Week six brought about a productive week where we finished off the remaining eco latrines for the week and continued on with our English lessons at the El Pochote School. We now do lessons every Tuesday and Thursday, which is great as both the children and the UK volunteers equally get a buzz out of it. The experience has been so rewarding for some of the volunteers that it has confirmed their feelings towards teaching as a career. Different volunteers take different approaches to teaching their classes, as some volunteers teach much younger children than others, so each lesson can be so different. Some volunteers believe in a clear structure of teaching, while others believe in the organised mess approach to teaching. But the fact remains that each lesson is incredibly rewarding for the children and volunteers.
A typical teaching day for me and Clementine would entail arriving to much fanfare from the smiling children, some are so buzzing they just jump and shout our names! After calming them down, without the reward of sweets, as we have not got to the stage of bribing the children to focus, not yet anyways, we take attendance and then begin with recapping what we did last week. We keep the class as lighthearted and enjoyable as possible by mixing learning with physical activity. We taught the children to play “Simon says”, replacing “Heads, Knees and Toes” with days of the week, numbers and months of the year. The bandana game, a game we ourselves where just only taught at the induction weekend at Ipade, went down a treat. It entails the children learning and remembering a particular word in English, and when the word is called the children race to get the bandana first, prime example of mixing learning and P.E.!
We ended week six with a trek up Masaya volcano, early start, sweaty shirts, smiling selfies and sore legs, just a few things that made a great day and ticked a box off the bucket list for many UK volunteers. We were told beforehand that the trek would take three hours, luckily an hour and a half later we were at the top. The scenery was breathtaking, standing atop “the entrance to hell” as some of the Nicaraguan volunteers dubbed it, was something that the UK volunteers will never forget. Having lunch and chilling with both Nicaraguan and UK volunteers who I have only known for just over two months was a surreal and memorable experience. We were told the views from the dead volcano, just around the corner could rival the image of the active volcano, calling their bluff we followed suit. After witnessing the dead volcano and scaling up its highest peak, what we witnessed was breathtaking. A view for miles around showed us the true beauty of Nicaragua, the sun beginning to go down gave us an amazing opportunity for some great photos and a shared experience of a sunset on the other side of the world next to an active volcano.
Written by ICS volunteer Ryan Coney