Some of the girls started off our first morning at camp with a little yoga, led by PCVs Morgan and Jessica, while the others slept in a little or took their time getting ready and showering in the cold, cold water. Quite the wake-up call!
At 7am we all moved to the cafeteria for breakfast, after which the girls took a pre-test to measure the knowledge they already had about the topics we’ll cover during the rest of camp. We also made small groups to mix the girls up with people from different places, and for organization during activities. The different groups chanted their way to the first charla(informational sessions/presentations) of the day.
On the first day, our three charlas covered the following topics…
- Assertive Communication – led by PCVs Emily, James, Ania and Jessica. This session covered the steps necessary to communicate not aggressively or passively, but assertively by clearly expressing feelings and listening to and respecting other people’s ideas.
- Self-esteem – led by PLAN Madriz. Here the girls learned what it means to have low, middle, or inflated self-esteem and how we can proactively affect our self-esteem to be more positive than negative.
- Sex vs. Gender, and Machismo – led by PLAN Chin. With this charla we started opening up the discussion on what it means to be a woman or man in Nicaragua, and which of those roles are assigned due to our sex (biological differences) or because of gender (the culturally influenced representations of femininity and masculinity). PCV Ilana also did a rousing and very participatory explanation of how the reproductive systems work.
After lunch we got out in the sun! Half of the girls went up to the labyrinth while the other half played kickball and soccer on the open field. Although it’s common to see kids playing sports in Nicaragua, it’s a lot more common to see boys on the field than girls. Not at Camp GLOW though! Yesterday the field was full of girls running, pitching, catching, yelling, and having fun.
Later in the afternoon, Ilana explained the program Global Dialogues, a competition that “combines the creative genius of young people and the power of social change media to cultivate empathy, compassion and unity in diversity.” Girls were encouraged to write a story about a difficult situation in their life, or in the life of someone they know, especially around the topics of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, violence against women, or drugs and alcohol. Every girl had a story to tell and some really took the competition to heart and spent time honestly writing about an issue they’ve faced in life.
Post-dinner, the fun continued as girls moved freely between playing volleyball against the counselors on the covered court, making bracelets or earrings, putting together piñatas, or even trying out belly dancing (with the help of a fitness video).
Once again camp closed at 9, and by 10 everyone was (more or less) asleep.