by Jordan Valdepeñas-Mellor ’19
Today, I was ready for a full day of fun because we had many fun activities planned. We were going to a pool somewhere and we got to bring members of our family with us. I like to wake up an hour before we have to show up at Rafaela’s house, so I woke up at 6:30. Unlike Alex’s mango-filled nights, my house tends to be a lot more quiet. We showed up at Rafaela’s, and had the usual gallo pinto, with the addition of a very tasteful, marbled bread.
After breakfast, we had to get ready for the second-longest bus ride of our trip. But when we arrived at the Centro Ecoturístico Flor de Pochote, the views were amazing as we were at the top of a mountain, with heavy winds. We were all surprised to find that before swimming, we had to go through 7 team bonding exercises which, if I’m completely honest… not my scene. But when we finished, we had an amazing lunch consisting of our choice of meat. After lunch, we took the afternoon to swim, talk to friends and families, look down the mountains, relax, and have fun. When we left, we stopped by a small marketplace, where we bought things made of wood. The bus ride back was long, but if one were to look out the window, one would find that the mountains were nothing short of gorgeous.
We got back to the house around 6:15, and ate quickly because our friend from the school was throwing a party for us at his house. We did have rules, of course, as we had to return to the house at 9 to check in with Sole and make sure we were all alright. Each of us made sure that no one would break any rules that could get us in deep trouble. The thing I loved most about the party was the music. We played a mix of songs both from the U.S. and Latin America. It’s fun to try and dance to a different beat, whether it be salsa or the macarena.
Life in Nicaragua is just great because we all get the chance to show our leadership and responsibility. Spanish-speaking is still a bit difficult for some of us, but we came here to improve and I believe that everyone in this group is improving dramatically, and that’s just awesome. The heat has also been a huge challenge, and it is hard to realize how often we need to drink water to stay hydrated, the water is usually lukewarm and that prevents people from wanting to drink but deep down we know that we need to drink. So far I have had an absolute blast here and I do not want it to end!