By Jack Macias ’14
During two weeks of July, eight of my fellow Brophy students and I went to Nicaragua through the Brophy BuildOn club.
The BuildOn club’s primary reason for the immersion trip was to help build a school for children in an impoverished town called Bramadero.
Getting off the plane and venturing into the lit capital at night, most of us experienced poverty at a level we had not ever seen or could comprehend at the time.
A Brophy dad, two BuildOn representatives, two high school students from Temecula, California and four University of Oregon students accompanied us on the trip.
Going into the countryside, the atmosphere changed from cluttered city life to open fields with farmers.
In the town where we stayed, no houses had running electricity or water, something that was not that noticeable amid all the other things happening.
We spent our nights with our designated families, who lived in a very small house with many children.
Many students were not accustomed to the perpetually damp living conditions caused by the fact that we arrived in the rainy season.
We could not get dry, but after a while we got used to it, not noticing how bad we smelled.
We made great friendships with our host families, knowing everyone by name and learning to converse through charades and broken Spanish learned throughout the trip.
The days were hot and humid, yet we learned to love them as each day put us closer to the native people, who have spent their lives working the fields and most likely will spend the rest of their lives doing so.
We had a regimented eating schedule and none of us went hungry.
The food there consisted of large amounts of black beans and rice every day, but none complained as we found out that this was the norm and all other food was considered a treat.
The trip lasted two weeks and was unforgettable as we experienced a country that was so distant and the cultures so different than the ones we were accustomed to in the United States.