‘degrassi’ nicaragua entry 7: munro chambers journal
On every trip I’ve been on with Me to We, my biggest goal is always to get my hands dirty and leave the work site feeling as though I’ve accomplished something. I want to leave the country knowing I’ve made a contribution to the community.
On our first day in the community of El Trapiche we set to work on two classrooms. Our first project was to dig a trench for a hand washing and drinking fountain station. The trench was probably 50-75 metres long and we couldn’t wait to jump in with our shovels and pickaxes. It was tiring work—Luke, Andre, Ana and I started working from one end of the trench and were just breaking our backs trying to get it done. Everyone worked really hard and we ended up completing two days of work in one afternoon. That was a huge accomplishment and a great bonding experience for our group.
After painting the schools, we then planted avocado, mango, lemon, aloe, and ginger trees, among many other varieties. In particular there was one really big tree that one of the community engineers was so excited to plant. Not only would it add to the beautiful landscape, but it would provide shade and a place for the kids to read, do homework, and play games.
Along with working in the community, we spent some time learning about different areas of Nicaragua. One afternoon we went to a volcano, which ended up being one of my highlights of the trip. I had never seen a volcano before and it was beautiful to say the least. At one point the wind pushed the fog away and you could see down into the volcano and into its depths and different layers. There was something really powerful about looking over and standing beside the edge. Plus it reminded me of Lord of the Rings (so it was pretty epic).
One of the most memorable days was when we went to a coffee plantation in the morning and experienced a huge storm in the community that afternoon. As we were driving to the work site a big thunderstorm hit. The rain was terrifying; I had never heard thunder like that. When we were painting inside the school and the thunder would crack, your body would literally shake. We all started singing songs, rapping, and doing funny things while we were painting. It could have been a really miserable and scary time, but it ended up being one of the most unforgettable and fun afternoons.
The energy of the entire country really left an impact on me. I couldn’t help but notice the bright colours on the buildings and the music that was constantly playing. It was so positive, uplifting and had an amazing vibe. That’s what made the trip so incredible and extraordinary to me.
Don’t miss the special broadcast of ‘Degrassi In Nicaragua’ Thursday, October 3 at 9:30e/6:30p immediately following the fall premiere on MTV!