This morning when we walked around the corner to our sister school, we were greeted by the sight of rows of already seated students amidst colorful decorations. Twenty-five years ago today, the new preschool, La Nicaragüita, opened its doors for the first time. Born of the vision of Rafaela Torres Ugarte at a time of crisis in Nicaraguan education, it has grown into a pre-k through high school Centro Educativo with more than 300 students. Every member of the first graduating class went to university. It has been George School’s privilege to accompany this school on its journey and to stand in solidarity and friendship with the Nicaraguan people as they have worked to build a new future. Today’s celebration was almost completely student-centered, with dance presentations, poetry recitations, a visiting musical group, our GS contributions, and many cheers of joy and pride chanted by the students.
Val ’17 writes:
I became a leader today.
I say that because of the success of our participation during the 25th anniversary celebration for El Centro Educativo Nicaragüita. I sang “Someone Like You” by Adele, accompanied by Hedaya on piano, and I had a solo during our group step routine. These opportunities weren’t given to me, they were earned. They were earned as my peers and my teachers came to believe in me. It was me believing that I could do these things. Thankfully, I had already had a nerve-wracking experience performing at the International Student assembly at GS. Because of that, I felt that I was ready for anything.
It’s really a once in a lifetime chance to sing in a foreign country in front of an entire school. Because of the opportunity, I was less nervous about everything. Not only did my confidence translate into this morning’s performances, it translated into buying things at the Masaya artisan market this afternoon. Bargaining is the custom here, and norteamericanos often pay more than they should because they are reluctant to bargain. Luckily, my Spanish has gotten better this week, to the point that I was able to bargain. For example, I bought Nicaraguan baseball jersey for which the vendor began with a price of 400 córdobas ($15). I was able to bargain that price down considerably. Because of the progress I’ve been making, better things have been happening here so far.
These experiences have all been teaching me about what life may throw at me. Understanding that concept, my time here in Nicaragua and my life at George School will turn out to be a great time. I believe that having these moments has made me the leader of my own life.