Today was politics day and just like the history of the political scene in Nicaragua, it was hectic. We sought to learn more about the corruption in the history of Nicaraguan politics and how it affects Nicaragua today. I intentionally chose this day to lead because of the parallels between Nicaraguan and American politics. The day began with me waking up at 6:30 to prepare for the day and wake up my fellow Glimpsers at 7:00 for a day packed with seminars, a guest speaker, stunning views, and pizza! After everyone got ready, we quickly enjoyed a delicious breakfast of eggs, gallo pinto, and our daily mystery fruit juice. Following breakfast, we promptly gathered for an academic seminar regarding the current political scene of Nicaragua. We had thought provoking discussions concerning the controversial Ortega presidency and his rise to prominence. The discussion definitely got everyone more intrigued in Nicaraguan politics.
After we wrapped up the seminar, we took a short field trip to El Calvario, the hill that overlooks the fair city of Matagalpa. El Calvario is steeped in history as it served as a strategic position during the Nicaraguan Revolution. While there was no more revolution for us to see, there were definitely still plenty of stunning views. The drive up to the top of the hill was a daunting challenge and it was seemingly impossible, but not for our bus driver. He skillfully navigated through every turn of the narrow dirt path as we cheered him on. At the top of the hill, we spent about an hour admiring our city from a new perspective, which definitely opened our eyes to the beauty of Matagalpa. We all left with newfound respect for the city that we’ve been living in for 8 days. When we all arrived back at our hostel, we began our second seminar of the day, the “Design” part of our Community Action Project (CAP). We used a formula consisting of feasibility, necessity, personal passion, and community engagement to evaluate our ideas which would eventually be put to action in the Sor Maria Romero community. We decided on four possible projects: building a community garden, improving the fencing, building a playground, or creating a learning center with school supplies. On Tuesday, we’ll propose these ideas to Farrel and Raul from the Hope Project and they’ll finalize our project. To nourish our drained brains, we had another delectable helping of gallo pinto, with stewed meat, carrots, and pickled lettuce.
Following our lunch, we were blessed by the presence of our guest speaker, Leopoldo Villalta Lopez. Lopez has been a journalist for the past 36 years and is very informed in Nicaraguan politics. He offered an unbiased review of Nicaraguan politics filled with sarcastic jokes towards the Nicaraguan politicians, spoken like a true journalist.
After the guest speaker, we had a chunk of free time for everyone to rest up before pizza night! While some got coffee at the local Barista, a few of us stayed in the hostel to nap and read. I myself played a few games of “War,” with the hostel celebrity, Chepe. Besides the guest speaker and visit to El Calvario, today was extra special because we were going out for dinner as opposed to staying in the hostel. We all enjoyed some ham pizzas at Sappori to the tune of our fellow Glimpsers singing Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. As I sit here under the canopy of the Nicaraguan night sky typing the blog, I reminisce about the things I’ll miss about Global Glimpse when I’m home or as Lauren says, PGGSD (Post Global Glimpse Sadness Disorder), as tomorrow marks the halfway mark of our trip.