Just imagine. You’re in the heart of Nicaragua – the city of Leon – where you have no idea where most places are or how things are done. You are alone with four of your fellow glimpsers. What to do?
You grab a drink at “Jugoso.” You get guided by locals to make a customizable jersey. You head to the Cyber Café to call your friends and family because you’re missing home. You go to Central Park to buy presents for your family and friends. You go to “Eskimo” to get some authentic Nicaraguan ice cream. You go back to “Barilete” to fully finish the CAP project because the value of inspiration for Nicaraguan kids defeats the time for a simple souvenir spree.
Hola amigos! My name is Orion aka the LEON 2 photographer. As leader of day, even though it’s a free day, I was pretty anxious. I had to wake up people when they were still falling back asleep. I had to move a group from place to place, but I found my way as I used fun positive energy to motivate our glimpsers. Everyday I find this trip to be an endless pile of life-changing moments and it started with the connections I made. Our day was filled with endearing moments that created lifetime friendships. Waking up at eight was a blessing, especially after a day of blood, sweat, and tears at “Barrilete.” We ate at Imabite as usually and came back to the hostel.
We were all so excited to go out in Nicaragua society, but like always we needed more of that Nicaraguan moola. So we had a money exchange. After we refueled on money, Humverto – a local Nicaraguan 14 year-old who looks our age that frequently hangs out with our group in the hostel- led us to a shop that made customizable baseball jerseys that said “Leon” on the front and our headcount number on the back. After ordering our jerseys, we headed towards local drink places to get some coffee and smoothies. It felt so good. When I drank that strawberry-banana smoothie, I felt like I was at my local Jamba Juice.
By the time we finished our drinks, we rushed to lunch – my favorite meal of the day because we get to choose our foods. Once we finished eating, we did our regular planning for English tutoring by re-learning grammar lessons and brainstorming creative ways to teach passionate Nicaraguan students. As a inspired student, I look to teachers for knowledge, and to have the chance to be one is phenomenal and touching. After planning, most of us went to Central Park to purchase souvenirs and the Cyber Café to contact family and friends and show each other our Facebooks and Instagram profiles.
Some of us also went back to Barrilete to make sure the job was fully finished in the installation of the new bathroom. The dedication and endurance my fellow glimpsers have is unbelievable. Watching my friends go back to the CAP project was inevitably inspiring and taught me the lessons of finishing anything you start no matter if you fail or situations make it seem so impossible to succeed.
It was time for dinner! We had two quesadillas and an interesting juice from multiple fruits. Replenished with dinner, we headed to the school for tutoring. Using the plans from earlier in the day, we taught the classes new grammar and vocabulary. Today, an advanced student had a birthday and the teachers of that class (Jeffery, Tiffany, and Sydney) bought a huge cake for the whole school to celebrate the advanced student’s birthday. It was touching and rewarding to watch (and we got free cake!) Once the English tutoring session was over, we headed back to the hostel for our nightly meeting.
As Drake says “I live for the nights that I can’t remember, with the people that I won’t forget,” we had yet another memorable night. We said our big loves that created inevitable love for our whole delegation. After the nightly meeting, we sure know how to have fun. Every night, we become the most energetic. We joke around until our stomach drops. We sing until our throats give out. We dance until our muscles strain. We bond like the world ends tomorrow.
All in all, it sure was a good day! I love the people in Nicaragua. I love connecting to locals on a personal level even though I do not know fluent Spanish. I love learning more and more each day. I love seeing my Global Glimpse brothers and sisters laugh and have fun. I love my GG leaders. I love how easily our group bonds. I love our program coordinator and site manager. I love Leon. I love Nicaragua. And I love this trip.
P.S. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you!