Friday, April 15, 2011

Hot times in Nacaragua

George the Younger arrived home from his 8th grade trip this week from Nicaragua.  Before we delve in to both his remarks about the trip, and the photos - - I would like to point out that I am a tad befuddled about why he would complain at all.

I was once in 8th grade.  In them there olden days we took an 8th grade trip.  That's right, "The Junior Historians" hopped on a school bus and drove a couple o' hours to one of the most riveting spots an 8th grader could even think of dreaming of .... Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Home of the lighted map of the famous battle of Gettysburg.  We also made a quick stop in Amish Country for a little current day local flavor.  We went to a farm animal auction.  We did not get on a great big plane.  We did not need a passport.  We did not go some place warm with an ocean.  We piled in to a seat belt-less bus and slept on a gym floor for 2 nights or so.  In the interim days we listened to someone blather on about the civil war.  Whoo-hoo.

George the Younger went to Nicaragua.  This trip was hastily arranged, since the 8th graders have historically headed down to Mexico for this trip.  Given the recent spate of shootings, bus kid-napping with shootings, general in-the-right-place-at-the-wrong-time-shootings, the school (wisely) decided to head somewhere else.  The criteria of the trip was two fold:  Spanish immersion and community service.  We ended up selecting an outfit called "ViviendasLeon: Not Just Travel, Transformation."  A boy oh, boy did they meet those criteria.

George the Younger's main complaint?  "Right when we got there, they made us work!!!"  So much that week on the beach he had imagined....

They stayed with local families in Leon - 2 to 4 in a house - pairing great Spanish speakers with not-so-great Spanish speakers.  George's buddy was Tomas - - they speak Spanish at home.  Guess who was the not-so-great speaker?  Good guess.  George the Younger was ever grateful to have Tomas since the host families did not speak any English, and even if they did, they were instructed not to use it AT ALL.

They spent the better part of the trip...

Digging a foundation

Digging more foundation looking like a secret service man

Making seed "bombs"

Walking near volcanos

Communing with the locals

And yes.......

Going to the beach!!

Thanks to ViviendasLeon for posting photos on FB for all of us parents to enjoy!

Post-Script:  George the Younger is a HUGE fan of burritos.  Strangely, when he returned from Nicaragua at 1:00 in the morning he did NOT request a burrito even though he was "starving!!!"  He requested what nearly every red-blooded American 14 year old would.... McDonalds.  Who knew that you could get a drive through at 1:00 a.m.?????

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