Today, despite it being summer, we all went to school. But the school wasn’t like high school in the United States– while there were classrooms, students, and teachers, there was an evident contrast in how education was run here in Nicaragua. We went to a public high school called Santa Cruz Institute, but even though it was public, all students wore a uniform of blue bottoms (blue skirts for girls, blue pants for boys), black shoes, and white shirts. Even though we all wore similar clothes, every one of us stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone noticed that we were American, and yet at the same time, they were intrigued by us, as if we were exotic animals. And while others may see that as offensive, it was part of the experience because it made me realize just how rare other races were in the nation. Unlike the U.S., there was little diversity in the school.
Apart from less diversity, the way the teacher taught the class was surprising as well. One teacher had at least thirty or more students, and he or she would speak out loud to the class and would not mind when students talked while they talked. In fact, the teachers seemed to care less about whether or not the students actually paid attention or not. It made me realize that we were incredibly lucky to have teachers who genuinely wanted to teach us and help us.
Beyond that, I was proud of everyone for sticking it through. We’re starting to near the end of this trip, and to go to school during the summer (especially if you don’t know Spanish, so you wouldn’t know what they were teaching anyway) is not exactly an exciting time. However, even so, I felt like everyone learned just how underdeveloped the education is here in Nicaragua and not only started to appreciate American education more, but also realized how far this nation has to go in the long run. And I think that’s a big part of what this trip is supposed to mean. Beyond just being more grateful for what we have, I think seeing how other people live every day gives us a look into how much we need to assist others. In a way, it’s like walking forward on a road, and when you visit underdeveloped countries such as Nicaragua, it’s like you’r e looking behind you and seeing someone lagging behind. And when you see them lagging behind, you don’t just keep walking; you encourage that person to run forward and catch up to you. Without Global Glimpse, I think all of us wouldn’t look back and see that teenagers like us are trying to learn too, even if they’re not in the best conditions to do so.