Hello GG families and friends! My name is Persis Shirazi and I am going to embark on my fourth year of high school at Dougherty Valley this August. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my beloved cat (my friends and family can attest to this), and travelling throughout the Bay Area in search of free concerts and great food (Yelpers unite!). I actually learned about Global Glimpse as a freshman, and from then I had always known that I was destined to partake in a journey as incredible as this; however, it wasn’t until my history teacher and one of my best friends nominated me that I realized how quickly what was once my dream had become a very tangible reality – I am beyond elated to have been given the opportunity to come to Esteli.

DSCF4409 DSCF4420 DSCF4422 DSCF4429 DSCF4451 DSCF4467 DSCF4504 DSCF4514

Today I had the pleasure of serving as El Lia del Dia for our second Fun Day – “fun” might even been an understatement. Our morning started off earlier than usual, but after a nutritious breakfast – which comprised of fresh melon and cantaloupe juice, scrambled eggs, gallo pinto and a slice of white Wonder bread – we were all fully packed and prepared for the day to come, and headed our way to the bus. Once seated and organized, we drove our way out of Esteli to our day’s destination, Somoto, a town fairly close to the Honduran-Nicaraguan border. The bus ride to Somoto allowed for much introspection, as the road there was nothing less than breathtaking, with green mountains serving as a backdrop to miles of lush farmland, which merely looked livelier ascribed by the subtle rays of sunshine that broke their way through the sky’s scarce clouds – ‘coffee shop’ music further enhanced the bus ride’s enlightening aesthetic. After about two hours of scenic fleeting landscapes, we finally found ourselves in Somoto, where we made a quick stop to pick up life preserves and tour guides for the arduous yet enthralling hike that we were about to experience. We then proceeded to the Cañon de Somoto, a rocky canyon sliced in half by a running river, all of which runs through Nicaragua’s northern-most region. With the help of Beverley, Henrietta, two firefighters, and several tour guides, all sixteen of us Glimpsers (plus Erin and Paul, of course) hiked our way along a dirt path in order to make it to the mouth of the canyon, clearly distinguishable from the pathway due to the vast amount of rocks the canyon possessed.

We finally reached the water after about half an hour of downhill hiking and rock-hopping, and it wasn’t until then that we were able to fully immerse ourselves in our surroundings and forget about the slippery rocks or the mildly-frightening hike down to the river. It was a truly rewarding experience to witness many fellow Glimpsers confront (and overcome) their greatest fear – water – and still participate in the activity despite their lack of comfort, and it was even more incredible witnessing how supportive we all were for our peers, many of whom even cliff-dove into the water once or twice. Although the journey through the canyon was rather exhausting, the combination of our energy and excitement made up for the deficit. Once we made our way towards the end of the canyon, we were met with two large canoes, prompting us to split into two groups, and we were able to experience a short and pleasant boat ride to another shore, where we then embarked on our ascent back to the bus.

Wishing the Cañon de Somoto goodbye was no simple task; however, we were all hungry for lunch (which patiently awaited us on the bus) meanwhile eager to visit Nicaragua’s nationally-renown rosquilla (corn-based treat) shop, conveniently located in the heart of Somoto. A ten minute bus ride transported us to the rosquilla ‘shop’ – a humble plastic stand with a container filled with the delectable Nicaraguan treats – and we were greeted with information on how the goods are produced, which proved to be an interesting process (DID YOU KNOW: Rosquillas go through TWO rounds of baking!). Sampling the rosquillas won many of our hearts (and stomachs!) so some of us decided to purchase a couple (more like many many bags…) to snack on for the rest of our trip. Leaving the rosquilla shop meant leaving Somoto to return to Esteli, where we enjoyed an hour of Free Time in the city’s jam-packed streets (today was a holiday for the city!). Our day ended on a productive note, with a discussion on the importance of the preservation of environmental areas and the impact (positive/negative) that tourism has on nature. Today’s well-needed Fun Day definitely served its purpose in de-stressing us all for the inevitably hectic day ahead, and I can confidently say that we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. But now… CAP time!