I went on a school trip to Nicaragua this summer. Honestly, I felt that it was going to be worse than I had imagined. Boarding the plane, with 14 people I didn’t know, 9 from my school, and leaving my family, my country, for three weeks seemed like an impossible goal. But I made it, and through the common, blood, sweat, and tears, I landed back in the US, proud to be an American, and with a good outlook on life.
I must admit, it was a struggle. When we first arrived in Managua, Nicaragua, the capital, it was hot! And my surroundings so deeply reminded me of Mexico, where my dad’s from. We took a long bus ride to Leon, the city where we resided, for three weeks. I was scared after my friends in the US said things like “Be careful,” or “Isn’t there a war down there?” But I found it to be one of the most simplistic, loving community. They had values, something I felt we have lost in the US. They were culturally involved, something we take for granted in the US. And they were respectful, something hard to come upon anymore in the US.
I’d be lying if I said the whole trip was fantastic. Well, overall it was the best experience I will probably recieve, but some things ticked me off. I mean, with 23 teenagers stuck in a house together for the majority of the trip, things can get irritating. Even though we had some problems, we became responsible mature adults. We dealt with our problems and set guidelines to follow. We pulled through it as a team.
One of the greatest moments was teaching students English. I felt so helpful and I was so proud of myself for making a difference. Maybe that wasn’t it, one of the greatest moments was playing soccer with Nicaraguens. Or maybe swimming with them, climbing a volcano, feeding the unfortunate, fixing a school, talking with US diplomats, dancing, shopping, eating, singing, sleeping, dreaming, helping. All of this was just too good to be true, and yet, I lived it.
Sure, I cried sometimes, about why I couldn’t help more? Why this country was so poor? How come I’m so lucky? Why don’t students in the US appriciate school as much? Why did I come here? But I found myself being ignorant, becasue all that time I spent crying, I didn’t think about what I was going to do when I got home.
The plane ride back home was tense, and anxious. We were all emotionally, mentally, and physically tired. When we saw the gleaming lights of San Francisco out the window, all of our faces began to gleam. We were happy to be back, and happy to finally see our family again. But then, we began to cry. We were going to miss each other, and it was hard to let go of the person you were hugging. But little did we know, this trip changed us so much because we probably see each other every weekend. I didn’t go to Nicaragua to make friends, but I ended up with 14 new ones.
I am so determined to become that lawyer I always wanted to be. I want to become successful, and when I was wealthy, go back to Nicaragua, and change more lives, fix another school, play some more, sponser kids to go to school, and be what I truly want to be in life: A loving, moral, human being; with values, respect, and culture. It made my life.
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