Our adventure in Nicaragua continued today with politics day. Today was all about the politics and issues of historical and modern-day Nicaragua. We began with a breakfast of pancakes and papaya, which was fantastic as always, and continued into a seminar about Daniel Ortega. Mrs. Jenny Kim led a discussion about an article outlining Ortega’s policies. It was a fantastic discussion, partly because Mrs. Kim works as a history teacher back in the states, and partly because my fellow Global Glimpsers are absolutely brilliant. After a quick game from Amanda, we transitioned into the short movie “Dreaming Nicaragua.” The movie gave us a deep insight into the cycle of poverty in the “underside” of Nicaragua. It was very sobering. I believe that I, as well as many of the others, were made to realize just how lucky we have it in the United States. We are all very thankful for what we have, as well as that we had the opportunity to go on this amazing trip. After a lunch of chicharrones, the fun began in earnest.
We had about a 10-15 minute walk to the MCN, or Municipal Communal Nicaraguense. This program is heavily involved in modern-day politics, with headquarters in most of the major cities in Nicaragua. Its goal is to inform and involve the youth in what is happening in their country. One of the MCN’s most recent projects was the protest of the bus fees in Nicaragua. Before, the government controlled how buses and bus drivers operated, until it decided to take its hands off. Now the bus drivers are free to increase or decrease the bus fare pretty much however they like. You can probably guess which of the two they would choose. We heard from the director of the MCN in Leon, Saul, who gave a speech about the MCN and its goals. Big shout out to our fantastic coordinator, Bryan, for translating the speech the entire time.
After the speech, we returned to the hostel to prepare for our English tutoring. We were all excited to finally meet our students and begin to teach them English. We headed to dinner after our preparation, and ate a delicious dinner of pasta, rice, chicken, and bread. Then we enthusiastically walked to the university where we taught the English learners. My group was about 15 students, ranging from maybe 18 to 30-40. They were a bit shy at first (although I suppose my 2 fellow teachers and I were as well) but we all began to open up towards the end. It was a fantastic experience, and I cannot wait to do it again.
At the nightly meeting, many of the students reflected positively on the English tutoring, and we all agreed that it was the highlight of the day. Now it has all wound down, as I write this blog with some friends playing hangman behind me. Danny just killed it with “Fergalicious.” We should be getting to bed soon though; we’re getting up at 6 tomorrow! No matter though. I can’t wait to spend another day in Nicaragua with these amazing, incredible people.