The morning of Monday, November 3—Panamanian Independence
Day!—the 9th grade class of the American-Nicaraguan School traveled
to Granada. The purpose of their visit was to take a historical tour of the
city, collect water samples for analysis from Lake Nicaragua, and spend some
time with a Nicaraguan-American writer.
We met in the Plaza, where I had the chance to greet Lisa
Lippay—the 9th grade English teacher who has been wonderfully
supportive of my writing efforts—and Jeffrey Davis, the High School Principal.
After a brief chat, I got to play Pied Piper, leading the
students to the Palacio de la Cultura, where we would exchange ideas. On the
walk there, Alex, the Student Coordinator of the event, kept me company.
I loved that this audience could relate fully to the
stories I’ve written. We share an appreciation for Nicaragua’s culture, history,
After the question and answer period, we visited Lucha Libro Books, sponsor of the book tour. Outside of the bookstore, I got to be
the celebrity of the moment, posing for selfies with the students.
After getting to know Lucha Libros Books, we crossed the
street to have lunch at The Garden Café. While there, I visited every table
to harass the students. They asked me to move back to Nicaragua so I could teach at
their school. Regretfully, I had to tell them that I was committed to Panama,
for there I have 9th graders of my own to torment.
After lunch, the students and their teachers walked to
the lake to collect water samples. Before saying farewell, I had the chance to
pose for one last photograph with Mr. Davis and Ms. Lippay. I love knowing that
I have a strong base of support at the American-Nicaraguan School. I look
forward to returning next year to meet a new batch of 9th graders.
(All photographs courtesy of Lisa Lippay)