by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19
The group and I all had to be at Rafaela’s house by 8:00 for breakfast, but my alarm had not switched time zones so I was ready to go at 7:00. I sat in the main area of my house with my host sister, Génesis, and the dog, Scotti. The language barrier has been very difficult for me, but we were able to connect a little bit while sitting with the dog. After struggling to understand her for forty minutes, it was time to go and we headed off to Rafaela’s house.
At Rafaela’s house, which is our home base for the trip, we ate breakfast (we eat all of our meals there). Then we waited around for Brandon for a little while because he was taking his SAT, but then we realized that he wouldn’t be done for hours so we left without him. We did some touristy things so that we could see more of the city. We saw a new stadium for baseball and an Olympic swimming pool, where we watched kids swim for about an hour. Then we headed back to Rafaela’s for lunch.
As we were getting food, Brandon walked in from his test. The group was complete. After lunch, we got back in the little van and drove to a park (Parque Luis Alfonso Velásquez). At the park, I watched two Nicaraguans and three George School students playing soccer. At one point, Danny fell and had to come out of the game, so I went in to replace him. It was so hot and bright that I wanted a break after ten minutes. The game was fun, but we definitely lost by a lot. Then we left and went to the Puerto Salvador Allende, which is the Lake Managua port (Lago Xolotlán, segundo lago más grande de Nicaragua), where there were a lot of model buildings of important places of the country. It was very interesting to look at and we had a lot of fun talking with the Nicaraguan students.
By that time, the afternoon was over and we went back to Rafaela’s for dinner of rice and beans (gallo pinto). We separated from the Nicaraguan students and started to practice our talent for the Nicaraguan students. We had a hard time picking what to do, but spoiler alert, we are doing the Cotton Eyed Joe. Then we all ate and went back home to our respective families.
Being here is really hard because speaking Spanish all the time is very difficult but we’re making do. We often need to repeat things and we have all masted “no sé”, which is “I don’t know”. The Nicaraguan students know we don’t understand a lot and are working with us so that we can communicate. This is shaping up to be a slightly terrifying, but rewarding trip.