Hello everyone! My name is Anthony Alvarez and I had the honor of being “El Lider Del Dia” for our last Fun Day here. Heading on into the end of our trip, many of us feel a huge mix of emotions. We feel homesick and our excited to see familiar and friendly faces. We feel sad because this is the end of an incredibly powerful and impacting 18 day bonding experience that has changed the way we see the world. We feel relieved at the fact that we will no longer undergo illnesses that travelers face. With all of those emotions in the mix, todays’ activity was a great distraction and allowed us to fully enjoy a purely Nicaraguan tourist attraction.
We woke up bright and early at 5:30 am and had breakfast at 6:30 am. At 7:30 am we started our trip to a volcano called “Cerro Negro”. We arrived there at 9 am and the trip was extremely bumpy and rough but the destination was more than worth it.
We first arrived to a reception office 10 minutes away from the actual volcano where we all signed up. When we arrived to the volcano, we were welcomed by other tour guides and a giant 728 meters tall black volcano surrounded by black sand and gravel. We were given a heavy denim backpack that included a sand board, a hefty jumpsuit and thick gloves to be used when we reach the top of the volcano and sand-board down. The hike to the top was very difficult and took 45 minutes to complete. There were many loose rocks on the trail and it was incredibly windy; conditions that were only against our favor when carrying a heavy backpack along with a sand board on our backs that went across our backs horizontally and made us nearly fly away a handful of times the higher the height we reached. Nevertheless, the experience was amazing and gave us an incredibly beautiful view of Leon.
When we all finished sliding down (and yes you read that right, every single one of us glimpsers including GG leaders slid down +400 meters), we drove back to the reception office and enjoyed a strange, but surprisingly tasty post-hike snack: a cold flower tortilla covered in squeezable beans from a bag, Nicaragua-style Doritos, cucumber, onions, carrots, jalapeños, and different salsas. Following the burritos we enjoyed some delicious Nicaraguan sweet bread called “Pico”. Though our lunch was most definitely out of the ordinary, it was great!
After lunch we headed back to the hostel and rested up until we had dinner at 5 pm, followed by English tutoring at 6. In which we explained the upcoming talent show to them. All the classes will meet up in the classroom for beginners/intermediate-beginners and have students perform a talent at 6:30 pm in which they can include friends and teachers.
After English tutoring we went back to the hostel and had our nightly meeting and I passed the torch onto Johann. before passing the torch however, a talent is required before being able to hang that wooden key on your neck and calling a yourself “El Lider Del Día”. Johann’s talent was a “magic trick” in which he disappeared after throwing a towel in midair and running into a room! An awesome way to add some humor to the closing of an intense day.
Being “El Lider Del Día” was an amazing experience and it reminded me of the stress that Global Glimpse leaders have to endure. I felt that stress the most when we were hiking up the mountain and I saw that there were Glimpsers who were having a tough time to get up the mountain. The first thought that came to my head was “Oh gosh, we’ve been hiking for 15 minutes, so I think it won’t be that tough to get this person down.”, but then a red cross volunteer and GG leader came to help and in the end all of us were able to make it to the top of the volcano, and slide to the bottom without any injuries. I loved leading them, nagging at them to drink their electrolytes, motivating them to keep pushing a bit harder in order to finish, reminding them of our schedule, telling them to do head counts and wash their hands, I loved being ELDD because I love my delegation.