Hi Everyone! This is Charlie, one of the GG Trip Leaders. Today was our last day of modeling how to be the Lider del Dia, so while I will write the blog for tonight, tomorrow our first, brave student leader, Alina, will be writing. Today our main focus/theme was CULTURE. Today was sweltering hot, made more so by our morning trip to a local arts organization called El Solar where we did a lot of physical activity. El Solar focuses on team building, circus arts, and dance. We started out with some team building that got us loosened up, then moved on to walking on stilts(!), and closed with a salsa dance lesson. I was really proud of all the students for pushing themselves out of their comfort zones with these activities. Some were really nervous about the stilts but tried to stand on them anyways, while others felt uncomfortable swinging their hips for salsa, but, again, did a great job participating. There was a lot of laughter, and sweating!



In the early afternoon we had a seminar led by Noel and Nancy, about our Community Action Project (CAP). Students discussed and mulled over topics relating to service and community involvement, with an emphasis on sustainability, working closely with the community, and conducting interview-based research to better understand the needs, our potential roles, and how to work respectfully and collaboratively with the people we seek to serve. We learned that our project will take place at a special education school called “Centro de Education Especial” and their logo has the phrase “Danos una oportunidad” which means “Give us a chance”.
Later in the afternoon, we went to another arts organization called Xuchielt Foundation, which emphasizes music and “sawdust carpets” for which a huge celebratory event takes place each year where artists from all over come to create these detailed, colorful and exquisite works of art. Bright pigments of different colors and water are added to sawdust, and this is what is used to create large-scale, detailed mural-type art pieces. Students worked hard to create their collective masterpieces. As with the sand mandalas made by monks within Tibetan Buddhist tradition, at the end of our time we, as the local Nicaraguans who make this art annually do, walked through each finished “carpet”, thus destroying it, and letting go of the beautiful art we had made. It was a lovely process.
Students’ reflections at the end of the day showed that they really enjoyed both of the field trips immensely, and that they are looking forward to getting started with the CAP. Tomorrow we will be traveling to the school for the first time to meet with the community members there and begin the process of the work we will do July 9-11.
Glimpsers are really loving reading all the thoughtful, great, supportive, humorous and loving comments that you are writing for the blogs we post. Thank you for your ongoing support, energy and care!
P.S. Sorry about the strange formatting for this post. I tried to fix it, but the computer is not cooperating.