Today was by far the most inspirational day that we have experienced. It was focused on how us glimpsers can make a change in the community that will have a strong and lasting effect on the citizens within it. We started off the day by getting an extra hour of sleep and waking up at 7am (this was much needed)! We enjoyed a big breakfast of eggs, rolls, and of course, rice and beans. After that, we hopped on the bus and headed off to Sor Maria Romero, an impoverished community in Matagalpa. This is where we will be doing our community action project, so we went here to ask questions and learn about what these people need in their community. Driving on the dirt road towards our destination was very eye-opening due to the poverty that surrounded us.
When we exited the bus, we saw children who smiled at us and we entered a large empty room with dirt floors. An American man named Farrell entered the room and spoke with us about what he and others were doing in this community and the effects they have on the people. He founded The Hope Project which is an organization that gives Nicaraguan children a chance at receiving an education. Hearing him speak made us realize how much of an impact one person’s idea can have on people in poverty. This man dedicates his life to helping others, which is something many of us now have the opportunity to do. What he has done and what he hopes to do is so inspiring and gave us many ideas on what we can do for our community action project in this area.
After speaking to us, he brought us to a house that him and others had built. We walked into a room about the size of my bedroom surrounded by concrete bricks. Farrell explained how much this house means to the family that lives in it. They consider it a mansion and are so grateful for it being built. The ground was completely empty except for a couple of old hospital mattresses and a small dog tied up in the corner. While walking back to the big room where we would play with the children, I saw a small boy run up to Farrell and hug him. This really touched me and shows how big of an impact he has on the lives of those children. Then we all got the chance to play with the kids and we gave them candy before hanging up a pinata. Seeing the joy and happiness that they experienced while playing with us warmed my heart. They loved hugging us and were always smiling, despite the poverty they live in.
After this, we returned to the hostel for a lunch of fried meat, rice, potatoes, and cabbage. Then it was free time, and most of us went into town with the group leaders. Some people called home, others used the computers, and some went shopping. After this we headed to Cafe Barista, where we experienced the best tasting coffee and smoothies. We then came back to the hostel and had an academic seminar about English tutoring. We learned what we will be doing and how we will teach students English throughout 5 sessions during the trip. We were split into groups of 5 and then began creating lesson plans and coming up with ideas for fun activities and ways to learn.
After this it was time for dinner. To celebrate 4th of July, we were served hamburgers and fries along with fresh juice. Later on we were surprised to see fireworks in the sky during our nightly meeting. This was a perfect way to end an amazing day! Today was so inspirational and our group cannot wait for what’s to come on the rest of this exciting adventure! 🙂