After a relaxing free day filled with shopping for souvenirs, eating at Tip Top (a Nicaraguan fast food chain), and watching the World Cup games, today came as a slight surprise. As politics day, today was filled to the brim with speakers and presentations. We woke up at eight o’clock and headed to the comedor for a delicious and filling breakfast of pasta, avocado and egg, fresh tortilla chips, and rice. Our juice for the day was citrus papaya which was extremely refreshing. Once back at the hostal we went straight into a politics seminar lead by one of our super cool GG leaders Omar. During the seminar we discussed the reasons and opinions regarding Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega’s continuous re-elections. This seminar provided a substantial amount of background information about the politics in Nicaragua which in turn was very helpful information to know for the two speaker presentations we would have later in the day. Our politics discussion also allowed us to interconnect previous experiences from the trip to the topics and themes we were discussing. Adrianna was able to connect her experience in central park when we were separated into groups to ask locals questions to the topic of survival.

After the seminar, it was time to get re-energized for the professor from the university who was our first speaker. I was planning to play human knot as our energizer since the weather in the morning was strangely cool, but of course by 10:30 it was way too hot to be so close to one another. Nolan introduced a new energizer called “Bat and Fly” which turned out to be tons of fun. One of us was the bat, another the fly, and the rest of us formed a circle as the arena. The objective of the game was for the blindfolded bat to tag the fly as the fly ran around the circular arena dodging the flailing arms of the bat. I have to admit that our GG coordinator Brayan was the most entertaining; it looked as though he was improv dancing with his smooth karate motions and effortless spins.

The university speaker, Julio Argueta, shared with us the basic foundations and concepts of Nicaraguan politics. He focused his presentation around three dimensions: social, economic, and politics. Mr. Argueta explained that Nicaragua has never been able to keep in balance these three dimensions; as one factor improves, the others decline. He emphasized the importance that all three dimensions need to be balanced in order to have a solid and stable country. What was really great about Mr. Argueta’s presentation was that he shared relevant facts and themes that we could relate to. For example he talked about why the  youth population in Nicaragua was so detached from politics and social issues. He said that the youth are so concerned and attached to social media that there is no room to care about social and political issues in their communities and in the country. This idea was very relatable to some level since we are the youth in the States and most of us have accounts with numerous social media providers. It was very effective to have someone bring to light the reality of how much time and energy the youth spend online instead of towards social and ethical problems that are surrounding us. Overall, Julio Argueta’s presentation was extremely informative and gave us a better understanding about not only the politics in Nicaragua but also the effect each person has toward changing a government.

Brayan's awesome improvisation!

Brayan’s awesome improvisation!

After our first speaker, we headed to lunch which was buffet style making it perfect for everyone’s personal palate. I had rice, black beans, cabbage, a tortilla, and pork. Lunch was super delicious but it left a lot of us in food comas which was not good especially since the second speaker was next on our schedule. Our second speaker, Francisco Espinosa, shared a powerpoint on the organization called PDDH (Ley de la Procuraduria para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos) whom he works for. He went through the process of reporting a human rights violation claim. Mr. Espinosa explained what claims the PDDH takes and what claims they do not. The claims that they are not able to take are referred to other agencies that would be better suited to address the particular issue. His presentation gave us all insight in to the whole process of human rights violation reporting in Nicaragua. This gives us something to compare to the process used in the United States.

Directly after our second speaker, it was time to present our CAP (Community Action Project) to the community leader of La Goyena, Don Fabio. We presented our project through our individual roles. I started off with the introduction and greeting and from there each person shared the details of our project and what we hoped to accomplish and how we hoped to positively affect the community. Don Fabio accepted our plan which was very exciting and thanked us for following through with our word to help the community. His kind words really solidified our passion and excitement about our domestic violence mural and the rock relocation. Tomorrow we start the project which is somewhat surreal since our ideas and plans will be coming to life. I know that every person taking part in this project wants to do as much as possible in the short amount of time given; each one of us want to make a difference in La Goyena, big or small. We are so thrilled to be able to involve the community in the mural and rock relocation because like Becca said today in our presentation, “This is not only Global Glimpse’s project, but also La Goyena’s project.”

The rest of the day was pretty chill. Since the first 3/4 of the day went a little ( more like 2 hours off schedule) off schedule, the leadership meeting and tutoring prep was combined into a short 30 minute time frame before dinner. After dinner we headed to the always unforgettable English Tutoring. Without a doubt, English Tutoring is always a highlight of the day for everyone; no nightly meeting goes without having a English Tutoring story.

Today was definitely the busiest day so far of the trip because we did not leave the hostal and because the day was packed with seminars, speakers, and presentations. One struggle of the day was staying focused and concentrated on the task at hand, but everyone did an awesome job staying involved. Today set us up for the next two days of hard work in La Goyena and the excitement for tomorrow is REAL!