HOLA! My name is Anna Le and I was the leader of the day for today. Today was our second Free Day on this trip, and a major difference from the previous days was that we got to go off into the city without any of the Global Glimpse leaders or Coordinators. There were specific limitations to us going off on our own though, such as coming back to the hostel 15 minutes prior to the next event (i.e. lunch), going out in groups of 4 or more, and returning before our 5 pm curfew.
At the beginning of the day, many of us spread out into different groups and explored the city. The group I went with went to a super market that had a whole bunch of American and Nicaraguan packaged snacks, such as chips and cookies. Many people bought a packet of Oreos or Pringles to share when we arrived back home. We then went around the city to find souvenir shops so we could bring something back for our loved ones. This was indeed a challenge because Jinotega is not exactly a “tourist” city. There aren’t many stores that sell little trinkets or “I love Jinotega” t-shirts to bring back home. But despite the difficulties, we found a small store that sold keychains and shirts. While we were in the shop it started to rain extremely hard. This was the hardest it had rained since our arrival here and we were soaking wet and walking in the rain. My group then moved to the Call Center to call our friends and family back home and also surf the internet for a while. After this we headed back to the hostel to have some lunch.
I heard that many people found pretty cool things around the city. Some people tried a new coffee place that was really fancy, others had some extremely good flan, and my group found a souvenir shop that nobody else had seen yet.
After lunch, I went around the city again with a new group of people. Our mission this time was solely to find another souvenir shop because the first one was not enough to satisfy all the people we wanted to get gifts for. After walking around for about 15 minutes we found a small shop at the cornerof a street. There, the shop vendor was a Californian who had moved to live in Jinotega. I was surprised to see someone who spoke English fluently since that has been very rare in this city. There were many different bags, keychains, wallets, and necklaces that could make perfect gifts for our loved ones. Though only my group had found this shop, we all plan to visit it again on our next freeday. When arriving back to the hostel, we just relaxed by playing card games, singing, and napping. I would say this free day was well needed to loosen up and relax for the upcoming days. It was great to explore around the city and make ourselves more comfortable with the atmosphere.
All of us discovered something new in thiscity, from trying new snacks to finding cute little shops on the streets. But I myself discovered how stressful it is to be the leader of the day. I had constantly worried about doing the right thing and making sure everybody was bringing what they needed to. However, being in charge of the nightly meeting and self-reflection helped me to raise my voice and show authority when people weren’t paying attention. Overall, my experience as leader of the day helped me to improve my skills at handling large groups of people and being more authoritative. I’m glad that everyone had a chance to relax, catch up on sleep, and explore the city.