After a jam-packed day we are finally at our headquarters for Witness for Peace. Today we started off with an AWESOME breakfast (the food here is pretty amazing) and received an introduction to our Witness for Peace leaders. After, we went to Tiscapa Park. Its significance lays in the fact that it was the location of where the Somoza family mansion once stood. The Somoza family is important in understanding of Nicaraguan history because for a long time their dictatorship lead to one of the hardest, impoverished times. It was daunting knowing that the grounds we stood on were once a site of torture. The location served as memory of the start of revolution lead by Sandino. Initially, this seems rather dense attempting to figure out the implications for a country not all of us are familiar with. After performing skits to better understand this history, it was easier to grasp. It will be exciting to see how much this effects present day Nicaragua.
The most exciting part of this day was going to a local open air market. We broke up into groups and were challenged to buy enough food for a day on the wages of a determined worker who had a family of six. This market was not your typical Safeway. With live iguanas, meat being butchered in front of us, and trying our best to barter with locals in a foreign language (hopefully not overpaying too much, especially not being familiar with the going rate for Yucca roots) we definitely had a better perspective on how difficult it is to live on a day to day salary. We directly followed by visiting the nicest mall in Nicaragua, full of American designer stores. We really evaluated what the American dream is and if this is applicable to other countries as well. The conclusions differed greatly and our perspectives really allowed a thoughtful dialogue.
Finally, we ended up at the Revolutionary Plaza, a park in the heart of Managua. It was culturally rich, with lots of construction commemorating individuals who served major parts in Nicaragua’s revolution. We stood before a massive cathedral in ruins, a relic of the bustling, old Nicaragua before the 1972 earthquake which rendered it uninhabitable. The square juxtaposed modern heroes while still remembering the past. Simply put, it was beautiful. Along the way, we made friends with two young boys and may or may not have engaged in a rather intense water fight with them.
We are sitting hot and sweaty competitively playing Catch Phrase looking forward to what tomorrow brings. More than anything, the resounding laughter of so many friends chorused by the buzzing cicadas makes us want to end it here and now to enjoy the fun!!
- Hannah and Sarah
PS: If Danny and/or Kyle’s mom are reading this, they love you and miss you very much and told us specifically to include this on our post!