Yesterday evening Norwich was visited by an organization from Vermont that centered around Nicaragua called "Planting Hope."
Their organization description is:
"Planting Hope envisions global equity, sustainable growth and mutual understanding through the exchange of social, cultural and material riches of Nicaragua and the U.S. Our mission is to enchance educational opportunities, support grassroots initiatives and foster cultural exchanges in Nicaragua and the U.S. Vermont-based, non-profit organization, Planting Hope, has helped hundreds of Central Vermont students and familes to experience life in another country, through their Service Learning Trips to Nicaragua."
At this event, we were introduced to all of the Planting Hope staff, and began the fun evening with native Nicaraguan dances. The dances were so incredibly fun, and I was pulled onto the dance floor three times by two of the staff members. After the presentation of the native dance, we were taught Salsa, Bachata, Cumbia, and Merengue. It was so interesting to see how different those dances were compared to how they are learned in American Ballroom dancing. While I was learning Salsa and Bachata, I could see some similarities, but not many.
In the program every attendant was given, there were bios of every Planting Hope Staff member. By reading the bios, you can infer who speaks English very well and who does not. The ages of the staff members ranged from 19-32. My boyfriend, who is taking advanced Spanish at Norwich, hosted the 19 year old. It was very fun to ask him questions and tell him about how I am slowy, but efficiently learning his language. His name is Milton Armas and he is a junior in high school, which is very impressive considering that he was working in construction before he joined Planting Hope.
I believe that they are leaving America soon. The founder of the organization said that they spend half of the year in America, and the other half in Nicaragua. If I had the money, I would without a doubt go on the "Tropical Nicaragua" trip in February 2015.
This event had to of been the most fun out of anything I've attended while at Norwich. I hope they return soon with more dances, and maybe my senior year I can be hosting a member of the organization!