6/30 Hola desde Jinotega! Hello from Jinotega!
Today we woke to a sunny hostel, quite different from the loud rainstorm last night. We started with a nutritious and delicious breakfast at 8 am; tortilla, beans, eggs and ham. Then we gathered for our history seminar and discussed Nicaraguan history, from Spanish Colonization to the present. Our discussion focused on the internal conflict of the last century between the communist Sandinistas and the USA supported dictatorship of Samoza. Then we came up with group behavior agreements for the trip and signed our names. Next was what we were all most looking forward to: the city tour! Michael and Denis led us on a fantastic tour of the city, explaining each historical site along the way. Of note was the public university that was used as a jail during the revolution, all the beautifully painted murals in public spaces, the grand cathedral, and the small colorful houses and businesses that line the streets. We saw the open air market where people are selling all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, also an assortment of used shoes. As we made our way along the uneven sidewalks and streets we were surrounded by flying black butterflies! At the end of our tour we found the ice cream shop and internet cafe. We’ll be back there in a couple days! We came back to the hostel for lunch, beans and rice again 🙂 and then went to a nearby center to see our guest speaker, Luis Lautero. He is a local historian, dance and theater artist and natural healer and he spoke on a variety of topics. He also performed music and theater, explaining the origins of the dances and how they corresponded to Nicaraguan agriculture. Overall it was a very entertaining and engaging session and enriched our understanding of Nicaraguan history and culture. Oh, I almost forgot that he led us in an “energy exchange meditation” as well which was very relaxing. We came back to the hostel for more gallo pinto and Michael and Denis led us in our Teaching English Seminar. We ended the day with our Nightly meeting where the torch was passed to Hailey to be our Lider del Dia for tomorrow. Finally, some sleep.