From Emilio ’17
Today began differently from yesterday. I got to take an actual shower instead of the bucket baths I’ve been taking thus far. Although I have no problem with the bucket baths, it was especially comforting to take a shower this morning, something I take for granted in the States.
After breakfast, we got on the bus. Our destination was the colonial capital of Granada on the shores of Lake Colcibolca (Lake Nicaragua), the largest fresh water lake in Central America. Since arriving in Managua, it seems as though the majority of our time has been spent on a bus or waiting. So when we found out we would be riding on the bus for about an hour, we weren´t exactly thrilled. I sat in the back of the bus with Johvany, Alec, Sydney, and Moxie, and the five of us were determined to come up with some travel entertainment.
We soon stopped at a supermarket to purchase beverages and ice for our island picnic. Moxie bought a pineapple and some caramel pops made with goat milk. Back on the bus and headed south, we decided that singing was the way to survive the drive. We sang “Tonight” and “Let It Be” and “One Day” and other classics. Such a simple thing but such passionate singing!
Eventually we arrived in Granada, drove through the cobblestone streets with their colonial-era raised sidewalks and tile roofs, straight to the boat. I was ecstatic because we were one step closer to swimming, something I had been determined to do ever since I stepped off the plane into the Nicaraguan heat. The deck of the boat was scorching hot, which only increased my desire to swim. Fortunately, there was some on-boat entertainment in the form of a piñata party. We got to watch Johvany and Shannon whack a pinata. Johvany didn´t break it. He claims now that he wanted to give the younger kids a try, but I think he just needs to lift more, bro!
The moment we arrived at our destination, one of the hundreds of small islands created when the Mombacho volcano exploded centuries ago, I got a sudden rush of excitement. It seemed as though we had arrived at an island paradise. On our journey to the island we saw many other islands, most of which were privately owned and had beautiful houses on them, I couldn’t help but think I’d like to live on a beautiful island in Nicaragua. When we finally arrived at la Isla de San Pablo, my expectations were exceeded.
Once we had finished lunch and Cheri had gone over the rules for swimming, I took off my shirt, sneakers, got on my flipflops, and started to explore. I wanted to savor the time I spent on the island and felt as though I had to get a feel for it before I swam. When I finally got into the water for the first time, I couldn’t have been happier. It was the perfect temperature, warm enough to be comfortable, and cool enough to be refreshing. Suddenly I realized that all the traveling had been worth it, even waking up at 2:30 a.m. on Friday morning to leave my girlfriend’s house to get to George School for the ride to the airport didn’t seem so bad anymore. Soon everyone was in the water and next thing I knew, the whole group was living it up, laughing and playing in Lake Colcibolca. We really bonded as a group on the island.
After an awesome time swimming, Johvany and I decided to work out. As we worked out and talked, we came to the conclusion that this was the perfect day. We had the most amazing view that words can’t even describe, and we were hanging out on an island paradise.