As would be expected on our last day in Nicaragua, it began in an explosive manner. By explosive, we mean that we had a chance to visit an active volcano. This was part of our tourist day in Nicaragua. The boys trying to get the most out of their experience decided to sprint up to the highest viewpoint at the ridge of the volcano. For returning Brigadistas, the volcano view was immaculate.
Afterward, we travelled to San Juan del Oriente, where we met a world-reonowned artist Pedro in an unassuming village street. There, he explained his pottery techniques while creating several pieces in front of the group using a manual spinning wheel. We then had the opportunity to buy pieces from his gallery, where the brigade nearly cleared out the entire shop.
Then we entered paradise at Laguna de Apoyo that formed from a dormant volcano that caved in. From the moment the brigadistas stepped off the bus they fell in love. We ate, swam, kayaked, and made merry. You continued to see the sense of community in the Brigade as Sarah gave Nigel the last of her hamburger. It didn't stop there, the fun continued all the way to Masaya Market & a traditional Mexican restaurant in Masaya.
Now we find ourselves back at JHC, packing up, reflecting on our amazing experience. That is what we hope to share we you all tonight with our blog post. For Zach, he learned this trip was an opportunity to do more than just service, but learn about the Nicaraguan community, so we can educate others on campus and within our individual communities on the history and current situation in Nicaragua. In addition, the friendships formed here have been an additional blessing. For people like Nigel, even as a senior he is happy to say he has found another group with whom he feels he can be himself around. Not to mention it has served as a full circle experience by returning to the place he came to his freshman year. Kolbe, through both the literal lens of his camera and the figurative lens of service, feels that the the Nicaraguan culture of national pride that transcends pervasive poverty has cemented a potentially life-long interest in the region.
Our adventure in Nicaragua will not end like the breakfast club, instead we are more united country to country, poor to poor, and brigadista to brigadista.