Thursday, March 21, 2013

Take Flight Day Two: Me and My Shadow!

By Nicky, Dejah, Lola & Kaden

Me and my roommate Kaden woke to the sound of a tap tap tapping at our door that was the wake up call. We quickly got dressed and rushed to breakfast where there were plates of eggs, fruit, toast, pancakes, yogurt, cereal, and the best thing on the menu: the traditional Nicaraguan food gallo pinto (or rice and beans). We had a half hour to converse and eat, and then we hopped on the bus and our loyal driver Don Pablo took us to ANS: the American Nicaraguan School.

When we arrived at the gate it appeared as a hotel and less of a school it was flooded with palms and had a massive courtyard: 26 total acres. Upon arrival we were paired up with the ANS ambassadors, aka our “buddies” and Lola, Kaden, me (Nicholas) and Hannah introduced ICS to ANS.  They were very polite people who took us to their classes. 

Some people were taken to English, Latin American history, art, enrichment, technology, math, science, and P.E. The classes were  interesting and were full of information. My favorite class was math where we learned about tessellations. The math teacher, Ms. Rhonda Swarcose, explained it very well (take a hint Tr. Rich). Lola learned about addiction and recovery in one class. Gabby learned some new Spanish phrases, and Dejah learned how to layer with watercolors in art class.

We noticed that ANS was very different from ICS. First of all, ANS had a soccer and track field, a large pool, a food court, and had the largest library in Nicaragua. ANS also had a lot of subjects/classes. Some of their classes are different from ours, like Latin American History, Enrichment, art and music. Some of us went to 8th grade classes, where they were studying US history.

Once it was time for lunch we received 5 US dollars and were sent to the food court. There were many places to choose from like Subway and my favorite, Moon River Burrito. Most of the students chose Moon River Burrito and about half of them chose a simple plate of chicken fingers and french fries. We paid in American money but received change in a hard to pronounce word, cordobás, and ate our lunch. During lunch we were greeted by not only the ANS students but the school pet Gummy the cat. We then went on to our buddies’ next class. For Lola it was English where we watched documentaries about addiction and Kaden’s buddy had a math quiz (BORING again, take a hint Tr. Rich) so Kaden got to use a laptop when his buddy was stuck with a quiz.

After 5th period Lola, Kaden, the twelve other travelers, and their buddies were supposed to go to reflect and debrief on the day but Lola and her buddy forgot so they went to science class for 10 minutes. A teacher then came in and took them to where they were supposed to go. Oops! At our debrief, we talked about the similarities and differences between ANS and ICS. We also played A Cold Wind Blows, and a bunch of people had to stand up and sing and dance.

After the last bell rang we said goodbye to our ANS partners and met the magnificent Don Pablo. He took us back to the hotel where we swam in the hotel’s pool. We swam for about an hour and a half then Tr. Kate and Tr. Steve told us that it was time to get ready to go out for dinner. Delicioso! (Spanish for delicious in case you didn’t know).

The magnificent Don pablo picked us up and over the course of about 5 minutos (that’s Spanish for minutes) we arrived at our destination, La Cocina de Dona Haydee (that means the kitchen of Dona Haydee) and ate something called a caballo bayo. The caballo bayo is when you taste a little bit of some of the many original Nicaraguan dishes. While we were waiting for our food a singer came in and sang a few traditional Nicaraguan songs. Our food finally arrived and we tried a few platters including delicious pork, chicken, salad, beans, and cheese.

In the middle of our meal we heard drums and peeked out the window to find what looked like a giant lady and Tr. Kate explained that it was La gigantona, a Nicaraguan folk tale. La gigantona is a bunch of little boys dressed up like a giant lady and a giant headed midget. A lot of us went outside to watch. We were surprised to find the boys come out of their costumes but only to ask for money. At about 8:15, 10:15 in American time, the magnificent Don Pablo came and took us back to our hotel. When we got back we changed and gathered around for our nightly debrief. After the nightly debrief we all walked away having learned not to take what we have for granted and to take into consideration that not everyone has what we consider normal. We’ll blog tomorrow.

With love,
           Lola, Kaden, Dejah, and Nicky

See the Day Two slideshow here!


  1. Hi Kaiana it is alberto let me know how you are doing and the flora in your ipod is up in the stars.

  2. P.S. daddy said they ddddeeeeaaaadddd!

  3. Hey Hunni,
    Day 2 looked like lots of fun! Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone. Hope you are having a great time! Keep blogging and we will too!

  4. Lola!!! Wow, what a school!!! Everything is so bright and colorful in the photos, and you all look equally as vibrant. We here at home couldn't be more green over those pool pics! Haha!! JELL. Keep up the good times and many thanks to the teachers.

  5. Hi....Prettygirl Dejah,
    It's Mom-Mom Robinson, glad to see and hear you are there and having a great time (smile). We miss you (smile).

  6. Ummm.... the slideshow's not working...

  7. What a wonderful post! It looks like you all had a fantastic time at ANS. Is Dejah ready to transfer after her watercolor class? Keep the posts coming!

