March 11 – 12
by Alex Cavallo
Yesterday afternoon after coming back early from painting “eco-baños,” we all went to the park. We played basketball for a while until we decided to throw around some frisbees. Tali, Alyssa, and Maia quickly started a circle and threw them around. The frisbee circle broke up when they opened the gate to the soccer field for us. Philip and Niccolo were the first ones on the field as usual; I followed close behind. We were also joined by our Nicaraguan friend, Steven, who proved himself to be fairly talented. We went back to Rafaela’s house and enjoyed a delicious meal as usual.
It was then time to say goodbye, but not for long as a few of us were going to mass that night. When I got home I put on my nice clothes and leather shoes and headed to church with Greg, Tali, Maia, Tom, and Cheri. Philip, however, did not like the idea of spending Saturday night in church. This was definitely not my first Catholic mass but it was the first for a few in the group so I tried to help them understand what was going on. It was fascinating to hear the same words I had heard so many times in Church said in Spanish. I got back from church and had an awesome chat for a few hours with my host family and some of their friends.
This morning we got to sleep in a little bit before we headed off with our Nicaraguan friends to “La Catarina,” or “La Laguna de Apoyo,” a lagoon created by a volcano. It was very beautiful and breathtakingly large. There were horses and Maia was the first one to hop on, followed by Greg and Tom. We all bought some cold smoothie type beverages that really helped us beat the heat. From La Catarina we headed off to an artisan town (San Juan de Oriente) where potters make all sorts of pieces for sale. A friendly artisan showed us how they used dirt or clay found in different parts of Nicaragua to make natural colors. It was fascinating to learn a bit about the process.
We then got back on the bus to go home. Greg taught the Nicaraguan students a fun game that we played for the duration of the bus ride. It was great to spend time with each other again. Tomorrow, we go back to our classes!