Today was our first free day. We split up into groups of 4-6 students each and started our adventure of exploring the city. Most people went to a nearby bakery, the supermarket, souvenir shopping, and the internet café to contact our families. Being able to talk to people’s loved ones brightened everyone’s day immensely. However, we all got drenched. We experienced our first ongoing rain in Matagalpa. Usually it rains here and there and lasts a few minutes. It seemed as though we all had fun anyway and it’s yet another fun memory of our stay in Matagalpa.
Exploring the city on our own showed us how well we have gotten to know this place. It gave us a chance to communicate with the locals without the pressure of trying to answer a bigger question. We’ve come to realize how similar we are to this community of people. This day also made us see just how comfortable we are getting in Matagalpa, and how we have gotten over the shock of being in a foreign country.
Along with getting used to this country, I think it’s safe to say that we have all gotten somewhat used to our English tutoring classes by now. Today was the third class so far and we have three more to go. There was a lot of smiling and laughing going on during and after class. Many of us got closer to our students and even made new friends. Through the tutoring not only are we teaching but we are also learning. The students teach us how to communicate better, give us opportunities to improve our Spanish, and much more. I think it’s an experience that we all are very appreciative of and will take a lot away from.
From our first week in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, we have learned a lot. Seeing that each day is a different topic whether it’s aid and development or culture, it gives us the opportunity to learn about Nicaragua in depth. A big concept that we learned recently is that when making donations or getting involved in charity work, it’s important to make sure there are no possible consequences. We read an article that explained how a man decided he wanted to do good for the less fortunate in Africa although he had never been. He donated a large quantity of free shirts but was stopped before he could. Many were outraged because he was engaging in blind charity. He did not stop to think that maybe donating so many shirts could put vendors out of work or even tailors. By learning this, us glimpsers are now able to make sure that our acts of charity are actually needed by talking to the locals and asking questions, that our actions won’t disrupt the economy in any way, and we can make sure our charity is even possible through checking off four simple requirements. We will make sure what we do is feasible, a need, has personal passion, and has community engagement. Having all four requirements creates an impact. The list could go on explaining all the things we have learned so far, and this is only the first half of our trip.

Finally, a nice thing about the hostel in which we are staying is that glimpsers are allowed to use the kitchen for late night snacks.