“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~Nelson Mandela

Greetings, family and friends. That sounded way too formal…

Hi everybody! Today was the Good Neighbors’ free day numero dos. However, much of today’s “free” time was dedicated to the CAP. But lets start from the beginning.

Today was another glorious day to wake up at the wonderful hour of 8, to a song my mom would always sing to me to wake me up. However, due to the fact that I cannot sing to save my life, it was not quite as soothing. Breakfast this morning was eggs with plantains and rice & beans. (Big surprise…). After breakfast, one of our wonderful leaders, Robert, and myself handed out t-shirts with Nicaragua on them. Robert was kind enough to pay for them with his own money as a gift to all of us. These shirts will be the ones that the families of us kids will see as we step off the airplane, go through customs, and go to pick up our luggage. Unfortunately, there was a bit of confusion and rough waters in the t-shirt exchange, but I believe everything has been settled.

After the awesome shirt handout, it was free time! Most students and some adults chose to visit the Laundromat to hopefully get our clothes washed one last time. Unfortunately, most of us will not receive our laundry until Monday, due to the lack of water. Since yesterday’s CAP meeting did not go that entirely well, the Good Neighbors decided to return to the hostel one hour earlier, so we could all meet and discus the project. And that we did! We actually made tremendous progress today. We have decided, as plan A, to create movable walls for La Amistad in the dance studio, due to the fact that there is very little visual and auditory barrier between the sections of the room. As a side project, if we have leftover resources (time & money), we will be creating garbage reciprocals to place throughout the courtyard. As a plan B, we will work to beautify and enhance the school in general, donating recess supplies (balls, jump ropes, etc.), building basketball hoops, and creating flower beds. We have already created presentation posters for plan A, so we are ready to present the idea to the principal on Sunday.

So! That was the last hour of our free time. Next we had an amazing lunch of fried chicken, French fries, and salad. After lunch, we finished up our CAP discussion and created the posters. Also, no English tutoring today! Tonight was a celebration of the school’s 99th year. Therefore, we had a little while for free time. When I say free time, I mean CAP time. But luckily, we were finished up in time for dinner.

Dinner tonight was spaghetti and meatballs with a dinner roll. At 6:00, after dinner, we got special permission to be out late. Everybody had to be back at 8:45 pm, which is much later than usual. Students split off into groups. I went with Melanie, Tranette, Shannon, and Robert. We first wanted to see if the hardware store was open. Sadly, they were closed, so we went to the supermarket across the street. I finally found salsa verde Zambos!! A friend of mine who visited Nicaragua last year with Global Glimpse specifically requested I bring her back some salsa verde Zambos, but I could not find them anywhere. But at last!

A small stage at the Festival Del Agua tonight.

A small stage at the Festival Del Agua tonight.

Anyway, we then went to the bakery. Miles introduced the group to the amazing pineapple roll things and we all wanted to try some. After the bakery, the four students went to the Internet Café while Robert headed home. After the Internet Café, we all followed suit. Before we completed the trip, we stopped by the other delegation’s hostel to see if they were there. They weren’t, so we headed home. At the house, Robert introduced me to a much harder and more complex version of Uno, called Ocho. The three girls and I had planned to go see if the other delegation were home yet, but Mr. G. and I got so into one round that ended up lasting about fifteen minutes. Once all students returned and were accounted for, we had our nightly meeting and were off to bed. And that goes for me as well. Quinnton Barringer, signing off!