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Nicaragua: A new journey begins for students at La Bastilla

 

Yes, it  has finally started: the new school year! So the youngsters we told you about in one of the past blogs have left and made space for our students of the Agricultural Technical High School.

While for most of the 2nd and 3rd year students, life at the boarding school is simply returning to an already well-known routine, for 29 it is the beginning of an exciting journey.

Here we are going to give you an exclusive insight into these first two weeks at La Bastilla.

With their machete, wellington boots and blanket in hand, our new students arrived at the school on February 4th. After having been assigned a bed in the dormitories (2 dormitories for boys and 1 dormitory for girls), the first week was spent getting to know the returning students while working in the productive areas.

                                           

                                                                                      

Starting in the 2nd week, both technical classes like Management of plant illnesses, microsurgery in small animals or coffee growing and general education like Maths, Chemistry and Spanish fill up the students’ heads and time.

So far both parts of the education, the practical and the theoretical, have been very well received by the students, and after almost 4 weeks all of them are still keen on learning (and mostly get up at 5am). As part of the coffee growing class, for example, everybody got to visit the coffee processing plant (called ‘beneficio’) – where Nelson gave a step-by-step explanation of how the coffee arrives as the red berry and leaves packed up in sacks as dried (but not roasted) beans.

 

   

Because the teachers here spend 24hours with the students, there is also an evening programme and Prof. Irma is now giving weekly talks on important topics like HIV, positive thinking and the importance of treating each other well.

 

There is obviously not only seriousness on the schedule – a folklore dance group has been assembled who rehearse once a week, one night a week a film is screened, and foot- and volleyball are a daily pastime.

So that the students don’t get bored of the same old faces already so early on in the semester (after all, they see their professors all day long), the first talks and workshops have already been held.

 Agricultural specialists have introduced the student body to the perks of taking a good soil sample, chicks have been vaccinated and their peaks clipped and there is a lot more to come over the next few weeks.

                                         

So you can see, the journey that our students at La Bastilla have embarked on is everything but boring and will over a period of 3 years take them along a bumpy road with ups and downs and moments when they need to be even braver than they have been by leaving their family and staying at a boarding school ; for some, for example, it takes a lot to get used to the size and noise of pigs, for others it is the prospect of injecting chicken and cows or sleeping in a room almost by themselves during their weekend shifts. It is a journey though, that is worth it (see our last blog about Wilmer) and we hope that you are excited to follow their steps; so watch this space for new updates on how everybody at La Bastilla is doing.

                            


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