Hello family, friends and any random visitors 🙂

Min and Victor slidin’ through. Today was our high school shadowing and education day, so we got to visit Nicaraguan schools and spend our day in class-rooms after being in our vacation/summer hibernation mode for so long. We started our day at 5am with the usual greeting from the rooster that cries every morning. I (Min) almost missed the wake-up call time, but luckily Victor, who wakes up an hour before the wake-up call every morning to maintain his gainz, was able to wake me up. Although waking up at 5 was not the easiest task we’ve done throughout the trip, most of us managed to get ready on time for breakfast. Since we had to go straight to the schools right after breakfast, we got dressed in our white button up shirts/polos along with navy blue bottoms to match the school uniform. We probably had the fanciest outfits for pancakes. *moment of silence in respect for the delicious pancakes made by don Carlos*

After stuffing our stomachs with syrup and guava jelly, we speed walked to our schools. We had two separate groups: one group that went to San Pablo Apostol and the other that went to Maria Auxiliadora. Both were private Catholic schools, with Maria Auxiliadora being the school we went to teach students English. I (Min) got to visit San Pablo Apostol while Victor visited Maria Aux.

I (Victor) was able to shadow a student of mine that I taught English to. In the beginning, it started off awkwardly, due to feeling out of place because of the language barrier, but as time went on, I was able to see Alexander (my student) as my friend, instead of my student. Alexander showed me and my group (Kevin & Kat) how his typical school day looked like. We were surprised to see that students had to be self reliant because of how often the teachers were not present to teach their students. By the end of the day, my group and I were able to make a bunch of new friends with whom we exchanged our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

I (Min) went to the school across the street from the school Victor went. I was put into a classroom along with Emely and Jorge, in which none of the students really talked to us until the English teacher wanted us to introduce ourselves to the class during first period. Lots of students told me that their favorite subject is English and that they wanted to practice English with me. Another student, who caught me doodling in Spanish class, decided to show off his art skills and drew me the Nicaraguan national bird and handed it to me as a gift after signing his name. The learning atmosphere in the classroom was very different from what I usually experience, since students and teachers were leaving the classroom freely during class. Although I spent the first half an hour in silence, by the end of the day, I was able to make some new friends, who will (hopefully) friend me on Facebook…

After the visit, we went directly to El Comedor and had some great fried chicken with cole-slaw. Then we had our academic seminar back at the hostel, and shared our experiences and thoughts from our shadowing day. We discussed how the school system is different in Nicaragua compared to the U.S. and how those differences can affect the country’s development. We realized how privileged and lucky we are to have teachers and communities in general who care about students receiving high standard education.

Staying in Today’s theme of education, we walked to Casa Xalteva, where we were greeted by Simon, our English guest speaker, who talked about the reality of Nicaraguan education. Casa Xalteva is an after school tutoring/school help “center” with a mission to help students who may be at a risk of going down the wrong paths, such as joining gangs, being a victim of domestic violence and/or human trafficking, and giving up their education. Then we got to play capture the flag with some of the students at a nearby park. Shout-out to Destiny for being a trooper and taking a fall with a smile still on her face.

After dinner, we had our nightly meeting to wrap up the long day and passed the torch to Andres/Andy/Dres/Dy to be El Leader Del Dia for our last full day tomorrow.

Big love shout outs to everyone for not getting too mad at us for waking him or her up so early this morning and powering through school! yay!

Lastly, Big Huge Super Love to Stephanie Skyme for her 23rd Birthday from all the glimpse <3