July 3, 2014
We woke up bright and early this morning–maybe a bit too early! After a slow wake-up and a rushed dressing, the whole group headed to the comedor. Led by our first student leaders, Maria and Anna, we scarfed down a large helping of gallo pinto and eggs. Then we continued to one of the most amazing experiences yet: shadowing a high school student. We arrived at the same time Nicaragua students do, an the Glimpsers split up into two groups, each of which went to a different school. Each group experienced a different type of educative system, as the two schools had varying expenses that Nicaraguan families had to pay for. Maria’s group, who went to San Pablo High School, started their day by looking at the final exams that their shadowees were taking, including English and Biology, After that, they got a break during which some of the Glimpsrs played pick-up soccer while the others chatted with their partners. Then both the Glimpsers and the Nicaragua students got to practice their language skills as they broke into groups to talk. Meanwhile, Anna’s group, who headed to Maria High School, had a very different experience, as their school day started out with school-wide singing and praying, followed by a class period cut short by spirit practice; Maria High School was preparing for an annual spirit competition where each grade puts together a dance and stunt routine and perform it in front of their parents and peers. The practice allowed the Glimpsers to break the language barrier by playing games and doing other activities with the students who were not practicing. We ended up all dancing together!
After our school day, we headed for a yummy lunch of gallo pinto with banana chips, pasta, sliced beef, and salad. Once our bellies were full, we finally got to change out of our hot, sweaty school uniforms and pile into the air-conditioned bus for the scenic drive to Laguna de Apoyo. At the lagoon, which is actually the water-filled crater of a dormant volcano, we got to interact with the students at an extra-curricular day camp called the Peace Project. They are working on expanding the creativity of young Nicaraguans in the outer parts of Granada. The creators of this program, called Ramon and Chrissy, showed the Glimpsers what a typical day at the camp looks like, and we all got to interact with young Nicaraguans. Then we got to break open two pinatas, and the kids at the camp went crazy for the candy! After a long goodbye, we headed back down the gorgeous mountain and into the city, where we went straight to a delicious dinner of gallo pinto, banana empanadas filled with cheese, and pasta.
After dinner, we came back to the hostel and reflected on whether or not public education should be offered world-wide. The group had many great ideas, and our day taught us a lot about different types of education and how much different cultures value education. We ended the day by passing the leadership torch to tomorrows ELDD’s Alejandro and Delaney.
Happy Fourth of July, I miss you! -Mario