Category Archives: Matagalpa – 06/30/2013

Day 21, Matagalpa – Departure Day

QD: Which person or activity made a great  impact on you this trip and why?

Today began at 2am local time in Nicaragua. Most of us stayed up all night, wether it be because of excitement or just savoring the last few hours in country. Our morning started with  the loading of the bus and a two hour bus ride to Managua where we had  some donuts  for breakfast and grabbed our boarding passes for the trip home. We then gave our bittersweet goodbyes to Norman and Asha before passing  through our first security checkpoint. We then proceeded to our first flight to Miami.  Upon arrival we had to pass through customs and get our luggage dropped off again before our five hour lay over. Once through, there was a mad dash for food     and a group nap in the terminal for most, while others passed the time with games, music, and charging of the electrical devices. We then had a five hour flight home. Energy was high and nerves on end  because time seemed to pass slow. When we arrived we  where welcomed by our family and friends. This concluded our amazing three weeks in Nicaragua,.Thank you to all the parents who read along with the blog and stayed involved with your kids

In conclusion what impacted me the most was  how thankful  my  English students were.

Day 20, Matagalpa – Final Reflection

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QD: How can I apply my experience in Nicaragua to my future goals?  How different am I now compared to the person that arrived in Nicaragua 3 weeks ago?

Today was our last full day in Matagalpa and a lot of fun.  We had a final reflection in the morning and then had free time after lunch.  It also just so happened to be Norman’s birthday today and tomorrow is John’s birthday so we surprised them with a delicious dinner at a local Chinese restaurant and a huge cake.  It was a great day to celebrate and just enjoy our last moments in Matagalpa.

As the last day in Matagalpa it was also a day we will never forget.  Everyone had mixed emotions between wanting to go home and wanting to never leave but in the end it is bitter sweet.  Our main goal today was to reflect on the experience we each endured and think about how it has changed us.  We did a long reflection on the trip and the challenges that we faced.  Many felt that they not only made a change in some of the lives here but also in themselves.  During the final reflection we realized that each of us went through self-growth, whether it be big or small.  We were realistic though in the sense that we know we are not a completely different person, but that we are better than the person we were the first day we came here.  We each will take this experience and utilize everything we learned about ourselves and the world to make a change, no matter where or what. Bonds were formed, tension arose, and tears were shed, but it was all worth it.

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Thing 1 and 2 just showing some love on their final day in Matagalpa

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Jade and Andrea doing some last minute souvenir shopping at our favorite shop.

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Oh No! Norman got hit by the dart on his birthday!

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Kalia is too funny! Never a dull moment with her

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Norman is very excited to eat his birthday dinner. He does not like to miss a meal!

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John was ready to eat and Carmina was well…just being Carmina haha

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Our last and final dinner together in Matagalpa. One big happy family!

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Blowing out their candles!

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The cake was freakin delicious! Happy Birthday Norman and Don Juan

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The birthday boys were full of joy and ready to eat some cake! Great way to end the night

 

Day 19, Matagalpa CAP Day 3

Today was a wonderful achievement: we finished our CAP (community action project)! Not only did the Glimpsers split up into teams to take on more tasks at Las Hormiguitas, but as a whole we came together to complete the entire project and make sure every task was taken care in a beautiful and loving way. We renovated the Psychologist’s room to make a more positive and calming environment for the kids by painting the whole room again because the paint was cracked, and adding on thematically planned designs to each wall. One wall was “Fantasy” and had a unicorn, rainbow, and castle with a Latina princess and cartoon characters in the window. Another was a “Pizarra” or “Blackboard” which we painted with blackboard paint to provide a space for the kids to express themselves. The last couple walls were “Nature” themed and consisted of a GIANT tree, butterflies, and flowers. Finally, there was a wall that had the Glimpsers’ hand-prints, as well as “GLOBAL GLIMPSE 2013″ in the top corner.

