I knew right at the moment when breakfast began with a healthy heap of gallo pinto and freshly-paired fried banana slivers,  that this was the real deal!  We really would be here in Leon, Nicaragua, ready to learn to roar like a “Leon”, lion-style.

And it was true- the day roared along with an excellent tour of the city, while we learned about the history of Leon and Nicaragua.  We saw beautiful churches, insightful and inspiring murals, met a local artisan- known for his use of stones, leather and turquoise in his jewelry and saw the imposing lion statues that guard the main entrance of the city’s religious and cultural center… the Cathedral.  But the real hidden treasure of the day was getting the opportunity to meet a master leader of the local Sutiaba community, Don Pablo.  He led us through the small archeological museum in his community and explained the ancient artifacts of burial urns, mortar and pestle instruments, weapons and religious statutes among other things.  The glimpsers enjoyed posing for pictures with this truly memorable and inspiring master of culture in his own right.

We wrapped up the day with another amazing meal and then on to our nightly meetings.  Tonight our meetings and reflections were sprinkled with more roses than thorns and it was incredible to watch more and more students come out of their shells and share about their experiences and perspectives.  The torch was passed on to Oscar and Eric who will lead the day tomorrow.