Our politics day started off slow with a relaxed breakfast. Mid-morning we had a special speaker come talk to us about the Nicaraguan revolution. It was Nestor Torres…our GG coordinator Brayan´s dad! He had fought in the revolution and told us about the history of Nicaragua, with the conflict between the Sandinistas and the Contras as well as the role of the US in the whole thing. He concluded that Nicaragua was now under a dictatorship, and that the Sandinista party held the country with a tight fist.
This brought up an interesting dilemma. How can disgruntled citizens fight back against a president with that much power? It would be difficult, and dangerous. These two deterrents are joined with another, more psychological, factor – the people of Nicaragua are tired of war and civil unrest. Daniel Ortega may not be our idea of a perfect president, but he provides for the people and keeps the peace, which is an extremely valuable thing for the citizens of this country.
After this discussion, we broke and went to lunch with Mr. Torres. The meal was really good, and we were all excited for the next event – celebrating Brayan´s birthday! We attempted to keep it secret from him, but when he came up to the hostel´s balcony and saw the decorations, he claimed to have already known what was to happen. Oh well. The party was fun anyways, with cake and balloons. As a present to him, we each wrote a card to him, and Jessica pasted them all together on a large poster. It was sweet.
After the celebration, we took a tour of the Museo de Revolucion. It was in a grand old building, with a few murals that a previous GG delegation had helped paint. Our tour guide explained the revolution to us in great detail, with newspaper articles and pictures up on the walls. It was very informational. My favourite detail was that more women than men had fought in the revolution. How empowering!
At mid afternoon we went to the Parque Central and asked locals of their opinion on the Nicaraguan Canal project. It was intimidating as ever to speak Spanish, but we got a lot of good answers. The general consensus seemed to be that the Canal was probably not going to happen, and if it did, would not be as beneficial to the totality of Nicaragua as it was purported to be, as well as likely to have a dramatic impact on the ecosystem.
After this activity we had an hour of free time. Some people went to the store, some went to the cyber café. It was lovely to be able to check in with people back home, as well as stock up on fruit and drinks and snacks for the next few days.
We prepped for English Tutoring, went to dinner, and then headed to the Law School to meet our students. Our two hours of tutoring were as fun as ever. I personally helped teach the beginners class, and I was amazed at how quickly they pick up the things we teach them.
Our politics day was over…I passed the torch to Jesse after a dramatic rendition of Let It Go, and we turned in for the night. It was a day filled with information and much thinking about international relations as well as the relationship between governments and peoples. I hope that as each of us go on we´ll keep what we´ve learned in mind and think critically about our own country.