Downstairs and out in the backyard, we created a giant mural full of ants and schools to represent the kids, as well as a beautifully crafted tree with green hand prints as leaves. In amazing cursive “Las Hormiguitas” now stretches across the wall, along with flowers, butterflies, and “Global Glimpse”. A little past the mural we constructed a gym area for the kids. There’s a shelf for storage and a sand bag hanging in the middle for the kids to get out all that anger and be active. This area was also wonderfully decorated with paint and designs. Finally, a couple of Glimpsers repainted the old Hopscotch, which was completely worn down.
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All of these improvements seemed to be completely appreciated, and were met with tears, gratitude, and words of love at the end of the afternoon. After finishing our project of the last three days, we got to partay! We all got dressed up and went to a disco where a couple of our students from English classes met us. There was NO ONE else there, but the music still blasted super loud and we all danced with the 6 people that showed up to Latin Techno Club Rave whatever music. It was definitely a night to remember. The energy was high and relationships grew even stronger, this is a wonderfully fun group to be a part of and I think we’ll all miss each other dearly. Well! That’s what we did today! Carmina (Global Glimpser #9) over and out!

Day 18, Matagalpa CAP Day 2

QD: How can we use our time wisely when you have to accomplish goals in a short period of time?  

Today has been long, productive, loving and emotional. On the second day, and we are almost finished with the project for Las Hormiguitas! The boxing area is near to completion, the wall paintings in the psychology room is full of life, and the murals are looking amazing.We received a special thanks from one of the children and the feeling was sensational. The children so far are having loads of fun with the punching bag, and the staff is very much pleased. It made the entire group feel great!

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It’s been an emotional night, well from my experience anyways. Tonight was the last English class we taught to our students. The farewell part was heart-breaking. I personally have gotten attached to my students. After having a party with food, candies, and small, simple conversations, we all exchanged social network information to keep in touch. Two of my students cried, i received a bracelet and loving notes from two of my girls. The boys gave me kisses on the cheek, and we all shared a long group hug. I knew the emotional experience was coming, but I definitely did not expect to cry as much as I did. Realizing that I may not see my students or dear friends again hit me. The thought that I’ve inspired and have productively taught these students as much English as I can, watching them improve along the way, and providing a comfortable, challenging, fun, and passionate vibe for the class makes me feel like I’ve made a difference in the world. That’s what it’s all about. Now hopefully they can carry on the knowledge to others.

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Day 17th , Matagalpa Cap Day #1

What does it take to make a real difference working in teams?

Today was our first CAP day (Community Action Project) at Las Horrmigitas . Glimpsers broke into four groups, gardening, outside painting, inside painting, and construction. It was an extremely productive day dispite the fact that there was some frustration because the construction’s team project got totally consumed by professional welders, leaving six Glimpsers with out anything to do. We spent the entire day working there, the outside and inside painting had the chance to get to use this day wisely and get most of their project finish. Now we sit and wait for the other groups to catch up. And big shout out for the Gardening team for helping the outdoor painting team.

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Glimpsers hard at work (Amanda, Rochelle, Jade, Sydney, And Malia)

Glimpsers hard at work
(Amanda, Rochelle, Jade, Sydney, And Malia)

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Day 16, Matagalpa Free Day #2

QD: What can we do today to prepare for the upcoming days? Is there anything that I want to learn? Environment, culture, ect…

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Liv and Emily with the ladies at the artisan shop

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Liv and Malia enjoying some coffee at the cafe

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Emily, me (Andrea), and Crystal at the cafe

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Kalia showing some souvenirs she bought

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Meeting up with the other Matagalpa delegation on their last day here

Today was our second and final “free day”. We all got to go out into Matagalpa and have some time to ourselves to enjoy the city. Some people finished up on souvenir shopping, got to see our local friends, call home, and had time to roam outside of the hostel. Some of us met up with the other delegation staying  around the corner. They are going home tonight so they had some free time during their “final reflection day”. After our dinner of gaillo pinto, salad, and chicken sausage we went to english classes at El Progresso. Overall I believe that they went very well and seeing that Wednesday is our last class our students were exited to plan parties and enjoy the last day we have together.

At some points today became very stressful. Since today was a free day is was more difficult to keep everyone on point and following directions. There was frustration and negativity but at the end of the night people were able to talk it out and work through the issues. After the nightly meeting it was all love as if nothing had ever happened. To me, this is a prime example of how close we have all become to each other, we are more than people living together in a foreign country, we are a family.

