Greetings friends and family, my name is MacKenzie Brandman. I am one of the students exploring Esteli. Today was based on Aid and Development. We learned about organizations who received different forms of aid – such as materials, money, and volunteer work – and  the process Nicaraguans have to go through compared to Americans.

The thing that surprised and intrigued me the most was how easy it was to process paper out of recyclable things. Even though it took a long time to make, it was pretty simple. They gathered up material, such as organic fruits to create the material and depending on the color of the fruit, the recycled paper turned out to be different colors. Watching them do it by hand has opened my eyes to the different lifestyles of these Nicaraguans. It showed me that even the most unlikely things can be re-used for daily necessities.

The thing I am most proud about with our group is the fact that our group is starting to immerse with people they didn’t normally talk to at first now. Of course every person starts off meeting new people, but once everyone is settled in, they stick with their comfortable groups. Naturally, these comfortable group tend to turn into their own little gatherings. For our group, everyone had their little groups at the beginning and they were inclusive, but no one ever really ever bothered to get to know other groups. But quickly, we became more united as one and everyone was starting to merge groups. It was a unique thing to see.

In conclusion, the trip has been plentiful of learning opportunities and social opportunities for everyone.

Thank you,

MacKenzie Brandman