Bus rides and water fights, this day had it all. As our first designated Fun Day in Nicaragua, but certainly not the first day we had fun, we spent the day doing just that. Waking up at approximately 5:50am to begin our day, we pondered the question of whether we as a world-wide society can preserve environmental areas while also using them to gain profit. Our itinerary threatened a three hour car ride, hence the early wake up call, but it’s rewards were definitely worth it.
At around 10:00am, after a three hour drive in which most people slept or viewed the beautiful country side, the delegation arrived at Volcan Masaya, a dormant volcano in Southern Nicaragua. Fun fact of the day: a priest a few hundred years ago named this volcano the “gate to hell,” mounting a huge cross atop the volcano’s mouth. The cross we saw was only a replica but we found that story very fascinating. It wasn’t a great volcano day because of the steam which prohibited us from seeing the other side of the crater or anything in it. It was stunning, however, the steam arising from the unseen depth of the unknown. We viewed and took many pictures from all angles, as well as smelling the oh-so-sweet sulfur (yuck). Helen gave us a little educational portion where the group learned a little more about plate tectonics and volcanoes, we were even quizzed at the end!
Everyone then hopped on the bus and we journeyed to Laguna de Apoyo, specifically Monkey Hut where we spent the majority of our afternoon. The weather was far hotter and windier than our mountainous-encircled, valley home in Esteli. We were hungry, but the water was too enticing to think about eating. The view of the lagoon was spectacular from our Monkey Hut perch, the day was windy, so white encrusted waves speckled the tropical blue water. Soon, everyone was in the warm water, kayaking and swimming around the small dock in the water that would become our battleground for the day. At first it was all fun and games, everyone pushing each other off the dock and then pulling each other back on, wrestling and swimming, but then it turned to war. Boys against girls. The tumultuous waves caused the dock to rock insanely, up to like a 30 degree angle! Lots of pushing, pulling, and getting back on the raft to drag them down with you for revenge. The girls outnumbered the boys, but after a long and exhausting fight, the boys succeeded in taking over the raft, a devastating loss for the girls. Everyone, however, marched on shore for lunch wearing some battle scar and/or a bruised ego. I spent a good thirty minutes carrying six pizzas, two at a time, up and down a hill, a tiresome task but a fantastic leg and arm workout! Lunch was delicious and new, one of our rare meals away from our homely Alfredito’s gallo pinto. Some then proceeded to jump right back in the water while some sipped some VIRGIN cocktails and other drinks from the bar overlooking the beautiful surrounding scene.
Too soon, we had to pack up and hop back on the bus which would take us back to the hostel. Another three hour car ride awaited us, but I may be one of the two people on the planet that likes car rides. The scenery, as always, amazed me as the sun sets, however, the setting sun did not set us to sleep. Dinner at Alfredito’s and a birthday celebration! SHOUT OUT to birthday boy Abdul Black! I spent my $1/day reality challenge with him, and know first hand that he is a great guy and a great friend. We celebrated with a Barney-themed party, full with a piece of cake in the face and pin the heart on the Barney. All great fun to remember his 17th birthday! Love you Abdul!
As for CAP (our Community Action Project), tomorrow is our second free day, sure to be filled with phone calls home and hard work into our looming project to be delivered this Friday and Saturday. I know you are all excited to see this project unfold and from the work that is already being done, I’m excited to see it all become a reality too!
XOXO the OG’s
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