Today was the day we got to shadow a Nicaraguan student and design our community action project (CAP).
Apparently according to everyone, when I woke up the guys, I sounded like a drill sergeant, letting an alarm go off first, then pounding on the door yelling “WAKE UP!” We then went to breakfast and ate fried cheese, gallo pinto, and plantain. After a delicious breakfast, we came back to the hostal to design our CAP.
I led this seminar while the leader of the community we will work with, Fabio Altamirano, came to listen and give us feedback. In the end, we decided to create a mural against domestic violence because the women’s group has emphasized that it is a big issue and has caused a lot of women to leave the community. We also decided to remove a pile of rubble left from a an incomplete government clean up. It was from a school classroom which was damaged after an earthquake and was demolished. This will help the community because by having a pile of rubble right next to the school, there is a possibility that dangerous insects, reptile and rodents will live there and be harmful to the health and safety of the students of the school. I think that these projects are great because they fulfill community needs.
For the mural, we plan to have everybody in the community dip their hands in paint and put it on a white wall and write their names on it. This will represent that we are one in fighting against domestic violence and it is a pledge for the people of the community to try to stop it.
We then had another seminar to explain our next day. I won’t say what it is right now and I’ll let it remain a surprise. All I will say is that I am looking forward to it even though it will probably be hard for me, a city girl. After this seminar, we were once again allowed to exchange our money (Thank God because I had already spent most of my money yesterday at an open souvenir market.)
We then had a fabulous lunch and went straight to the public school to shadow the students. The student I shadowed was a senior named Jessica. Because there was a language barrier, it was extremely hard to communicate. I think Jessica stopped talking to me due to this. However, Irela, a friend of Jessica’s, stepped in. Irela spoke to me a lot. Even though she didn’t speak much English, and I don’t speak a single word of Spanish, we became great friends, in my opinion, in a short time. She would constantly ask me questions about myself and my life in America. We both have the same taste in music and both love to play volleyball. She even did my hair for me by creating a beautiful braid.
I feel that if we both spoke the same language, we would immediately become great friends. In order to remember each other, we exchanged bracelets, Facebooks, and I gave her my sunglasses. And if you know me well, then you will know that I love all of my sunglasses, that’s how close I felt to her and how much I just loved being in her company.
I was surprised to find that in that class, the teachers aren’t very strict because I didn’t even know that the teacher was teaching until Irela stopped talking and I looked up to the front of the room.
After our shadowing was finished, we had dinner and finally we went to English tutoring. My teaching partner and I taught our Nica students more new English words. I think my lesson went really well because even though our numbers were reduced from the first day, the same nine students kept coming back. As a teacher, I felt that this reflected how they really want to learn and that they are committed to it. I feel that our students are constantly feeling more and more open towards us. Although I don’t really understand them yet, we can still laugh together and have fun learning from and teaching each other.
The most inspiring person to me today was Irela because even though I wasn’t her shadow buddy, she still made me feel extremely welcomed and she made me realize that I myself should probably be more welcoming and nicer to people. Being El Lider Del Dia today made me realize that I still need to work becoming a better leader for everybody and that there are still many places where I can improve. I personally think the greatest part of today was creating connections with students from different places who speak a different language. If possible, I wish that I can once again shadow the same public school in Leon, Nicaragua.