From Lili ’16:
Today was our first day helping out at La Nicaraguita. At 8:00 a.m. Alec’s entire 6th grade class came to the house where we eat breakfast to escort us to the school. We arrived at the school to welcoming cheers and were seated in front of a courtyard area for an assembly. The 5th and 6th graders performed folkloric dances, other grades recited poems, and every grade proudly shouted Nicaraguan chants. The teachers introduced themselves and then we introduced ourselves. The students were as excited to see our faces as we were to see theirs.
Then we were each assigned to the classrooms where we will be working as teaching assistants. I was assigned to the 5 year olds. There is one teacher for 38 students! Hedaya and I helped to keep the students focused on their classwork. They were all so cute and extremely friendly. At snack time we played pato-pato-ganzo (similar to duck-duck-goose) and tag. After recess, we returned to the classroom where we colored and worked in their textbooks.
Towards the end of the morning, all of the kids gathered around Hedaya and me to play with our jewelry, my hair, and Hedaya’s hijab. They are so cute! There was a girl named Naomi who stuck with me the whole day. She gave me a bracelet and introduced me to her mom as “mi nueva mejor amiga.” Before we left, she made me promise that I would come back tomorrow. When I said yes, she let go of my hand and waved goodbye.
After lunch, we observed the secondary school grades, which meets during the afternoon from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Clarence and I are with the seniors. We began by observing math class, and it was really interesting to compare what is being taught here with what we are taught in the US. For the last two hours we worked with the dance teacher to learn salsa, to practice our step routine, and to play catch in the street with the kids.
Though it was hot, today was an amazing day. I became very close with my kindergarteners and with the seniors at La Nicaraguita. Today we really bonded with the students here. After a delicious dinner, the entire GS group sat outside on the porch in the darkness that advances swiftly after 6:00 p.m. We gazed at the stars, pointing out planets and constellations, as one by one our wonderful families arrived to pick us up and take us back to our Nicaraguan homes. “¡Hasta mañana!” Another day of feeling grateful and making relationships that will last forever.