Monday, April 16, 2012


A stereotype is an oversimplified, but widely held view of what a whole group of people is like, or a characteristic that they have. Because it is a view that is so simplified, and can often be hurtful, stereotyping can lead to assumptions, as well as bias. Bias is a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or is based on limited experience.

For this week's blog prompt, please respond to the following THREE questions. Each question should be a new paragraph (skip a line).

**As always, don't forget to compose in a google document and proofread for CUPS before posting!

1.  Stereotypes Write a paragraph about a group or groups you belong to and a stereotype you experience as a member of that group. What stereotypes have you faced and how have they made you feel? Where do you think these stereotypes come from?

2.  Watch the video, "I Have To Deal With Stereotypes" below and react to the following questions.
  • Give examples of the Asian stereotypes that bother and amuse Kevin.  
  • What evidence does Kevin offer that combats these stereotypes?

3.  Read the Wikipedia entry on East Asian Stereotypes (click here) and respond to the following questions:
  • Describe and react to at least two of the stereotypes described.  What is the stereotype and what does it make you feel, think, wonder...?). 
4. Bonus Question (5 points): Post your Just Because poem (in a separate comment). Include clear stanza breaks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hasta Pronto Nicaragua!

By Kai, Charles, and the sleepy airport crew

Later that same monday we went to a fritanga. Most of you guys have seen street vendors on the corner selling their treats and such, well a fritanga is like a giant one of those. Once again we had a choice of three meats: pork, chicken, and beef. We ate at the tables provided in the area and this was one of the restaurants that we could not get reservations for so you ate at a free table and some people didn't necessarily get to eat with all of their friends. The fritangas were really cheap and we spent way less than we had planned so the teachers took us to a nearby super market and we got to get ice cream pops.

The next day we woke up bright and early and went to La Laguna de Apollo. La Laguna de Apollo is a volcanic crater lake that gets fed from underground, it was really big and the water was really blue. There we went swimming and had a load of fun. We also got a chance to go in inter tubes to float just float around and have fun. After our adventure at the laguna we went to a nice restaurant. Once again we were offered the same choices; beef, pork and chicken. The meat was served on a steaming hot plate with a side of plantains and rice beans. After we were done eating we went to go buy things at the market. They had bracelets, necklaces and all sorts of arts and crafts for us to buy for our family. We had our last meal together in Nicaragua inside the market, it was Caballo Bayo style. We had our last meeting then, wrote letters to our selves that the trip leaders will later send to us, we woke up the next morning at 4:30. 

Which leaves us now writing in the airport back to Philly summing up the days events. Most of the students said that they are sad to go but it will be nice to go back home and sleep in their own beds. But something better that all the kids said was that they are ready to come on back to Nicaragua. I guess it is just the way the people acted and the sense of community that always seemed to be in the atmosphere. Thank you to everyone who helped us to broaden our view of the world, to see a different country, and to see how exceedingly privileged we are. On behalf of the whole Take Flight crew, we thank you all for helping us experience life in another culture and for following our travels on the blog.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Hard Day of Work

By Logan and Eamon

The first time we went to Chacocente we delivered desks funded by ICS and ANS and had a field day with both students from both ANS and Chacocente. Today we went back to Chacocente to do some hard labor for the community. It was a very interesting experience. When we arrived they were in the process of building a new restroom for the school with running water and flushing toilets. There was only one toilet in the whole project that had a flushing toilet and that was in the house of the coordinator of Chacocente, Juan Carlos. Every other bathroom was a latrine, which is basically a hole in the ground. Before we started the day everyone from Chacocente and ICS gathered around and greeted each other, thanking each other for either the experience or the help. Afterwards, the boys, Tr. Anthony, and a few kids from the project started to play a quick game of soccer, while the girls got straight to work and started painting metal support columns red lead by our bus driver who jumped right into the mix, Don Pablo. 

After a while, Omar, the delegations coordinator, came to give us a tour of the entire community. On the tour we saw eight houses, a store, the well, and the school. During the tour we also saw various plants and animals such as pineapple bush, cinnamon tree, and a cashew tree (each fruit makes only one cashew). We also saw many chickens, cows, horses, birds, and DOGS. We were all fascinated when Omar told us that the families built their own houses with the help of volunteers. Each house was different in its own way. The way the houses looked or things the house was decorated with. The way the families got their water was from a well that was 600 hundred feet deep. It cost 45,000 thousand dollars which was donated by a church in Texas. We also got to tour one of the houses which was considered the white house because Juan Carlos owned the house. The way his house was different was that he built a porch, had cable, television, and also a flushing toilet.

After the tour we began working on helping build the restroom at the school. There were three different stations to work at. The three different stations were making support beams, moving cinder blocks, or shifting sand for the cement. Each station was brutal. At the sand shifting station the sun was beaming down on everyone, the sand got into peoples eyes, we had to lift shovels of sand, and the sand changed the color of our skin by making it darker and dirty. There was heavy lifting involved in the cinder block moving. The pile of blocks seemed 10 feet high. Everyone from the project were helping out by building the foundation or doing the same thing we were doing. In the middle of the work Cullan’s buddy from ANS showed up to help. The families cooked us a traditional Nicaraguan lunch with chicken, rice and beans, fried plantains, and watermelon. We sat on the floor in the special lunch room for visitors.  

