Heeeeey everybody. My name is Julia Arsan, and today, I took on the role as El Lider del Dia. As leader of the day, I was given the unforgiving task of knocking on everyone’s doors at 5 o clock in the morning. Yes, you read that right. 5 am. As you could imagine, I was shown a lot of love that morning. After a strenuous 45 minutes of getting ourselves up and ready for the day, we headed to breakfast to the one and only Buffett Esteli. And after that? That’s when our day really began.
At 7 am our group was standing at the sides of at least 600 Colegio de Las Monjas students. During the morning assembly, the Nicaraguan high school students sang their national anthem, prayed, and after 15 minutes each glimpser including myself was paired with one of them students. I was paired with a ninth grader, who gave me a tour of the entire campus, which was really quite beautiful. I also experienced a computer, physical education, and history class. When lunch came around, my shadowee and her group of friends asked me if I wanted to watch the game. A game, at 11 am, during school? Precisely. A volleyball game was just starting, Colegio de Las Monjas versus an unknown visiting team. It was so interesting to watch, because it reminded me of playing volleyball back home in the states. Nothing was really different, and the connection I felt to their school culture suddenly became stronger. Its fascinating how we live in such different ways, yet something as common as sports can be so similar.
After we finished up shadowing, we returned back to the hostel to prepare for our second english tutoring class. We tutor people of all ages, but for me, I teach the youngest beginners class. The oldest student we have in our class as of now is 12 years old. Teaching the beginners class is pretty difficult, because, despite my pretty good understanding of the spanish language, i cant necessarily speak back to them in spanish. For example, if they ask me a question, i cant answer it. And being a beginners class, spanish is all they know. However, today, my group and I mainly focused on simple vocabulary, such as animals and parts of the body. After our hour and a half session, we walked back to the hostel, had our nightly meeting (which i hosted), and had free time until our curfew of 10 pm.
Being leader of the day is hard work. Not only are you making sure everyone around you is being safe and having fun, you are also trying to make sure that you yourself are being safe and having fun. Its easy to forget about the fun of the day when you are responsible for everyone else’s enjoyment and safety. I tried to spice up the daily routine with a quick pit stop at a local bakery on our way back from dinner, and I believe it was a success. Being El Lider del Dia taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses by being able to take a different perspective on the group and trip as a whole. Regardless of my struggles today, i was glad i was given this opportunity, because had i not, i would never have been able to discover the parts of myself that make me the leader I am.