By Maddie Cloran
Greetings once again from Escuela de Español Colibrí! It’s been a Spanish-practicing, organic, activity-filled week at school and we have been having so much fun continuing to explore the city of Matagalpa. Here at the school, we’ve been practicing our Spanish skills while immersing ourselves in the Nicaraguan culture. Every day this week after class and a lovely home-cooked lunch, we participated in an activity to help us get to know the city of Matagalpa.
We started off our week by experiencing first hand the process of coffee making, followed by a tasting where we were required to smell, taste and then spit. Hanna was even lucky enough to win a complimentary bag of the delicious coffee! Tuesday we dove into the social issues in both Matagalpa and Nicaragua surrounding women’s rights. Odelba, a local feminist and staff member at Escuela de Colibrí, gave us an eye-opening lesson on the history of feminism and the realities that Nicaraguan women have to face in their everyday lives including cat-calling, domestic violence and femicide.
The following day, to lighten the mood and get our hands busy, we participated in a cooking class and made some delicious fried Nicaraguan pastries with a homemade hot brown sugar sauce. While Chloe and Paige goofed off taking silly photos, Annie, Grace and Eliott took charge in the kitchen flipping the pastries to a perfect crisp. On Thursday while half of the group recuperated, the rest decided to take a walk through a traditional cemetery with our guides from Colibrí.
All throughout the week, whenever nature called, we would all use the school’s unique toilet system. There were two different types; a compost toilet that turned our feces and urine into fertilizer for the plants at the school, and another seemingly normal toilet which actually transformed the fumes from our excretions into gas that can be used to cook with. Now I know this may sound strange, but we were guaranteed that the process was entirely sanitary and thus far have only experienced clean, fresh and delicious healthy food.