After lunch we had a little break time to do whatever. The boys went to play soccer with some boys from Chacocente. There was also a little market hosted by the families with a bunch of little things such as bracelets and bags. We started to work again after the break and everyone was filthy and tired from a half day of work. We still had about half the mountain of cinder blocks remaining, so everyone stopped what they were doing to help the people at the cinder block station complete the task before we left. Once everyone started to work we got about twenty blocks from point A to point B in a minute. And after forty five minutes we had gotten all of them to one side of the school. We then said our goodbyes to the families or what they like to say, “see you later” and we gave hugs to everyone, a tradition for visitors to Chacocente.

Throughout the day we all realized that even though we got all hot, dirty, and sweaty we all did a great thing to help out the families. They thanked us for helping them,  but honestly we all want to thank the families at Chacocente for letting us have this chance to help them, and just for being so open to us. They all stayed strong through the rough times and because of that they are all kind hearted people. After helping the families it changed the way everyone thinks from Take Flight.  Not all of us do hard labor volunteering, but after seeing the smiles on the families’ faces when they thanked us, we all felt it was worth the sweat and the work. This whole trip has been a life changing experience for both the teachers and the students.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mombacho Revealed!!!

Royalti. Yesterday the Take Flight group and I woke up with excitement because Sunday was the day we were going up the Mombacho volcano to take a hike around the crater and canopy in the trees (zip line)!!!!!!! Before we set on our journey, the owner of the hotel told us about some legends about the jungle. There was a village of indigenous people who lived on the mountain, but there was a cave in that killed many of them. And the legend is if we took pictures in a certain cave in the volcano, images of people who weren’t in our group would appear. There was another where it says if we tried to take fruit or animals out of the jungle, we would get lost and never find out way out!  On our way up the mountain we stopped by a coffee shop where Tr. Kate explained to us that it was actually a coffee plantation nearby so that was probably the best coffee we were going to get in Managua. Naturally all the boys sprung to get some.  During the hike around the crater we saw lots of greenery and even more bugs. A very interesting thing happened on this hike of ours. Tr. Anthony and MyKyah strayed from the group, later we find out that a friendly monkey tackled MyKyah and Tr. Anthony was freaking out while she remained very calm. I guess it had something to do with the monkey socks she was wearing that day...

MyKyah's Monkey

Sabine: The most exciting event of the day was the cloud forest tour.  There was a course of seven zip lines that we had an amazing time riding.  We were between twenty-five and thirteen meters in the air for each line.  Some of the line were horizontal and we rode the line from platform to platform.  Another was more of a swing that we were strapped to and swung across.  That particular one was a surprise because the tour guide pushed us off of the platform as he was speaking so that we were shocked when we were suddenly dangling in mid air.  The grand finale was a thirteen meter repel down the side of the tree.  We trusted our lives to our tour guide named Eric.  Thank you Eric for not letting us die.  We appreciate that.  

Ziplining (or telephone pole repairing) here we come!

Ahmirah: While we were swinging around in the jungle, we saw a huge variety of plants, trees, and insects.  The bugs were so loud we could barely hear each other speak!  We saw epiphytes.  Epiphytes are plants that take root on the branches of trees.  There was a beautiful garden on the ground AND in the air.  When our peers were swinging and sliding in the air to the next platform, we each cheered them on and supported them. We had heavy gear on and wore hard helmets, which Tr. Lacey proved can still be pulled off. While we were getting ready to jump off for each zipline, the instructors just threw us all off expecting us to fend for ourselves. But overall, the zipline was fun and a great experience for everyone.

Charles: After the adventures on the mountain we went to a restaurant called Mi Viejo Ranchito. There we all had a Nicaraguan dish called Quesillos with plantains. The Quesillos were basically tortillas with cheese on top of it with some type of sauce on it. Sadly nobody really liked it, but the dessert was amazing. We had tres leche and flan de coco. The tres leche was a slice of cake soaked in milk with some sort of topping, and the flan de coco was like coconut custard.

***P.S. Tr. Rich, even though you are so many miles away it’s crazy how I still miss your crazy and sometimes mean comments. I miss not being able to mess with you inside and outside of class, and even not seeing your face and your bald head. And Royalti and Eamon say “hi” (Eamon says he’s kidding)

Sabine:  How are the Littlest Pet Shops behaving?***

Mystery During our last meeting we were trying to solve each other’s murder mysteries so I, Royalti, thought I’d share one mystery with you.

There was an old lady who started a diet against the recommendation of all her friends and family. She made pet owners in her neighborhood very nervous. No one knows why she ate the first one but she died by the time she ate the last one. What did she eat?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mombacho Sneak Peak!

What a day! Our student bloggers are all tucked in, but they will deliver our full report tomorrow. Expect to hear about ghosts, a monkey surprise, and 100% participation on over eleven canopy ziplines! Incredible.

Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments - we read them aloud each day after every evening meeting - your words of encouragement and support mean so much!