Dear family and friends,
We had our second Fun Day today by taking a day trip to Somoto Canyon for a hike and swim adventure. We woke up at 5:00-5:30, picked up our mixed fruit breakfast and lunches at Buffet Estelí and headed out to pick up our fireman volunteer on the way to Somoto. The excitement was palpable on the bus despite the early hour. I recalled a conversation Frannie and I had at the Farmers Market yesterday when she said that this fun day was going to be her “favorite day, besides (yesterday), and all of the other days so far.” We have done so many new and exciting things during our trip so far, but we are certainly looking forward to each new day.
The bus ride to Somoto took about one hour and forty minutes. We picked up our guides and the life vests and then took a short drive to the trail. The first part of the hike was primarily uphill or steeply downhill, prompting several of us to wish we had hit the gym before embarking on this journey to train for the hiking. In the end, I was grateful for the warm up it provided us with.
We were able to take a water break once we reached the water. We were pretty hot after hiking in swim gear and a lifejacket, so some people followed our guide’s example and tested out the water to cool off and get acclimated.
We had an excellent time floating, walking, and even jumping in the water off rocks that were between 5-15 feet high. As we traversed the canyon, we were awed by its natural beauty and the flora and fauna. There were even tiny bats hanging from indentations (they were not big enough to be caves) higher on the cliff walls. There were some intimidating water spiders measuring about 4 inches across from leg tip to leg tip. We also came across 2 Sacuanjoche blossoms (plumeria) floating in the river.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it was time for us to take a short boat ride to the trail we took to meet up with the bus. We did make sure to enjoy the ride as we sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in a round. Once we got back to the bus, we changed and had a delicious lunch and another of our favorite juices.
After dropping off the guides and lifejackets, we made a quick stop for some special “biscuits” as our leader Bryan calls them. Snack in hand, One Direction and Demi Lovato blaring on the sound system courtesy of Jenny’s iPod, we made our nearly 2 hour drive back to Estelí.
There was no rest for the weary as glimpsers needed to get changed, hang up wet clothes, and get organized to make purchases for the CAP project. Jenny, Frannie, Amanda, and Bryan took care of securing 45 tires as a donation. Everyone else went to secure other supplies including shovels, paint, paint brushes, cement, buckets, and a soccer ball in a net. Jessica took the lead in talking to the store owners, Clara and Crystal were in charge of logistics and the shopping list, and Sean was in charge of accounting. Everyone else helped select and transport the supplies. We are all looking forward to commence the delivery of the project. I am sure this awesome group of glimpses will be successful in completing their project while having a good time.
The group is getting ready for their night on the town, so I must sign off. Please leave us comments, hearing your words at the nightly meetings are among our favorite moments of the day.
Shout out to Evelyn, my awesome TA, and all of my family and friends who encouraged me to come on this trip. Today’s field trip was absolutely amazing and the (highest) highlight of the trip so far.