This week students from the College of New Jersey's Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement are in Nicaragua with a Witness for Peace delegation. This is a direct account from those students.
Right now, it is May 14th at 10:30PM in NJ and I am sitting in the TCNJ Bonner Center writing this blog post. You might think it is a bit unusual for me to be in the Bonner Center at such an obscure time on Saturday Night, but there is a very special reason why I am here tonight. Tomorrow morning at 2:45AM I will embark on my long journey to Managua, Nicaragua.
I am going to Nicaragua as a junior Bonner Community Scholar at The College of New Jersey. Instead of simply going to the country to relax, sit by the pool, and sip on a few drinks, I will be going to witness and live first hand what life is really like in a 3rd world country. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Americas and the Caribbean, behind Haiti. This is all part of the mission of the Bonner Program at TCNJ. Our mission is to help and make better the community and world we live in. Going to Nicaragua will help me to gain a better understanding of what life is like outside the comfort of a rich country and the socio-economic bubble I live in.
While I am sure I will gain much pleasure from the trip, that is not my main purpose. I am going to Nicaragua to "witness" the culture, lifestyle, political atmosphere, and life of the people of this country. I hope to be humbled by the luxuries I am afforded that I never even knew existed.
I am nervous about many things regarding my trip. I have heard many negative reports by others that have gone before me. Sickness, uncleanliness, dangerous situations, etc. have all been described to me by the people who have gone before me. Instead of looking at the worried faces I see on others I tell about my trip, I look at this as a learning experience and an attempt to see first hand what they mean when others portray such worries.
I have a ton more to say but this must suffice for now. I need some rest before my long trip early tomorrow morning. I hope to update everyone following me on this blog as soon as I get a chance! Check back to learn more about my experience.
This post was originally published here.