By Rachel Albrecht
Our last day of working today! It was not quite so busy, but we had a lot of work to sort and pack our equipment and supplies. Our final count (drumroll please…)… 501!!!! A strong showing by an incredible team! Tomorrow… Granada!
by Mckenzie Shappell
Another brief drive from city center has on a small hill overlooking Matagalpa. At about eye level, maybe a quarter mile away, the city Cathedral rises like some strange submarine out of the sea of green trees and red tin roofs that surround it. From here, the mountains impose themselves on our view of the sky and fail to excuse themselves as the clouds are forced to divert their steady path westward across the otherwise azure blue. The wind blows intermittently but with gusto and again saves us from the heat that an overzealous mid-American sun might otherwise subject us to.
Centro Escolar is a study in the efficient use of space. Essentially constructed on a retaining wall over the road twenty feet below, it somehow manages to encompass a peninsula of concrete courtyard, clinging precariously to the edge of this cliff and wearing a skirt of chain link fence fringed with plastic Nicaraguan flags, all frayed and beaten by the wind. On its landlocked edge, the school is comprised of two small academic buildings with three classrooms each, and a smaller front building that is divided into two small office spaces. Like all Nicaraguan schools, it too stands out brilliantly from the hillside, wrapped as it is in its royal blue and band of pearly white.
The work day was shorter than usual, today being our last day here, but we put in an effort, making use of what space we could find and perfecting a precision use of duct tape to channel our visitors to and fro. As with the last two days, today’s work culminated in several games of unregulated soccer, the final one of which resulted in Jordan falling and hurting his ankle. He asked for this particular inclusion in today’s blog.
After a bracing farewell dinner at La Vita e Bella and Luna Flora (split groups with a small entourage trying out the local Indian fare), we will pack up and prepare for the early morning trek to Granada, our last stop on this Central American adventure. The weather in Granada promises sweltering heat and suffocating humidity. By the end of our time there the frigid wasteland of the winter Midwest may be exactly what we need… at least, for a moment or two.