Pour la sixième journée de notre voyage, nous avons eu le plaisir d’aller voir un volcan actif! Nous sommes allées en fin de journée, donc nous avons vu le couché de soleil. Honnêtement, c’était le plus beau couché que j’ai vue de ma vie : les rayons du soleil reflétaient sur la fumée qui sortait du volcan. Les nuages de boucanes était tout rouges, oranges et roses. Voir un volcan actif était vraiment une expérience plaisante et inoubliable, puisque ce n’est pas quelque chose qu’on peut voir n’importe où et n’importe quand. La lave du volcan était orange fluo et c’était vraiment épeurant pour moi parce que j’avais l’impression de frôler la mort, même si on était quand même loin du cratère. Je suis excitée pour la journée de demain, même si c’est la dernière journée que nous allons passer à l’école.
Today was the day that we brought in the 20 pairs of self-adjustable glasses to school. It was tough because when I walked into the room, sitting in front of me were some of our newly made friends. It never even crossed my mind that these smiley, happy new friends of ours could be part of the group that needed our help the most. We sat down and adjusted their glasses one by one, and suddenly one of the kids began to cry. When I asked her why, she said that her eyes weren’t used to it. I told her that her eyes would adjust, and she just looked up at me and said thank you. Sitting with these kids, laughing about how I too could not see when I took off my glasses left me with this feeling of wanting to do more. There is so much left to do to help and I am looking forward trying to find new ways to help our friends from the Diria Institute.
Today was so much fun! Every single day that we are here, we are learning so much. This morning we walked part of the path that Estefania takes every day to get to school. It was out in the country and there were so many animals that had protruding ribs and hip bones. The path was dirty and rundown. Our buddies accompanied us and we were able to really bond with them. Looking at where Estefania lives and finding out she only sleeps 3 hours a night shocked me. It saddened me but it inspired me for she is so strong and perseverant. I hope she goes on to change many lives. We then returned to the school and taught a class. This class ran the smoothest since one of the students was able to understand our broken Spanish. As much as we have been teaching them, they have been teaching us. The kids here are just like us! We have been bonding during breaks with all the students. Today was the day that the students received their self-adjustable glasses. I was privileged to see the look of complete joy and gratitude on their faces when the words that were blurry went clear. Today left me with a feeling that we have done so much and yet so little. There is so much more we all can do. I hope that this project continues for many years to come and changes so many more lives.
After two non-teaching days, I was finally able to get back into the classroom to share my love of science with students. The only difference was that today, the students were four science teachers from schools in the area – one from the Anne Frank School, one from a different school and two from the Diria Institute. My goal was to show the teachers that it is possible to have content-based experiments that make use of readily available, inexpensive materials. Never one to give answers, I had my “students” carry out the experiments and then we discussed ways to alter the experiments based on grade level. We finished up the session working on circuits. As in any classroom, some of the students jumped right in and worked out how to set the circuits up, while other students were more timid and had to be encouraged to just “play”. By the time we finished the session up, the teachers felt more confident with their circuit building abilities and they didn’t want the science sharing session to end. I have promised to go over DNA extraction from bananas and different reaction rate experiments with the two Diria Institute teachers tomorrow morning before classes start. Our time here has flown by and while we have accomplished a lot there is still so much I want to share with my Nicaraguan colleagues. I guess it will have to wait until the next trip in 2020!