Day 15 Matagalpa – Fun Day at Masaya

All Matagalpians

QD: How important is tourism for the economy of a developing country?

Today the two delegations in Matagalpa visited Volcan Masaya, Mirador de Catarina and two hand craft markets. The trip today was a huge success, the delegations really bonded during the almost 3 hr bus ride there and back. We had a great time at the volcano even though we weren’t able to stay long and we had a beautiful view of the crater lake (Mirador de Catarina).  Also we saw the other delegation from Esteli. This was the first time in Global Glimpse history where three delegations have been together in the same place.

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We did spend a lot of time shopping and buying souvenirs at the hand craft market which goes to answer the question of the day. Investing our US dollars in their country really helps to boost their economy because it’s bringing in new revenue to boost their national economy. Some of us were able to get good deals because we learned how to bargain prices!

Finca La Canavalia: July 13, 2013

Today was “Work like a local” day!

We woke up very, very early and visited Finca La Canavalia, eating breakfast along the way. The sunrise behind the lush green mountains made the bus trip worth the early morning. :)

Working in the coffee field

We split up into four groups, and within those groups we experienced the different jobs at the farm. We worked with cattle, goats, chickens, fertilizing cacao, planting chaya, and marking locations to plant coffee trees.

Nisa worked first on fertilizing cacao fields. This activity involved putting handfuls of chicken feces, processed organically at the farm, into the fertilizer. The holes were spread four meters from each other so the plant had enough room to grow and receive the nutrients necessary. The interesting point about this type of farming was that they didn’t cut the trees in the nearby vicinity, allowing for all the plants in the area to grow as well as the cacao. This natural environment allowed the ecosystem to sustain itself, rather than wearing out the soil from purely planting cacao. Next, Nisa worked with chickens by collecting eggs and cleaning their coops, alongside learning the life-cycle of chickens.

Ariel was in the group that worked on marking the locations to plant the coffee. Using measuring sticks, we made sure the coffee plants would have enough space away from the other coffee plants. An amusing perk of this activity was that there were monkeys above us, climbing and jumping among the branches. Second, Ariel worked with the group that churned fertilizer. The smell of the steaming fertilizer was near unbearable, but the group made it work by singing and tagging out after the smell got too bad. It was an extremely difficult job, and we were more than glad to have been able to assist the one man whose job it was to mix the fertilizer, despite the steam.

The face of accomplishment

The experience was eye opening, and allowed us Global Glimpsers to realize just how privileged we are in the United States. Not only is there no minimum wage in Nicaragua, but the 11 permanent workers at Finca La Canavalia are not paid by the hour and are instead paid bi-monthly.

Though the work at Finca La Canavalia was difficult, we all felt very accomplished, and humbled by the experience.

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Day 13 – Matagalpa: Living on $1/day

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Today was a Reality Challenge – giving us a taste of what daily life is like for over half the world’s population who live without electricity, running water or much food to speak of.  It started with us waking up around 4:45 in the morning (more like, in the dark).  Breakfast was Gallo Pinto – without any sides or juice.  It was a short drive out of town, but the bus had to traverse rough roads, steep hills and a stream to get to the farming community of Llano Grande.

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Students were divided into groups of 3-4 and escorted to various homes with the basic instruction that they would do whatever the family was doing.  Some of our kids spread fertilizer on a farm while others helped transport coffee plants to as they were being put in the ground.  Several groups got to make fresh tortillas by manually grinding down the corn, shaping it into pancakes and roasting them over a wood fire.  Everyone seemed to develop some sort of personal connection with their families, and some grew quite attached to the children they got to play with.

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It was an effective, revealing experience.  For the most part, the families who live there didn’t seem at all disappointed by their situation.  They did what they had to do without concern for living on dirt floors (with c

ats, dogs and chickens roaming in and out), using outhouses or washing their clothes on a rock.  One thing that caught us off-guard, though, was that they all had electricity, and several had (old) TVs.  We were told not to use any electronics – even watches, because it would make them uncomfortable.  Oh, well.  I for one would have no problem living simply (without so much technology) and close to the land.- growing our own food.  It was such a BEAUTIFUL part of the country. I could almost convince myself we were in Hawaii.

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