Almost every student involved in this year’s trip is a Bonner Leader who is serving in a volunteer capacity at a community site in the Topeka area. The common Bonner experience is playing a significant role in the group’s dynamic, compared to the previous two trips chronicled on this blog.
There is a comfort level and trust built among them that has allowed deep and meaningful conversation, questioning, debating and reflection that is at the heart of what this trip is intended to provide. And it’s just the third day. Watching those bonds strengthen and the discussions deepen is going to be exciting.
Yesterday, after a day of exploring Granada and Las Isletas, most of the group was up and engaged in meaningful conversation into the wee hours of the morning. Breakfast came early today at 7 a.m. and a presentation by Mark Lester, a regional director for the Center for Global Education, grounded everyone in the history of Nicaragua. Soon we will embark on a tour of national historic sites and monuments in the capital city. Today is our last full day in Managua.
The students are journaling and talking about how this experience is challenging their preconcerived notions, their understandings of relative poverty, access, equality and consumerism, among other things. They’re curious about social problems in this country, and at home. They want to be part of the solution and they’re happy to be in this experience together with others who share their passions.