“Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were big things.” – Robert Brault

Today was our first free day! We also got to sleep in which was also enjoyable, but what was ironic was that my roommate, Preslli and I both woke up at 5:30am, the usual time, because we were so used to waking up so early in the morning. Anyways, today’s wakeup call was at 7:30am with breakfast an hour later. Then came our morning free time session from 9:30am-12:30pm. The afternoon free time was from 1:30pm to 6:00pm. As it turns out though, Ryan and Mel weren’t feeling well enough to go out today so they had to stay in all day to recuperate. (Don’t worry parents; they are feeling much better right now and will definitely participate in tomorrow’s fun activities!)

For the morning free time we split into two groups led by Sonia.   One group went out first while the other hung out in the hostel. We also used this time to go to the laundromat. We had packed our dirty clothes into plastic bags and gave them to the lady who will be washing our clothes. I heard the first group had trouble finding the laundromat we had planned to go to, and when they finally found it, it was closed! Then they had to ask for directions to another one, only to find that they didn’t have running water at the moment, so it would take longer to get all our clothes done.   We were told we would have our clothes cleaned by tomorrow afternoon. The second group also went to the laundromat, but had more time to shop around. Since we had a little less than an hour, we decided to just window shop and see what stores had so that in the afternoon we would be able to find what we wanted more quickly. The first group was a bit bummed out having wasted so much time finding the laundromat because they had less time to go around and shop. Fortunately, the afternoon free time made up for it.

In the afternoon, Robert led us as one big group. It’s funny because we were told to blend in as much as possible, which is ironic. Not only because there’s a bunch of foreigners with different skin color, hair color, and clothing, but also because there’s a gigantic line of us that stretches about half a block walking around. Anyways, free time was fantastic! We went to many places such as a coffee place, Radio Shack (yes, there IS a Radio Shack, AND a Payless by the way!), an Internet café, a supermarket, and multiple stores for clothes and souvenirs. At Radio Shack, they had Just Dance for customers to play. First it was Angela against me dancing to Lady Gaga’s Applause, then it was Tyson and Miles to Chris Brown’s Fine China. It was highlarious! Their dancing skill’s were just amazing. After all that dancing around, we walked to the internet café. Some of us called home, and I’m positive all of us checked up on Facebook. Next door was a supermarket and we got to buy snacks like chips and cola.   For the rest of our free time, we walked around Central Street and stopped at stores we wanted to look around in. There were actually a ton of clothing stores and many of them had similar styles. We could see how much the United States has an influence here because there were athletic wear, bags, shoes, and even phones that were brand names. Of course, there’s a high possibility they were fake, but it was still interesting that they had things we see in the U.S.

Near the end of day we were all tired from walking around, and many of us had decided we spent enough money for today. I found that because it is cheaper to buy stuff here, I tend to be more inclined to buy stuff, which results in actually spending more. There will be more chances for us to shop during our trip, and we also had to pay for the laundry as well, so we had to be wary about how much we were spending because it’s only the seventh day! I will end the blog here because I think it’s getting pretty long, and the rest of the group is having so much fun outside playing “I love my neighbor who….” and I definitely don’t want to miss it.

Shopping at a local clothing store.

Shopping at a local clothing store.