Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. – Lin Yutang
Freedom is something that humans by nature so dearly cherish and treasure. Consequently, given that today was our first ever “Free Day” throughout our entire program schedule, we were very excited Glimpsers.
Before the day’s adventures even began, there was already quite a reason to celebrate; the fact that we had a wake-up time of at least one-and-a-half hour later than usual (7:30 A.M. vs. 6:00 A.M.), which gave all of us some extra time to get our much-needed rest. After an hour of preparation, we were greeted with a fresh serving of juices, fruits, yogurts, and a ham sandwich for “desayuno” (breakfast), served by the always generous, always patient workers at our restaurant.
Filled with a good amount of nutritious and filling foods, we officially commenced our free day with a short meeting instilled with strong recommendations (prepare your pitch for the presentation that will be given to Global Glimpse leaders and Los Pipitos/prepare for English tutoring lessons that will resume on Monday) and warnings as well. Shortly after being sent off for preparations, a festive parade spontaneously (well, to us, it was spontaneous) showed up right at our hostel’s doorstep, amazing us all. I, and a few of my other friends, had recollected that the parade was a central part of the anniversary celebration of the major private high school in Matagalpa, Universidad San Luis when I, and those selected to shadow private high school students at the school, we had witnessed their rehearsal, which had been truly astounding. Therefore, seeing the real event take place in the community for a public audience with all the bells and whistles that we hadn’t seen before made it all the more breathtaking.
After about 20 minutes of vivacious pops of color and music, groups of people signed in and out through our organization system to go do an assortment of things, whether it be doing laundry, taking a shower, reading a book, watching the World Cup on TV, using the cyber cafe, shopping at the supermarket for snacks, or just taking an independent tour to check out what the city had to offer from a different perspective. “Almuerzo” (lunch) came about 3 hours after breakfast, which was a delicious offering of chicken, tortilla, avocado, and potatoes. Once again, with the energy we needed, we were geared up for free time, part II. Just like in the morning, there was a variety of activities that anyone could do. Before dinner, there was a quick seminar that taught principles and suggestions corresponding with our preparation for tomorrow’s special day ($1 a Day – Reality Challenge). “Cena” (dinner) was a homey bowl of porridge of rice and carrots. Post-dinner, we spent time in the restaurant watching a movie, “Dreaming Nicaragua” in preparation for our Reality Challenge tomorrow, which gave us more background on the situations that people dealing with severe poverty in Nicaragua and how they dealt with what they had and what they had to face.
At the nightly meeting that we held after coming back from the movie, we all relayed many deep emotions regarding our impressions from the film. Many of us felt angered or compassionate towards the featured children who had aspirations and struggling parents who had little to nothing to even survive and all of the problems each person faced. Reflecting on our Free Day, we all collectively agreed that the experience of being independent without adult supervision following every step we took and soaking in Matagalpa from a more personal level was a great learning experience, an eye-opener, and also, just an overall great day of relaxation, considering all of the opportunities that were provided before us and how tired we all were from the endless amount of activities we were introduced to all of the days prior.
With this, our first Free Day in Matagalpa has come to a close. However, there is much, much more to come in the next couple of days that will give new perspectives and insights into a still-new Nicaraguan culture that has yet to be explored to the fullest. I’m excited! We’re all excited! 🙂 (06-15-2014)