The first two days of my internship with Outreach360 have been amazing! We have been learning a variety of teaching strategies and all about zoom (see picture below). Teacher Coco has been a great instructor and leader for our group, as she has about a decade of experience in Nicaragua. The other volunteers are from all around the United States including Alaska, Illinois, Washington, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. These first two days of training have provided me with the skills I need to carry out the rest of these four weeks.
Since there has been no interaction with the students just yet (first classes are later today), I saw this as a perfect opportunity to share about my last experience with this organization in the Dominican Republic (DO). During the week of March 2nd, 2019, Lebanon Valley College’s international service trip took off to Monte Crisiti, DO. This was the second cohort of students from the college to go in the spring due to the amount of interest (awesome). My classmates and I pulled our suitcases through the snow covered sidewalks to the bus and before we knew it, we landed at Puerto Plata International Airport. Training right after getting some sleep made the day go by so fast on Sunday and gave us great tools to use throughout the week. But what I didn’t expect was then how fast the week went.
Each day was filled with activities and adventure. In the mornings, groups would head off to three different elementary schools in Monte Cristi to teach introductory English. This was a full language immersion experience and very unique to the area, and would eventually provide opportunity for students to further their education. The afternoons were spent in the Outreach360 learning center, in which I was a Spanish instructor for roughly five students each day. In these sessions we would work on grammar and critical thinking skills while reading. I miss the days where we would get the children learning ‘Poco a Poco’ or ‘little by little’ through the learning center programs. Some students have progressed through Outreach360’s program to pursue additional schooling at a University in the Dominican Republic. These scholarly and dedicated students often come back to help the Outreach360 program by becoming volunteers themselves. The ideals behind living a life of choice and inspiring others pursue additional opportunities is the foundation of the organization. I’m so excited to continue on with this program and continue fostering additional opportunities to learn in Nicaragua. Below are some pictures from the DR and in some of the schools we taught in.
I have my first classes today with new student in Nicaragua, and I can’t wait to meet all of them and learn about science with them! It’s going to be a great four weeks!