This is DJ Rocket 🚀 coming to you straight from Granada where we just had our first FREE DAY (or dia libra as we say in-country). That’s right, for a few glorious hours our 21-person squad hit the streets for some (kind of) unstructured time. Even though we broke into small four person groups, everyone went immediately to the same attraction: the church La Merced. In single file we ascended the nerve wracking spiral staircase to the ancient building’s bell tower. From this vantage point we appreciated a 360° view of the city: tight streets winding through brightly colored buildings with courtyards full of trees. The iconic Cathedral de Granada dominated the landscape and cloud-topped mountains surrounded the city. Selfies were had by all before we returned to the streets.

Before lunch we broke into two groups. One group flocked to the internet cafes (bless) and the other (cooler) group hunted for souvenirs in Central Park. In the cafes students called home for tear-filled conversations with their parents whom they haven’t spoken to in a week. In the park we got whistles which was equally rewarding. At lunch (gallo pinto—bless) we ran into the delegation from New York that just arrived at the city. We traded song suggestions and realized that they’re way cooler than us. Rip.

After lunch we swapped locations: the rest of us had a chance to call home (and look at memes) while everyone else searched for souvenirs on La Calzada. A good chunk of people had pizza and ice cream—gotta love that authentic Nicaraguan cuisine.

We regrouped at the hostel at 5pm and finalized plans for our Community Action Project. We present our plans tomorrow to the center we’re working with—hype! After dinner (burgers and fries… the homesickness is real) we had a seminar in preparation for tomorrow’s theme: Living Like a Local. As we discussed global poverty we found new relevance in our Question of the Day: “How can you make the most of your day?”. We realized that making the most of your day means a lot more than seeing all the sights or chilling with your friends—it also necessitates making the biggest positive impact possible on the people around you (and far away), especially with regard to improving quality of life and reducing poverty. Speaking of poverty, to immerse ourselves in this experience we’re limiting water and electricity use for 24 hours so I’m writing this in the dark. Blogging on an iPad is probably too boujee for our new ascetic rules so this is DJ Rocket 🚀, signing off.