So, I swear I intended to write while I was in Nicaragua, but I admit I got really busy and neglected my blog. It didn’t help that the WiFi where I was living wasn’t fantastic, but here it is in one post!
Back in March, I started taking the online TEFL course with the International TEFL Academy and completed the online course work in June. I also had to complete 20 hours of Practicum, and just as I was looking into where I could complete the hours, I found out the ITA site in Leon, Nicaragua offered a hybrid class to online students, and I could complete practice hours in Nicaragua. It sounded like a great opportunity so I jumped on it, and on August 24th I flew from Boston to Nicaragua full of anticipation. I returned to the US on September 20th after a very positive experience. I can’t wait to teach abroad after this!
I had a cab ride from Managua (the capital) to Leon, and the driver was nice enough to pull over so I could take a picture of a volcano.
I arrived in Leon and spent the first few days getting to know my classmates. A few of us hiked up Cerro Negro, the youngest and most active volcano in Nicaragua and went Volcano Boarding with the Quetzaltrekkers organization. I was terrible at the actual boarding part, but I still recommend giving it a try if you get the chance. Getting to the top was my biggest accomplishment, and the view from the top was well worth it!
The first full week I got to observe 3 EFL classes and teach my first one (which definitely could have gone better, but that’s to be expected), and then the 4-week students who did their whole study for certification in Leon graduated. The hybrid students get to walk too, so we got to spend the weekend by the beach! After a short ceremony and a day playing at the beach and a pool, some of us rented a house for the weekend. The house had a pool too so despite the lesson planning I had to do for part of the weekend, we managed to have some fun.
Las Penitas, where I went a few times on this trip, is beautiful, but the waves are so strong they are dangerous. My advice, if you go in past your knees watch out with the current, and don’t go in if you’ve been drinking (just in case that may not be obvious). But it’s a beautiful beach to visit, and a very cheap bus ride.
I also took some time to visit the Leon Cathedral, which is free to go into the main Cathedral, and about 30 Cordobas to go to the top (no shoes allowed). It’s absolutely gorgeous and the view from the top is spectacular-bring sunglasses, your eyes will hurt from the white top.
The teaching experience was educational for me, and a really positive one. I hope to find a job abroad soon so I can continue to have more adventures like this!