Hey Friends and Family. It’s Brendan and Bernardo here.

Today was very interesting, emotional, and full of community. We awoke at 6 am and showered like locals, using only a bucket and a bowl to wash ourselves. We weren’t allowed to use any running water. That means no using sinks and no flushing the toilet, except by pouring water from our buckets into the toilet bowl. Our breakfast this morning was a simple plate of Gallo Pinto and bread, which is what most Nicaraguans eat every morning.

At 7 o’clock, we boarded the bus and made our way to the community of Isiqui, where we were split into groups and were assigned to different families. We helped our individual families with simple chores around the house and talked to them about their lives and their community. We learned that they have no local hospital or clinic; the nearest one is a half hour drive away in Estelí. We also learned that they only have elementary and secondary schools; no high schools. After helping out around the house, we ate lunch with our host families. We ate a delicious plate of rice, vegetables with chicken, and juice. Then, we handed cookies and candy to the children of the community. We wrapped the field trip up by taking photos with our families, and then we headed back to the hostel to prepare for our Community Action Project presentation.

At 2:30, we presented to the principal of La Montañita school. We divided our project into three main parts: Classroom, Garden, and Playground. We might be ambitious with only two and a half days of work time, but with 22 strong willed individuals in this group, we believe that we can accomplish our goals. After receiving feedback, some of us went out to enjoy the city of Estelí while others rested to regain much needed energy. Bernardo needed some extra attention as well, but by 6:30, we had all recovered beautifully to have a nice dinner together. Another plate of Gallo Pinto, bread, and water. We ended our day with an emotional and deep discussion of what we experienced during the day. Afterwards, we passed the torch to tomorrow’s leaders of the day, Devin and Kelsey.