May 25-26, Wednesday and Thursday
Before Spanish class on Wednesday the students had a 30-minute visit from a Nicaraguan college student, Aldair Ortiz Vasquez, describing his work at a call center for Target credit cards. Students who can speak English can make $500-700 per month, about double the salary of a public school teacher, by working at call centers reached from the U.S. by people needing customer service from various companies.
In the afternoon we met with Juliana Francis Smith from the HURACAN university on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. This region, covering about half of Nicaragua’s land mass, is populated by 6 different ethnic groups composing about 10% of Nicaragua’s population. The ethnic groups have roots in indigenous, African and English cultures.
On Thursday we traveled to the capital, Managua. In a visit to the National Museum students learned about life for the indigenous groups in Nicaragua after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and other historical events. After lunch we went to the campus of the Universidad American College, whose team we would play in the country’s national stadium later in the afternoon. Luis Avellan, representing the Nicaraguan Federation of Baseball (FENIBA in Spanish), described the history of baseball in Nicaragua. The speaker was on Nicaragua’s national team for 15 years and is the coordinator of the country’s minor leagues.
By the time the game started at 3 p.m., temperatures were a sweltering 98 degrees, making today the 2nd-hottest day in the past year.
Coach Alex describes the game:
Despite not being accustomed to the heat, the visitors took advantage of several American College miscues and turned in another dominating pitching performance and solid defense to earn the win. Michael Walker got the start and went 3 innings to earn the win. He scattered 4 hits and surrendered the lone run. Travis Grimm, James Stricker and Blake Collins all turned in scoreless frames to keep the host team at bay. American College had baserunners in each of the 6 innings, but catcher Clinton Stroble helped to take pressure off the defense by throwing out 4 would be base stealers.
The visitors jumped on the scoreboard early in the 1st inning when Austin Rook crossed the plate after reaching via HBP. Cody McCoy then crossed the plate in the 2nd, also reaching safely on a HBP. McCoy also had a part in the 3rd run of the game when he brought in Stroble with an RBI single in the 5th. The play involved a wild sequence where two runners were thrown out at 3rd base on the same play to limit the damage. The Leafs capped off the scoring with two more runs in the 6th inning thanks to a hit batter and three walks.