Today’s blog is written by Jorge Zelidon. The day started off early at 6:15 AM, which is way too early, I think. It was all fine though since Crystal kindly made some coffee for whoever got to it first. All the rooms quickly discovered that there were some issues with shower water and toilets. Somehow we got through the issues and we got ready to go to the comedor and had a nice breakfast of gallo pinto and chorizo. After breakfast, we headed back to the hostel for an academic seminar surrounding the topic of global business. We talked about comercio justo (fair trade) and how workers can be affected by it. Soon after finishing the seminar, we applied a ton of bug spray and sun screen for the upcoming trip of the day.
We hopped on the bus and headed to the Quebrada Onda where we would visit a large mango plantation. But before that we stopped by the farm of Doña Margarita and her 3 sisters. They told us about how they ran the place, with not only mangos, but a variety of other fruits. They were kind enough give us a bag of mamones and a basket of a fruit whose name I can’t recall. As we were there we saw some of the biggest avocados we’ve ever seen. Some of us couldn’t resist buying some of them on the spot for about 80 cordobas, or $3, per dozen. Next we headed back onto the bus, along with Doña Margarita and one of her sisters.
On our way to the mango plantation we were greeted by a crowd of waving students. As soon as we got out we met with the president of the company, Bismark, and Salvador. We took a small hike throughout the forest of mangos. He warned us to watch our step to avoid the countless fallen mangos. Eventually we reached a nice open spot with some shade nearby. We had the chance to ask Bismark questions about why he decided to become part of Fair Trade International, how business is, and how they’ve benefitted so far. He told us that becoming part of fair trade was a recent decision and now they are the only fair trade organic mango provider from Nicaragua. Somewhere during our talk there was a horse running through the back and served as a quick distraction. Near the end, they had the chance to ask us questions about ourselves like where we were from and why we decided to come. After that we were allowed to walk around and get any mangos and as many as we wanted. Those were the best tasting mangos any of us had ever had. Dylan was a big help when he reached for mangos high up on trees. Bismark climbed a tree and shook down over 30 mangos onto the ground. Some were eaten on the spot as they were picked out from the tree with little to no force. Many glimpsers filled up bags worth of mangos, most notably was Kevin with 25+ mangos. Eventually, we regrouped and headed back to the bus where we circled up again. We said our goodbyes to Bismark and presented him with a gift, the usual GG mug. We quickly dropped off Salvador and then Margarita and her sister back thanks to out awesome driver Manuel.
As soon as we were back in Granada we went to the comedor for a lunch consisting of spaghetti and salad. Since the trip took around 30 minutes later than expected, many tried to quickly eat lunch and get some much wanted free time. With our one hour of free time some students headed for smoothies or the internet café. I went to the supermarket with Francisco, Min, Truong, and Victor. Victor, Truong and Min stocked up on snacks while Francisco and I were focused on getting some meat. After getting back to the hostel, Francisco cooked a piece in order to try it out while others were playing cards in the main room. Dylan and I were able to get a small piece of carne asada, something that had been very desired.
Then it was time to prep for English tutoring, but many already had everything planned out. I hear that other classrooms had increased attendance, but the one I was teaching dropped from 2 students to only 1 student. We ended up quickly getting through the lesson plan. 6:00 PM came about and it was time to head straight to dinner where we had some rice, veggies with chicken, and salad. Instead of the usual 20ish minutes of free time after dinner we started the nightly meeting. We talked about the day and I passed the torch to Faven and Crystal for proving themselves by telling “jokes.” All that was left is free time where I’ve been writing this. Gustavo finally got the meat he’s been wanting for days now. Meanwhile, Crystal and Kevin cooked some bananas with sugar, and Dylan made his “special toast.”
P.S. Some glimpsers, mainly Dylan, get upset every time someone mentions how many days are left until we leave. So please do mention how long we have.