The Unexpected Summer of Realization

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By Nanette

This summer at the crack of dawn I was at SFO International Airport. I was getting ready to board my plan to Nicaragua, but I had no idea how life changing and instrumental this trip would be to my life as I fastened my seatbelt before we took flight.  Before the trip I heard from friends and family members with encouraging smiles and slight fear in there eyes. When they said their goodbyes they followed with “don’t drink the water and keep your money close to you at all times.” These constant reminders from everyone made me more nervous then I initially intended.


4679044562_f00a5c9475_oOn this trip I was with other high school students from the Bay Area through a program called Global Glimpse, who shared the passion of being tomorrows leaders.  I had expedited going through days that were catorigoized as reality challenges. On one particular reality challenge day called “living on a dollar a day” I was the leader of that day.  We went to the outskirt countryside of Nicaragua and spent the day with families in the village.  I was paired with a family of five that lived in a wooden shack with dirt floors and chickens and stray dog running in and out of the house. The mother showed us that morning after the tour of the village how they washed their clothes with a stone and a bar of some sort of laundry cleaner. My friend and I began to do the laundry for the mother outside in the hot sun and couldn’t believe that she did this on a daily bases.  After clipping the dripping wet clothes on the clothesline we joined the mother and her 30-year-old daughter in the kitchen to prepare lunch. The kitchen wasn’t like a regular kitchen but was a stove made out of almost dirt or some sort of clay stone where we heated our homemade tortillas.  After preparing the tortillas we made juice and poured the content into plastic bags instead of cups and packed up the meal. We delivered the meal to the village’s only school so the children could eat. As I passed out the meals I saw pure genuine thankfulness in their eye like I had never seen before in anyone. That was one moment that made me want to make a difference in the world through broadcast journalism and tell the stories that people will never know about.  I returned to the house with daughter and heard stories from her mother about not having shoes until she was 16 years old and how they used a plant for soap.  I met two out of the six siblings she had who live way high up on a hill who raise cattle and are deaf.  She told me that she did not know what Google or New York was.

I never thought this is what I would have experienced among other things this summer like visiting dump where people live and search through the trash to make a living.  I must say I learned a lot during the journey that could fill a novel. However, on that six-week journey I realized I do have the power to make a difference and discovered that journalism is not what I want to do but what I need to do.


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