Thursday, January 6, 2011
By: Melissa Murillo
Being in Nicaragua is still very surreal, but slowly becoming reality. Waking up to warm weather and roosters calling made this morning unique to our regular morning alarm clock routines. Surprisingly the COLD shower was not as bad as I imagined it would be. However, there are still moments where we have our own form of “location” shock. The open air style of CEPAD ( the hostel) has shocked quite a few of us. My roommate Michelle had a moment, when she woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and said to herself “ wait a minute why am I outside?”
Team breakfast was scheduled for seven am, we had an array of delicious options. Arroz con frijoles, eggs in some type of red ranchero sauce (which I did not eat!), fresh papaya and watermelon. After breakfast we quickly sat in a circle and began reflecting on the previous days activities. We all agreed we have stepped out side of our comfort zone; together we will learn and overcome the feelings of helplessness.
In the mist of discussing the whirlwind of our emotions Caitlyn B. brought up a thought provoking question, “ when you change the landscape is it with bare hands or gloves?” –Pablo Neruda we came to the conclusion that bare hands has a more long lasting effect.
This bridged us into our next activity of the first half of the morning. We all participated in an interactive role-playing activity regarding the multi-layered history of the country. This activity added a greater impression of the nations history in regards to several presidencies, hardships, struggles, and triumphs of the country. We were divided into five groups of 3 or 4 and given a few years to act out, everyone used props and made us all laugh. Although there is a lot more to Nicaragua’s history we learned about the U.S. involvement with the Contras and about the rise and fall of the various leaders of Nicaragua including the Sandino movement.
On July 19, 1979, the Sandinista-led popular revolution overthrew the Somoza dictatorship placing the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) in power. At first the U.S. supported the FSLN but over time the U.S. lost financial and political interest. With the help of FSLN UNESCO implemented a literacy campaign, this program reduced the overall illiteracy rates by 37.9%. Fast forwarding to resent years, in response to claims of fraud the U.S. froze the Millennium Funds, which were funds that were going to be used for the development of the country.
This morning was a great learning experience. We’ve done so much before 10am it feels great!!!!
P.S. everyone is going through blackberry withdrawal!!!! I miss you guys, love you all.