QD: How can interculteral exchanges help you to understand the differences and similarities between education in the United States and Nicaragua?
Today, we started off by shadowing a Nicaraguan student, going to each of their classes, meeting their friends, learning some Spanish, and putting ourselves in their shoes. It was a great experience to see how their class structure is different – including rules and regulations, from what we are used to. We made a lot of new friends.
The weather here is very Bi-Polar to me. It rains and then it is bright and sunny. Sometimes we get rain when it is really hot so it is refreshing. It is fun to play in the rain. I love to feel the rain because it brings me closer to nature. I would actually prefer rain than sunshine where we are. There was some lightning so close that it shook me, but it went away pretty fast.
I absolutely enjoyed being with the kids at our first English tutoring session this evening. It wasn’t like a “student-teacher” relationship. We actually had a heart-to-heart personal connection. Even though we couldn’t always understand the words, we had an unspoken understanding. Being the same age, we found a lot of similarities in each other like music, Facebook and hamburgers and french fries. They rarely eat Gallo Pinto (beans and rice) that we’ve been eating every day. Not only was I teaching English, but they were teaching us Spanish, so it was a shared learning experience. They liked to play in my hair, too.
As a final note, being here longer, I am falling in love with the country and culture, but the food is taking some getting used to. But when you get used to it, it’s not that different. We have a lot of beans and rice (Gallo Pinto) and different tropical fruit juices served with every meal. For example, there was arroz con pina (rice and pineapple), guava, maracuya (passion fruit). Overall, this is definitely a good experience for kids our age to challenge their limitations and try new things.