by Niccolo Alighieri ’18
After lunch yesterday, with the Nicaraguan kids and we played a typical Nicaraguan card game called “desmoche.” After five minutes of teaching us how to play, they decided that it was enough for us to start playing on our own. There were two games going on, one with myself, Phil, Alex and Alexander and the other with Greg, Maia, Tali, and Alyssa. We were underestimated from the beginning which led to us eventually winning a game. After those quick two games, we walked to a nearby park built by the Japanese government where there was a Japanese music group performing. The room was full of Nicaraguans enjoying the music as well as the air conditioning. Our next stop was another park where many kids played soccer and other activities. Intrigued by the kids playing soccer, Phil, myself, and Tom asked the locals if we could play and they said “cierto.” We told the others to play and let the Nicaraguans decide what the teams would be. Once again, our skills were underestimated which made it easy for us to beat them! Then we returned to have dinner, and went back to our families. When I arrived home, I was greeted with a full plate of cheese, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and plantains. The dish was an interesting but very tasty one.
It was now time to get some sleep before going on a lengthy adventure to Granada. So, this morning, we got on a bus, headed to Granada and Lake Nicaragua—a little over an hour away. We went with the 11th grade class and other teachers and their children. There were 30 on the bus. We split into two groups and got into two boats called “lanchas.” Our boats weaved around some of the 365 islands (“isletas”) near Granada. You all who are reading this can imagine how big Lake Nicaragua is (you can Google it!). Some islands were big, others were small, but all were beautiful. Some were for sale from $170,000 to $800,000, if you’re interested. We saw an island with monkeys and a few had egrets staring at us. We arrived at our island destination called San Pedro, with a Spanish-built fortress on it used by the Spanish to defend the area. It is where I am currently writing this. I look forward to what the trip has in store for us and to write you all again.