Our group has only been together for a week now and we are already starting to discuss our reunion. I think everyone here can agree that we all have an incredible connection, despite our very different lives at home. Considering that, we have a lot in common. We all laugh at the same jokes, enjoy the same things, and all-in-all seem to be on the same page with our daily itinerary. These factors have contributed to a very successful trip thus far. Here in Nicaragua, the locals have very similar traits. They work together to solve problems, share common interests, and laugh throughout the day. To me, this exemplifies human nature at its core. Each of the two groups were exposed to new situations. For us, many of us are in a new country with strangers as our friends. For the locals, a group of kids from an entirely different world are just here to help out at the local school. When we are exposed to new situations, there are those who shy away from them and those who take on the challenge and adjust to the new situation. None of us on this trip have backed out of a new challenge, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. We all wanted to be friends with each other and take on this challenge of being exposed to a completely new country together. I feel more unified with this group than most of my class mates at school.
I had recently been reading articles about Nicaragua’s financial situation in our student reader, and it’s not looking so good. Massive amounts of money that had been donated from Venezuela has gone under vague descriptions of use, and that money hasn’t been used for what it needs to be used for. President Ortega had started a “battle for sixth grade” wanting to implement more sixth grade classrooms in elementary schools. That was almost a decade ago and we are building a 4th grade classroom now. But in the midst these financial troubles, the locals don’t seem to be letting all this weigh them down. This was shown in today’s community baseball game. It had seemed like the entire surrounding community including parents, students, and local vendors had come to watch and participate in the game. We all had a good laugh and some of the swings and misses, and of course the kids really enjoyed showing off their skills in front of us and their parents. The baseball game played between us showed how despite our vastly different backgrounds, we all just wanted to have fun and play. This appreciation for life itself displayed by the locals here in Nicaragua will absolutely be something I take back home with me.