by Alex Cavallo ’18
March 3-4, 2017
The plane flight and the landing were normal; even the flight attendants were normal. Upon arriving, everyone was very polite to us. The atmosphere was very welcoming but also nervous. We got all of our luggage together and went out to meet the students of la Nicaragua that were eagerly awaiting our arrival. We introduced ourselves with a shy hello. The bus ride was our first view of the city, and it was alive! There were tons of people in the street and riding in the backs of pickup trucks. I was very happy to finally arrive in Nicaragua. When we arrived at the school they welcomed us with a nice meal of salad, rice, French fries, and fried chicken. After that, the school put on a performance for us filled with dancing, singing, and poetry. We were blown away. After that Niccolo and I taught an English class, while all of the other GS students went in pairs to other classrooms to teach. That was fun! I then went off to my host family, showed them photos, and went to bed early.
I awoke the next morning having slept very well. I was walked to Rafaela’s house where Greg already was, relaxing in a rocking chair. Alyssa, Alexander, Philip, and Tali arrived soon after, and they looked excited. After a nice breakfast we went off sight-seeing. A graduate of 1994, Whitney Wilkerson, came with us after she and her friends were evacuated from their town in California (due to landslides). She talked to us about her many visits to Nicaragua after she visited here on a GS service trip just like we are doing now. In a small bus, our group drove around the center of Managua, where we saw the home of General Anastasio Somoza (dictator from 1936 until the 1950s) and an exhibition about Augusto Sandino, national hero who led a rebellion against the American military occupation of Nicaragua in the 1930s. We saw the cathedral whose clock stopped working when the earthquake leveled Managua in 1972. We spent time strolling in a few city parks on the shores of El Lago Xolotlán (Lago de Managua). In one of the photos, you can see behind our group a few volcanoes. Nicaragua is very beautiful with trees and animals that I have never seen before. We went with select students from the school who I started to get to know. Maia went along with me, and we had a really good time. Kids are kids, and that goes in Nicaragua as well! This is going to be a good trip.