Today was yet another beautiful morning filled with muffled cries as we knocked on the doors for the 5:45 wake up call. After taking some time to get ready we sat down and ate another wonderful breakfast. After breakfast began our biggest adventure of the day. We split into two groups and went to two different schools, Colegio San Luis and INEP. We observed many differences between the two schools here and the ones back home. Everyone was shocked by the difference in attention level despite the lack of focus we were able to make friends with students and make memories we won’t forget.
We proceeded to walk back to the hostel to find lunch was ready. Everyone enjoyed their meals along with the exchanging of experiences from different schools. For lunch we had chicken with rice and a side of salad. After lunch we proceed with the rest of our day here at our lovely hostel or home as I call it. I believe it is our home because all of our peers are very close and like a family.
We then began free time which most of us took this opportunity for a well needed nap due to the very early wake up call. After our free time we moved on to our Education Seminar. Education was our topic of the day and we began to discuss our experience shadowing a typical high school student. We also went in depth and paired different stats of both education in the U.S. and in Nicaragua. Most of us were shocked with both stats in the two countries. As we began to wrap up our seminar our speaker today, Anjie, came to share her experiences with education in Nicaragua. Anjie grew up in Mississippi and went to college for education to become a teacher. In her summer of junior year in college she moved to Spain. She stayed for one year and then the Peace Corps assigned her to Nicaragua. She has lived in Nicaragua ever since. Anjie came to speak about how the education system with both teachers and students works within the Matagalpan community. The teachers usually have multiple jobs because the pay is very little compared to other countries. The teachers go to class most of the time but when there is no teacher for that day or not enough substitutes the class is run with just directions on the board and no supervision. Sometimes the system does not have enough teachers and the students either want to learn and listen to the teacher and if not they do what they choose because the teachers do not force them. We discussed with Anjie how the school system is run overall. Anjie left us with many different thoughts such as how can this problem be addressed? And why is the government not contributing more funding towards the education system? Anjie answered all of our questions and opened our eyes towards the education system in third world countries. The education system in Nicaragua is vastly different than the one we are used too at home, and with the help of Anjie we were able to clearly see the roots of the problems.
After our meeting we sat down for a lovely meal of chicken and tortilla chips with salad. After our brief meal we sat down in our English tutoring groups to discuss our plan for the next day. To end the night we all bonded off a pack of family sized Nicaraguan Oreo’s.