Greetings from the lovely Jinotega! Right now this is Makayla going to talk about our fun filled day working as a Jinotegano! We started the day with a super early wake up call at four am in order to get to our destination La Bastilla Ecolodge Technical School. After a truck ride to the chicken coop, the group split into two groups, with one going to the chickens, cows and cheese making; and the other going to the pig pen, bakery , and garden. My group had gone to the station with the chickens, cows, and cheese. The first thing we did was milk the cow, which was a first for all of us, then we separated into three subgroups for three different jobs. My group’s first job was getting the eggs from the chickens. At first the chickens seemed adorable and harmless, but they became more aggressive with their pecking of our clothes and shoes (especially the shoe laces). It was interesting trying to get the eggs from the chickens because, unlike before, we were actually able to touch an animal in order to get the job done! After collecting the eggs we cleaned the dirty sports with curly aluminum sponges. Before heading to the next job, my chicken coop crew had to overturn a soil-like material covering the ground of the coop so the chickens had fresh ground to step on. The next job was making cheese, it was more exiting for us because my crew actually got to touch and add flavoring to the cheese dough the last team prepped.
Hello everyone, my name is Angelina and alongside Makayla, I was also leader of the day today. With that being said, I do believe that Makayla covered just about everything that her and her group did, but now I’ll share a little bit about what it was like to be in the second group in our visit to La Bastilla Ecolodge Technical School. The students at La Bastilla are trained in a way similar to vocational schools in America, but more specifically, they study agriculture which is a common practice here in Nicaragua, a country that provides a large portion of the world’s coffee. Although waking up very early in the morning wasn’t fun at all, the beauty that we were able to see was very much worth it because we were able to make sweet bread at the bakery and help students our age with daily jobs in the agricultural business such as tending to animals (in our case it was the pigs… oink, oink), and also their gardens. But the most amazing part of the whole field trip wasn’t just the beautiful people and agriculture, it was also the little things such as the La Bastilla Hotel where one of our program coordinators, Belkis, used to work as a manager and a professor. After we cleaned and fed the pigs, tended the garden and made some delicious sweet bread, we had lunch with all of the students at La Bastilla which was truly a special moment and then continued to a building in which the school director, Fatima, treated all of the glimpsers to a dance party.
Soon afterwards, once the fun and games were over, we climbed up a 500m. hill (that was steep) to go and see the La Bastilla Ecolodge Hotel, which had such an amazing view and great prices (for any of you wondering, it was $45 for a single person a night and $70 for two people which included breakfast and beautifully breathtaking view of the mountains of Nicaragua). There, at the hotel, all of the glimpsers enjoyed some hot chocolate as the rain poured around us, which had set us back time wise, but was so beautiful, not even I had realized how much time had passed. Once we said our goodbyes, we returned to the bus with our bus driver Marvin (the greatest driver ever), and preceded to return to Hotel Kiuras. Once we got back, most of the glimpsers took naps and then were waken up (myself included) to go to the local comedor and eat some delicious food. After that we then went to the University of Jinotega (a branch from the University of Leon in Nicaragua) and began our English tutoring.
On a personal note, my experiences today have only added to the fundamental gratitude that I have for all of the things that have been given to me by my parents and family members that aren’t promised to anyone. So although I would like to tell all of you about everything that has been going on, I would just like to say something simple to give you an idea of how precious the memories that all of us glimpsers have made. Despite barely knowing one another, we have all come so close together that it feels sometimes as if we truly are a family and because of this love that we share for one another, it has made all of our experiences even more special. Although I would love to tell you all about them, I’m sure each one of your kids will tell you when they come home in three days… but for the time being, I’d like to share my rose of the day (we have a thorn and rose system in which essentially, we share the good and bad parts of our days), which was going to English tutoring, after having had a very long and difficult day and then being presented with gifts from our students which were Jinotega bracelets and key chains with our names engraved on them. I’ll admit that I definitely did tear up a bit during class time, because I think this act of kindness wasn’t just for show, but in fact, it encompasses all of the relationships that we have made here with all the locals and the shared ideology of giving to others before thinking of themselves. Now with that in mind, it’s time for bed because we have an early day ahead of us.
Goodnight to all the families of well, our little family of glimpsers here in Jinotega; we love and miss all of you very much.
Angelina Rivera and Makayla Teppang