by Sidney Walters ’19
We entered into Managua all very nervous but excited nonetheless. We waited to go through customs and get our bags checked for the final time before officially entering the country. As we left customs we were greeted by at least 20 students with smiling faces and sunflowers for each of us to have. We gave hugs and then soon got on the school bus with all our luggage. Driving in a school bus through parts of Nicaragua was the coolest thing to me. Seeing all the scenery; the trees, the people and the warmth that was around us was invigorating. I soon began to feel right at home. I sat with a girl named Helen, a fifteen year old who spoke both spanish and English but she tried her best to deal with my terrible spanish. We talked about anime, soccer and Nicaragua. As the ride continued I introduced all of the other GS students and then she introduced all of the students from la Nicaraguita. We finally arrived at the school and I could automatically feel again the nervous tension between the GS students and the students from la Nicaraguita. None of us knew each other and just trying not to laugh was hard for both GS students and la Nicaraguita students. During dinner it was even more awkward and more and more laughs came out throughout dinner. We became more accustomed to being around each other and in the end had a wonderful meal shared with a few laughs from both the GS students and the students from la Nicaraguita.
Being in a country without my parents was nerve racking but to break the ice we played a game called “la pañoleta”. You take a bandana and whoever has the number that is called out runs to the middle and tries to get it before the other. The trick is the other team can tag you once you have the bandana in your hand before you can get to the other side. We played about 7 rounds of this and almost every time the students from la Nicaraguita beat GS students no matter what team they were on. It was really cool to see both GS students and la Nicaraguita students get competitive about this game. So far it’s been great! Adiós chicos!– Sol o Sidney Walters