I’m subbing in for our El Lider Del Dia, Sophia Huibers, who has been unfortunately sick the past couple days. Today was our first free day, so the students got to explore the city, do some laundry, buy souvenirs, try out some different food vendors, and take in the experience of being immersed in a new country, city, and culture. Our students went out in groups of 4 or more and learned how to navigate with each other, bargain with street vendors, and travel safely! I’m happy and proud to say that everyone returned safe and sound–great job today, Glimpsers!
Personally, I was most excited to get my laundry done, and since I stayed at the hostel most of the day to tend to Sophia, our two resident gentlemen (David and Hadi) generously offered to carry and take care of my laundry for me. Another “cool” thing that happened for our free day was that the weather seemed (to me at least) surprisingly mild, at least for Nicaragua. We often forget that it’s actually winter time here in Leon because it’s so much warmer and more humid than we’re used to, but we’ve gotten a few bouts of short-lived clouds and rain the last couple days, which I have greatly appreciated.
As a leader on this trip, it has been great to see a group of high school students learn to adapt and grow in such a short amount of time. They may not realize it right now, but I see them learning priceless lessons that will serve them well as they continue through life, and this goes for me as well, along with the rest of the staff. These students are learning to plan lessons, teach, communicate, analyze, process, adapt, overcome obstacles, socialize, be away from home, interact with language barriers, navigate, encourage, protect, be flexible, be safe, be healthy, and adapt, adapt, adapt. I’m so, so proud of all of them, and I can’t wait to see how their experiences here affect them when they travel back home and help to inform and direct the choices they make in the next stages of their lives. I commend each and every one of them for having the courage, commitment, and compassion to spend their first weeks out of their junior year of high school in a challenging and engaging program that is designed to put them out of their comfort zones and help them see the world with new perspectives.
I can’t wait to see these kids change the world each day for the better.