Friday, April 10, 2009


Perspectives. We all have them and they are all different.

Last weekend I went with some friends to some islands on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. As many of you may have heard me say before the Atlantic coast is like a different country. There are a lot more darker skinned Nicaraguans and Spanish is not the primary language. The east coasters speak a Creole English. The English they use is sometimes hard to understand but very fun to listen to. While many of them speak English I also learned through making friends with Jenny at the corner store that they had Spanish classes too while they were in school. Although not everyone speaks both. I often found myself confused as to what language I should speak. I would start a sentence in Spanish because that is what I am accustomed to and then end in English because I wasn't sure they were understanding me.

This was a neat experience. Aimee, Kate and I went on a walk up to a look out one morning and we passed by a school. I was amazed by the things I saw on the walls in the classrooms. It appeared that learning was really taking place. After seeing so many Nicaraguan classrooms that are sterile environments filled with caos and lots of confusion it was encouraging to see. While learning is a definite positive thing not all learning is correct. Here is the sign that was on the door to one of the classrooms. What do you think it says?

Can you read it? Welcome to Second Grade! I am pretty sure that this teacher has taught her class that this is the correct spelling. There were several other things on the wall in the classroom that indicated that this was the case. Now, while one could get hung up on the fact that these students are learning how to write and read English incorrectly I have to say that I am happy that they are actually learning to read and write at all. There are many others who will not have the same opportunities as these kids. While it may not be the best at least it is something.

Seeing this sign further motivates me to help Nicaraguan teachers learn more and be more effective in their classrooms. They have such limited time to impact the lives of their students not only academically but spiritually and emotionally too.

Here are some other pictures from the beautiful Atlantic coast as well.