What did you do on this trip? What did you learn when you were in a developing country? How did it change you? All typical and mundane questions that our Glimpsers will be inundated with when they return safely and soundly in your parental arms. And though they may answer with the enthusiasm of a child walking for the first time, there are no words and no wild description that can match the true emotions and epiphanies that occur at every session of every day of this trip.
Today, we learned how the citizens of Nicaragua receive their education and the struggles that each student faces trying to get a quality education. We can’t describe looking at a child who is screaming with joy from getting only a few cups of water because their school is too poor to afford it. There are no words to describe leaving a school full of children who waited an hour simply just to see us. During the day, we went to a community school whose classrooms were simply a small and overly heated room that sometimes would hold two classes for different grades. Though they lacked the necessary materials, they never once lost the spirit and enthusiasm that radiated throughout the group. Their smiles rippled across the faces of every person as they sang happy birthday to our fellow Glimpser, Valencia, and even some tears were shed (on my part definitely) as each one gave us a hug and promised that they would see us in the future.
In addition to the the beautiful and unforgettable children of the community school, we got to see the life and education of the Nicaraguan teens who, besides dealing with the average hormonal and crazy life of a young adult, had to struggle with the fact that only 25 out of the over 2,000 kids will graduate. But like the children, they manage to find joy and playfulness in life as they humorously ask us about our relationship status and what a ‘selfie’ is. And in our final tour through the Nicaraguan education system, we had the pleasure to teach English to what I can now say the most dedicated and lighthearted people I have ever met. You can hear from every corner, the bright and cheery voices singing the alphabet or Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes and, at the end, I will tell you that your children have changed the lives of the people in ways that the people will remember and will never forget for as long as they live.
So what did your children do on this trip? They’ve inspired others to do better, and they in return have been inspired to be better. What did they learn? They learned that the living of life is the appreciation of it. How did this trip change them? In all simplicity, your children have merely opened their eyes and revealed the potential that they carry, whether it is to change or to be changed.