Shaping Success

by Sawyer Uecke

I think one of the most prominent principles I have learned and am still learning everyday is how to define success. Success can be looked at as a friendship, as it is constantly up for reevaluation. A friend can be someone who you wave to every morning, exchanging a small set of words and going on your way, or it can be someone with whom you share every waking moment of your life with. Like experiences, success can be remembered, but eventually if you greet someone every time you walk in their office you will also make a long lasting impression on them. Thus, what may initially go unnoticed can be one of the most successful things that you accomplish.

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My 1+4 story: Sawyer Uecke

PicMonkey Collage

“Every morning I wake up and think to myself, wow, I am really doing this. A year ago I never would have thought that I would be in Nicaragua, as a matter of fact I wouldn’t have even be able to tell you exactly where it is on a map. I had a one track mind and that track was college. Attending a preparatory school prior, I surrounded myself with people of the exact same mindset. Taking a gap year was an idea that didn’t exist in my reality, but that all changed upon hearing about the Tufts 1+4 program. Now, after half way through the program, I can say with confidence that taking a gap year was one of the best choices I have ever made in my life. I am learning new things about myself everyday and having experiences with substance. These experiences are making me realize I am living a full life, full of a new language, friends, family, culture, and work that makes me feel like I am making a difference, no matter how big or small.”

-Sawyer, #1plus4nicaragua fellow, shares his #my1plus4story on his #tufts1plus4 bridge-year

A Thursday Afternoon

by Mateo Gomez

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Today marks the completion of my first week back at work. It was exciting, exhausting, and all the emotions in between. While it was a bit of an adjustment from relaxing at home all day, I have to admit that it was rewarding to finally be productive again. Having a vacation period gave me just the energy I needed to come back with more determination for the rest of the semester. Something I didn’t realize I missed so very much about where I work, are the daily hugs that the kids give me. I even got hugged by some of our new students, which was especially motivating.

When I think about how this week went by, it hits me that the first month of this year is almost over. Now more than ever, I find myself conscious of just how short my time here in Nicaragua really is. While I’d like to say that my days will always consist of playing with kids and joking around with my host family, I recognize that my time here is coming to a close.

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Eats

by Sawyer Uecke

Hunger at its finest is a natural human instinct, but what ignites the desire within humans to create food so pleasing to the senses? Has this yearning for flavor overtime coincided with the development of evolutionary traits, such as our taste buds? I have come to ponder the idea of food typical to the multitude of cultures we have on this planet, perhaps more frequently during these last three months in Nicaragua. It is certain that my love for Nicaraguan cuisine has prompted this very post, yet it alone keeps me returning home every night at six to indulge in the miraculous dinner that my host family cooks for me. As a fairly new traveler — right now being my first time out of the U.S. — I have not failed to keep my senses keen and active during my walks through the city of León. I am constantly in search of a new dish to try, whether in simply be a customary snack or the authentic street food. Luckily, my host grandma sells food out in the street in front of our house, so if I’m feeling lazy, my craving can be satisfied three steps away. Needless to say, I have made it a goal of mine to taste the majority of typical Nica comida throughout the region I live in.

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