what would be 3 things you would take with you?

A tarp, my Bible, and a machete.

8. What are two things you consider yourself to be very good at? What are two things you consider yourself to be very bad at?

I’d say I’m pretty good at jumping in and winging things.  I’m also lowkey great at knitting.  I’m definitely bad at being patient and my minigolf game needs some serious help.

9. What is something unique about you? Any fun facts?

I’m an adrenaline junkie.  My older brother has a mantra that if you’re scared of something (good), then you should do it.  Fear shouldn’t conquer you.  So, whether it’s skydiving or moving across the world, I’m usually down. 

10. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Easy– flying. While there are other “cooler” powers, it’s one of the few that wouldn’t cause you to manipulate others and would be wildly fun.  I mean, can you imagine being able to casually float to your lightswitch or take an evening flight through the clouds at sunset?  Simply magical.

11.  And finally, the most important question. Do you think Bigfoot is real?

I am so glad you asked.  I didn’t used to believe in the Illustrious Bigfoot, but after all the evidence I’ve seen from my Second Grader’s drawings of him, I can no longer refute the claim that he exists.  I look forward to further sightings.