As we head into our second full week with the students, most are starting to settle into a daily routine. A typical day begins with breakfast with the family between 7 and 8 and then they are off to school by either walking or taking a micro bus, which is basically a Mitsubishi van rigged to hold around 15 people…and sometimes more J After gathering for a bit of a check in at the school, the students then divide into their Spanish classes and work with their teachers from 9 till 11:45.
We were very happy to once again have Doña Mirna, Don Ramón and Don Rene as our teachers. They have done very well with the students in the past and we are already hearing compliments from both teachers and students. Doña Mirna works with our two highest level students while the other students are divided between Don Ramon and Don Rene.
Once class lets out, the students have until 1:15 to find something to eat and make their way across town to UCNA for afternoon lecture. The restaurants are sprinkled through out the city and around the parque central (central park). It’s been fun to listen to the students talk about the new places they are discovering or locations they are trying out. Even though Jinotepe is a rather small city, we too find that we are discovering new places each day.
Lectures run from 1:15 to 3:15 and cover a range in topics from Nicaraguan history and politics to arts and literature to environmental programs or concerns. We have only had three lecturers so far, but each one has given us a better and deeper understanding of Nicaragua. In addition to the lectures, the students have a text on Nicaraguan history and a course book, which is a collection of articles that expand upon the topics covered by the speakers. The students are then tested once a week over what they have heard and read.
After class, the students have a bit of free time to hang out or grab a quick snack before heading back to their host families for more conversation and dinner. While this is a typical week, many weeks are sprinkled with field trips or overnight excursions. Our next trip will take us to the East Coast for five days starting on Thursday of this week. Due to this trip and the lack of readily available wi-fi you may not see another update until we get back.
Jen and Lisa