We started our average morning by waking up at 6:15 for a 6:30 breakfast of pancakes, fresh fruit and eggs. Although we initially divided ourselves into 6 groups of 4, we learned that this was ineffective and switched to groups of 3. Whether we were clipping and tying wires, digging our trench, making cement and “estribos” (square metal pieces that need to be hand bent and fit around the rebar to ensure earthquake resistance), or finishing up the brick walls, we always found ourselves occupied. After five hard days of work, it all seemed to come together as we placed the final brick (may we mention-an hour and a half after we had anticipated being done). This signified to us that not only had we built a brick wall, but rather a new beginning for the citizens of Sonrisa de Dios. With the intense heat, NicaPhoto’s freshly made lemonade motivated us to stay determined and consistent in our grueling workday.
We had a delicious lunch of vegetables, beef, rice, plantains and salad, which kept us going for the next four hours. It was virtually impossible to navigate our worksite without hearing the harmonizing of Adele, singing of show tunes, quoting of movies, and dancing to Dubstep. Overall, the workday was more than successful and it was evident that even the stubborn maestros appreciated our hard work (which let us tell you, is hard to achieve).
After the construction was done for the day, we all (with our amigos) played a soccer match while catching up on our past two days. The smiles of our little amigos never fail to impress us, further emphasizing how much our time and effort really has impacted the community as a whole.
After returning back to the Modulo, we had thought we were done with activities for the day. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the arrival of around twenty “bixis” (which for all of you readers who currently have no idea as to what we are talking about, they are these little tourist bikes comparable to those in New York City). We really got a feel for the town of Nagarote, and got to see some amazing views along the way. At one point we even got the opportunity to climb this tower to see the sunset overlooking the entire town. Also on our tour, we got to see what we were told to be the oldest tree in Nicaragua, with its life span surpassing 1000 years.
After our entertaining tour, we were finally back at the Modulo. We can honestly say that we have never before seen such a stampede for the showers! Until dinnertime, we occupied ourselves with constant games of catchphrase, cards and bananagrams.
We had a delicious dinner, which consisted of French fries, chicken tenders, vegetables, pasta salad, oreo cakesters, strawberry Fanta and some sort of mystery desert (which was actually quite good!)
All in all, we would classify our day as successful, enjoyable, and rewarding. Circle was a great way to discuss our thoughts on the afternoon and the interactions with the locals while sharing our hopes and goals for the project.
Emma and Charlotte