  8. Hi Macho!!!
    I am loving the pictures!!!! Papa Dios's
    markers are working overtime. Gald to see
    your having a great time. Poor ChaCha is wondering where her Humie is, yesterday
    she just sat there with her chin on that colorful expandy ball looking around with
    those sweet eyes of hers. Enjoy your day.
    Mucho bendiciónes.
    Love u, lv u, lv u
    mom-ie :)

  9. That day was totally the best last year! :)

  10. Wow Dejah, this is quite interesting. Pretty watercolors....I'm happy to see you having fun. The food sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. This from Dejah's Aunt Vanessa

  11. Love all the pictures!! The pool pics, the beautiful restaurant with the self serve buffet dinner, the watercolor masterpiece, and the breakfast table! Macho did you eat rice and beans for breakfast? :-D

    Love, Madrina

  12. Hi Tilly the pics are awesome love u aunt TT

  13. I know you're enjoying some the food Tilly because i'm always cooking it for you and your mom. The pictures are lovely....keep enjoying.

  14. Hey Tilly,

    It looks like you guys are having a blast by the pictures. I know you are enjoying yourself in the pool (waterboy). Don't eat too much.

    love you much


  15. Jackie Hill (Guest)
    March 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Awesome to hear that you took flight! I pray that you have an exciting and interesting experience.

    Big hugs from Philly and all of us back home supporting your decision on a chance of a lifetime trip!

    You rock! SO PROUD. Check back in on you another time, until then, God bless and keep you!

    Jackie, Bennie, Quintin and Joseph

  16. Well guys I woke up today and I was like "wow today would be an excellent day to watch FBDO (if you don't know what that is, ask Nicky) on Netflix with my friends!" and then I realized you guys are all in Nicaragua. Ha. Well anyway life here is boring as usual. I haven't left the house once today, but that's fine by me. Hope you're having fun, the pictures look cool. Aaliyah needs to get in more pictures ASAP! OK, well that's all for now. See you soon,
    Your extremely bored friend,
    PS- Did you tell Karla hi for me?

  17. Sitting here listening to Au Cinema by Lianne La Havas thinking of you Dej. Mom-Mom is watching Faith and Marc today and your room is finally clean! Let's see how long Fay keeps it that way!!!!!!
    Now I'm rocking to Forget :), your Zune is quietly waiting for you to return next week :) but wanting you to enjoy your time away...can't wait to see who blogs next :)
    We LOVE you!!!!!!!!!Missing you more than I thought but happy you are where you are :)

  18. Leslie Brown-BookerMarch 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM


  19. Principal KristenMarch 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Hi Everyone,

    This post is beautifully written! The pictures are awesome as well. I wish I could have said good bye to everyone, but my daughter was sick. I am so jealous of all your wonderful experiences! What is the school's principal like? Did you meet her or him? Tell the principal that your principal said hola! I look forward to reading more and looking at more beautiful pictures. You are all amazing, brave, bright, and lovely people and I am so happy that you're representing ICS!

    Pr. Kristen

  20. Hey Tr.Kate!

    Really why didn't you just let me come along!? It looks like you guys are having much fun and isn't ANS just amazing?! I can't wait tell you guys go shopping!
    Well keep on having fun because this is just 1 out of many other trips that you would enjoy.
    When you see some of the ANS students again tell our buddies we say hi and that we miss them.
    Adios and enjoy the food!!!! (isn't it just amazing)

  21. Hey Kaden I can tell you are having a good time there.Did you go to the store and get something cool and did you take any cool pictures?I wish I was there with you to explore everything.From your coolest brother Raven.

  22. Hola Take Flight-ers!

    How exciting to read about your adventures. Thank you so much to today's bloggers for sharing them with us! ANS sounds like 26 acres of scholarly paradise and the Magnificent Don Pablo seems to be quite a character.

    I wonder what kinds of similarities and differences you discussed at your nightly debrief? I wonder what kinds of challenges and victories you all are experiencing in terms of communicating in Spanish? Of course I *had* to ask you that, being your proud (former)Spanish teacher =)

    I am so proud of you all and so excited to hear more about your experiences. Keep up the good work!

    Ma. Kate (Marquez)

  23. Hi Dejah, I'm glad you all arrived safe & sound. It seems that your having a great time. Take loads of pics. The slide show did not work. Be safe & have fun. Love, XO Aunt Diane

  24. Hi mi Linda,
    Me encanto verte en la piscina..... Trying new things and meeting new people am very excited for you and all of your friends....
    Everyone says hi and that they miss you and can't wait till your return so you can personally tell them about your new adventures in another country.....

    Love you ka

  25. Hi shanice we miss you. Naja said hi.... I saw some very nice pictures that someone posted. It look like yall are having a good time.

  26. Bloggers, enjoy your trip. Can't wait to give share how I feel about your lovely comments about me when I see you next...

  27. Nickkkkk!
    We want to see pictures of Gummy!!!!

  28. Oh, and you too! Lots of snaps of you

  29. Hola to my beautiful niece Kaiana. I'm so very proud of you. It looks like you all are having a fabulous time. May God keep you and all of your traveling mates.
    Peace, joy and love,
    Tia Marilyn

  30. Hey Panchito,
    It's me your FATHER. I've read that they had RICE and BEANS on the you menu. I'm going to see if I can convince MOMMY to make us RICE and BEANS with an egg omelet for breakfast when you get home!!!! I'm sure you'll LOVE that. Forget the Pork Roll or bacon. RICE and Bean Ohhhhh YEAAAAAA!!!!!!
    Just finish watching Shark Tank but it wasn't as enjoyable without you. But we can always catch up on On Demand :)
    God Bless
    signing off
    Nano Nano