I am actually currently handwriting my message since today is the day – or rather I should say the night – that we begin the challenge of living on $1 a day without electricity and whatnot.
Anyway more info on that will come later. Today, I had the honor to act as “El Linder del Día” (or the leader of the day). Consequently, I quickly came to recognize both the burdens of being the leader and the hard-earned respect that comes with the job.
For instance, today wake-up call was at 5:30 AM but since I was the leader I had to wake up at 5:00 AM, wake up everyone else, and somehow constantly keep checking up on people while trying not to be annoying to make sure they didn’t just fall right back asleep.
Anyway, as I said before, the day started fairly early. After we assembled in the commons area of the hostel, we went to eat breakfast and were pleasantly surprised when we were served “Fruit Loops” for breakfast – the first American food that we had been served.
Following breakfast, all the Glimpsers loaded onto the bus headed for Volcán Masaya. Unfortunately, the forecasted 2 hour drive to the volcano was interrupted/delayed by a close encounter with a truck, construction work, and the necessary use of an 11-point turn by the bus.
With a little patience, everyone arrived at and would leave the volcano site unscathed. No lava was visible and no eruptions occurred, but an enormous opaque mushroom-shaped plume of smoke was evident.
After exploring the volcano and taking a brief second bus ride, we finally arrived at Monkey Hut and the location of the lagoon we would be relaxing at. Once again, we were served American foods and drinks for lunch.
After a brief 10-15 minute respite, everyone dipped into the lagoon for a swim. Kayaks, tubes, and life vests were all available (and free) so everyone could enjoy the lagoon in their own style. Some people raced/explored in kayaks, others played sharks and minnows, while still others just chilled out on the anchored platforms floating off the shore of the lagoon.
Unfortunately, our time at the lagoon was cut short since we had to rush back and tutor people in English, but tutoring was actually pretty fun today as well. Both the tutors and the students learned something new and were able to interact with relative ease.
At dinner, we were surprised yet again by a meal of nacatamales with soda. It was my first time tasting nacatamales and I had no idea what to expect; however, as per the norm, the food was great and the portion sizes enormous.
This day has been packed with fun from start to finish. I barely have the energy to finish writing this journal entry. The fact that I have to write by candlelight due to the circumstances only makes it harder not to fall asleep. As such is the case and considering the time, I’ll end my entry here and recharge for another action-packed day tomorrow.
— Michael Tu