This blog was written by one of our students during her Global Glimpse trip to Jinotega, Nicaragua. She was student leader of the day.
Today was one of our early days; we left the hostel by 6:30 AM to shadow a Nicaraguan student to get a glimpse into what a typical Nicaraguan high school student’s day is like. The group was split into two, with some going with Mike to La Salle, a private Catholic high school and others going with Denis to Benjamin Zeledon, a public high school. I went to La Salle and I shadowed a student named Kirsten. I felt nervous at first, as I’m sure others felt; I did not know what to expect, and I wasn’t sure how the other students would receive me.
When I first was led into my student’s classroom, I immediately noticed similarities and differences from a typical US high school. The class I was in contained rows of desks, all facing the front of the class where a whiteboard was located. Also in the front was a simple teacher’s desk. No computer, projectors, or TV’s in sight. The class started off with biology; the students in the class were going to have a test that day, and one student asked the teacher, “Podemos cancelar la prueba?” (Can we not take the test?) When I heard this, it immediately reminded me of students in the US, I have heard this phrase a bunch of times at my own school. To begin the class, the teacher did a review for the students; I was able to copy down some notes about enzymes, proteins, and catalysts in Spanish! Then, a bell rang and I got up to go to the next class, but my student, who was sitting behind me, told me that the classes were held in that room. It definitely surprised me how the student stayed in one class, and the teachers were the ones that rotated around. Eventually the next teacher came in, and after a photo session, the class sat down to learn a Calculus concept; I copied down notes from the white board and I found myself understanding the material. I didn’t need any computers, or electronics to understand the content; just my brain, my notebook, and a pencil. The simplicity of the class made me feel more focused in a way, and that surprised me. Once break/recess came around, I was able to walk around with Kirsten to see more of the school.
As the day progressed, the class passed with a mix of notes, and some free time. I wasn’t able to talk to the students very much because my Spanish was rusty; that was something that bothered me a bit because I felt like I was missing out. Nevertheless, my awesome student helped to translate and we learned more about each other through this experience. The day ended with a biology test, and outside of the classroom I took a picture with my student (above) and I gave her a little gift for her kindness, and guidance. I have to say, that all of the students I was around inspired me the most that day; they exhibited strong enthusiasm for their education and they all seemed like they wanted to be there in their seats at school.
Eventually the group met back up and we all went back to the hostel to have lunch. After lunch, the group had a seminar regarding our community action project (CAP). We are in the design phase, and during the meeting we brainstormed ideas about the mural and irrigation system, and we ran our ideas through a test: were our plans fulfilling a need, feasible, fueled by personal passion, and including community engagement? Our plans all did, and according to this test, our project would make a lasting impact.
Later on we were given time to prepare our English lessons for the classes we would give later on in the day. Once dinner passed, around 5:45 PM we headed off to Benjamin Zeledon to teach our respective classes. Although each group of students had to teach different levels, and they had different groups of learners, what we all had in common was the experience of making an impact in others lives. We all were able to teach them more English, which would help them to communicate better, among the many benefits. Our day winded down and after a fun day of being El Lider Del Dia, I held the nightly meeting. Going around the group, many shared that their highlights were shadowing the student and the English classes for various reasons including that the activities resulted in new bonds being made.
I’m proud that everyone openly welcomed new experiences, and that they made a great effort to interact with the school students, and teach their own students. I felt like no one held back, and as a result we were all able to get the most out of this experience. The group learned a variety of things, among them being that as a high school students in the US, we are lucky and should be more appreciative of what we have. At my high school, we have different classes for different subjects. Computers are easily accessible in almost any room, the infrastructure is better, we are provided with materials, are issued our own textbooks, etc,. The simplest things that I know that I take for granted, such as being provided paper and a book, are things that I now hold in a different perspective of as a result of this day.
Through this experience I realized that education is not something I can take for granted. For so many it’s the key to escaping poverty.
To learn more about how you can get involved with Global Glimpse and provide eye-opening experiences to more students like Alisha, CLICK HERE.