Everything is going pretty smoothly here in León, Nicaragua. Today marks exactly a month since Amanda, Katie, and I arrived in Nicaragua, which is actually pretty hard to believe. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve only been here for only a week or two, and sometimes, it feels like we’ve been here for quite a while. I guess it’s all part of the living abroad experience.

The good thing about my project, which is teaching piano, music theory, and English, to ten students, is that I get to design everything- the lessons, the curriculum, and even the schedule. However, my experience with teaching, both one-on-one and in a classroom setting, is fairly limited, so this is just as much of a learning experience for me as it is for my students. I’ve been really impressed with the level of commitment and energy that I’ve seen from students, all of whom don’t even own a keyboard, which has definitely presented itself as an obstacle along the way. Almost every student shows up on time with questions and is willing to learn, which is certainly more than I did when I began to study piano. In fact, these students even come to the school to practice when the rooms are empty, which is something I definitely wouldn’t have done. I often didn’t practice with a piano sitting right in my living room. I’ve also grown to appreciate my own piano teacher more, who patiently sat through countless lessons that I came unprepared to. I also can’t believe I thought I could get away with not practicing, thinking that she wouldn’t notice, because there is a clear difference between the students who put in the time to practice, and those who don’t, which often times, are people who work or are in school and simply can’t come when the rooms are empty.

Living in Nicaragua means adjusting to the heat, which I didn’t expect to be quite so… intense. Along with making friends with my sweat, I’ve started to get up super-early (around 5 a.m.) to run, because that is essentially the only time of day where the sun isn’t beating directly down and it’s not 90 degrees or more. Aside from getting used to living without air-conditioning, I’ve had a really great experience so far, and my host family is awesome. I’d upload pictures, but I didn’t bring my computer, since I figured it would be better just to leave it at home for now. I hope everything’s going well with everyone else!

Marie Dripchak
Nicaragua Heston Intern