As the leader of the day, I did not know what to expect for our first free day. I had so many questions and horrible scenarios that were being played out in my mind. Will people get lost in town during their free time out? Will I be able to keep control of the group? How does one lead during a Free day, especially when everyone is split into groups and hanging out in the city of Leon? Well, obviously all of this was my imagination, because once the day actually came, I learned that I would get through it just fine.
The day started out slightly rough. I woke up 30 minutes before our 8:00 wake up time really anxious and nervous. As I sat on the second floor balcony of our hostel, I stared at the morning sun wondering how the day would unfold. After getting everyone together and eating breakfast at Quiero Mas, my self doubts were put to rest after having a couple of morning laughs with everyone. I was confident that the day would go well.
After we finished breakfast and collected our bags at the hostel, our group split up into 3 smaller groups to begin our free time. I was so excited to go out and walk in Leon without the Global Glimpse staff. My group and I started our free time buying souvenirs at the central park square in front of Leon’s cathedral. I discovered the beautiful skill and art of haggling from one of my group mates, Jesse, who was able to haggle himself out of spending an extra 200 cordobas on hats and a Soccer Jersey. Our group then finished up our shopping at the square and moved on to enjoy pastries at the beautiful French bakery Pan y Paz, where I enjoyed a chocolate croissant. The croissant had the perfect buttery flaky texture that everyone loves in croissants, and I would definitely recommend anyone who visits Leon to check out the bakery. Our group made our way back to the hostel to have lunch, making a brief stop at the supermarket to buy snacks.
We then rejoined the group and I led all of us to our lunch at Quiero Mas. As we sat down to eat, a young local boy entered the restaurant asking us if we wanted to buy clay animals he was selling. He had a frown on his face and looked like he was not having much success with selling his animals. One of our glimpsers, Sebastian, decided to do an act that touched many of us and truly showed how humans should treat each other. Sebastian offered the boy his drink and some of his own food. The boy happily accepted the offer and ate with our group. Sebastian showed us that we should help those in need especially when we have enough to give. The privileges and resources that we hold are things that are not enjoyed by everyone, and we should show our gratitude for what we have by helping those around us. This was an event that definitely brightened the day for all of us.
After lunch, we went to the laundry mat and collected our laundry from the previous day. The inside walls of the laundry mat are covered with the signatures of past customers, so many of the glimpsers added their names to the walls. It was definitely refreshing to smell our newly washed clothes, especially after remembering the godforsaken sweaty stench that emitted from them the previous day.
Once we made it back to the Hostel we were able to go out for more free time in Leon. Instead of leaving out, I decided to relax and spend time in the hostel with those who stayed. I was able to get to know my Global Glimpse family more and shared many of my summer stories with them. After our second free time ended, we prepared for our English class, ate dinner at Quiero Mas and went to the university to start our class.
English class has recently become my favorite part of the day, we get to team up into small groups and teach English to Nicaraguan people of all ages. I especially love my group a lot. I started off revising a test my group made for the class. After finishing the revision and vocabulary with 2 students who were assigned to me, we all started talking about our families and lives. One of my students and I connected through our passion for music, and he showed me his favorite 80´s rock artists, one of them being Bon Jovi. Our English tutoring classes always show me that you can share a lot in common with people, no matter what your age is or where you are from or even the language you speak. Boundaries are oppressing separations we put around ourselves that cripple us from interacting and making connections with people.
We finished our classes and came back to the hostel. We ended our free day with our nightly meeting and I passed on the torch to tomorrow’s Leader of the Day, Kalysta. Today started off rough and I was nervous about how it would play out. Instead of feeding into my fears or uncertainties, I took hold of my leadership role and the day played out great. I was shown that it is important to look out for those around you because true happiness lies in the beautiful connections you make with others on your journey through life.