Hello friends and family’s my name is Camille Johnson and I was El Lider del Dia for our final Fun Day! I chose this day in particular because I knew the main event was volcano boarding and I’m all about fun! We began our morning at 6:45 a.m., which made it very hard for some of us glimpsers to wake up and start moving. As the leader of the day, I had the responsibility to rise the group from their deep sleeps, which I had a lot of trouble doing beacuse I coudn’t figure out how everyone liked to be woken up. I decided to use an alarm clock sound to try and get people out of bed but they were not too thrilled about it. Eventually, everyone came downstairs and we all walked like little ducklings in a single file line to our comedor.
After we ate our breakfast, the group returned to our lovely hostel and chilled out for a bit. We were all mentally preparing for the epic Cerro Negro adventure. About 20 minutes later, the volcano boarding instructors arrived to our hostel along with a Red Cross member, they brought the thick suits, gloves, and goggles necesary for our activity. The group then boarded into 2 vans and started the drive to the volcano. The car ride itself felt like a roller coaster because of the combination of the bumpy roads and speedy driving. The ride there got my heart racing even more because I love a good adrenaline rush, as do a lot of members on this trip.
We arrived to the volcano Cerro Negro to check in, get our boards and begin our hike to the top. The scenery at every point of the hike was beyond beautiful. The sand and rocks made the volcano and it’s sorroundings looked like a creamy dark grey color. The trees and hills were bright green and the sky looked like a perfect painting with white poofy clouds. We all had to carry our gear and boards all the way up. It was dificult because our back packs were heavy, the sun was beating down on us and the path was made up of a bunch of slippery and loose volcanic rocks and pebbles. The hike took roughly about an hour but it was well worth the sun burns and dirt everywhere. At every point of the hike there was an amazing view to remember and as we got higher, it only got prettier. Also, the breeze was AMAZING on the volcano, it was a nice break from the 95 degree humid weather that we have been getting used to here in Leon.
We took about 2,000 photos at the top of the volcano and then got our protective suits and goggles on. For some reason there were a lot of bees at the top and I got my first bee sting on my bottom, of all places, which was pretty funny. There were a couple of other Glimpsers who got stung and since we were unsure if we were going to have an allergic reaction or not, we were sent to slide down the volcano first.
At first, everyone was terrified because when you approach the sliding area there is no sight of the bottom, just an extremely steep slope and a lot of empty land. When it was my turn to go, as I started to slide down I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I convinced myself not to be scared and with that mentality, I started to enjoy the dust flying everywhere and zooming down the side of Cerro Negro. It felt like the ride down was really fast, there were definitely other group members who hit at least 25 mph going down and nobody got hurt which was a plus. Everyone came down and then we walked to a nice area outside to eat our lunches that we brought from the comedor and left back to hostel.
We immediately took showers because the volcano ash was everywhere. The plan was that we would shower and then get ready for our final English class, which was a talent show that all of the students and glimpsers would participate in. All the girls got dolled up and some of the guys wore button up shirts, ties, and slacks. As we walked to dinner, while we were eating it started to rain really hard outside but sadly it stopped after about ten minutes. The energy was so high when we got to the university, it was obvious everyone was excited to see and share their talents. We split the show into acts from English level classes, the Beginners, Intermediates, then Advanced classes. My beginner class went first and we had singers, dancers ( the girls in our teaching group danced salsa with some students), and we even had rappers. The other classes had some very talented singers and dancers too and it was so amazing to see what everyone could do.
After the show, we gave out certificates of completion and took photos with our friends/students. I didn’t realize how connected we were with our students it was really hard to believe we had to say good bye and we were all so emotional. Most of us were sad walking back to the hostel because we realized this trip was coming to an end. My global glimpse family is so amazing, we are all so weird and compatible, which has made this trip so amazing. Thinking about departure is bitter sweet but we all plan to make the most of what we can while we’re here. I can’t wait to see my family but I will also miss the amazing people I have met here in Nicaragua. (Love you mom, dad, ci, grandma, and the rest of the fam.)