Hello everyone! Today, our final day of CAP and English tutoring, was extremely bitter-sweet in the best of ways. Our morning started at 6 AM to get a head start to conquer our very packed schedule. We fueled our tummies and spirits with omlettes, beans, tortillas, and a refreshing pineapple beverage. After that, we purchased the remaining materials necessary, such as plants, seeds, and paint brushes, and got all packed into the bus to head over to Escuela con Corazon. Once unloaded and divided into our respective tasks, we got to work on finishing constructing our last two planter boxes, installing them, and painting signs for the garden. Our goal as a group was to ensure that all of the children at the school were included and felt that they were a part of the CAP process. One way that we made this happen was by having the kids help design and paint the signs for the planter boxes, as well as help with filling the planter boxes with soil and outlining the perimeter of the boxes with gravel. Throughout the entire process, all of the kids showed up with smiling excited faces, eager to help and be a part of the process in any way possible.
By lunchtime, we had all of the planter boxes built and installed, with one box already being filled with beautiful flowers. The molds for the border of the almond tree saplings had been built and filled with cement, already beginning to set. The signs for the garden were finished and drying, so having completed a significant portion of our CAP, we took some time to recuperate from our hard work with chicken, rice, guacamole, mashed potatoes, salad, and a star fruit drink in a little bag. The kids were sad to be sent home during our break, but were very excited to return after lunch.
After we had finished with lunch, we divvyed up some new jobs to be done in our last remaining hours of CAP. The clouds were starting to look a bit over cast, and the air was getting more humid. It looked like it might begin to rain, so we brought some of our more delicate materials into the classroom, but went right back out to get as much work done as possible. We began filling the remaining planter boxes with soil and filling the surrounding area with gravel. We also began planting seeds, herbs, and flowers, and assembled the painted signs for the planter boxes. Each sign has the name of the plant and a decorative background painted by the students of Escuela con Corazon. We had a bit of trouble finding a good way to place the signs, but luckily our bus driver Juan stepped in and helped us place and nail down the signs in a way that worked.
Unfortunately, it started raining and it practically turned into a flash flood. All of us were eager to get out into the rain and finish our work, but we had to stay inside because the weather conditions were so bad. So instead, we played some games, such as heads-up 7-up with the kids, and brainstormed ways that we could finish out CAP as soon as possible once the rain let up. We all ran to our tasks, some of us working on planting the vegetable seeds, others focused on beautifying the front planter boxes, and others completing the flower planting.
Although we were tight on time because of the rain, we were able to complete our CAP project on time, take pictures with everyone involved, and hand over the garden to the leaders of the Hotel Con Corazon. As a final touch, we gathered 21 large rocks, which represent the 21 global glimpsers on this trip, and shaped a heart around our “Jardin con Corazon” sign.
Tired, but fulfilled, we made our way back to our hostal to wash off and prepare for the English tutoring graduation ceremony. We all dressed up in semi formal attire, and then had dinner at the comedor before walking to the graduation ceremony. For dinner we had gallo pinto, fried tortillas with cheese, sour cream, salad, accompanied with a strawberry beverage. Once at the university, we spent half an hour with our individual groups to have some quality time with them. After that, we began to gather all of our students and teachers into our biggest classroom. Once settled, we began with the principal sharing a few words about the students learning experience with us. A few teachers came up to say a few words about their students and then continued the ceremony with warm hugs and lots of photos. After the ceremony, the principal brought Nicaraguan traditional dancers to celebrate their great linguistic accomplishments. Once after watching these beautiful dancers, we had a dance party of our own with all the graduates and headed back to the hostel after a tedious, but fulfilling day.
Although CAP was long and we encountered a few obstacles along the way, we were able to finish and the smiles on the childrens’ faces were more than enough to make it more than worthwhile. We will all miss teaching our students at the university, but we are so proud of them and we hope that the English that they learned carries them to wherever they desire to go.