It is always bittersweet when we get to the last day of our trip. Our days have been so full and during them, it seemed to some girls that our time would never end, but here it is.
In the morning after another delicious breakfast with gallo pinto- my favorite 🙂 we had a visit from Megan. Megan is from the states but has been living in Nicaragua for the last 10 years. She told us the story of how she came to be living in Nicaragua and that her first visit to the country was with Me to We!! She returned to Nicaragua after university in order to help communities with clean water. This is when she met Alex at the age of 9 and since then they have formed a beautiful friendship and partnership in making chocolate. Alex is a poised and beautiful young woman who is studying English and marketing all the while working with Megan in making some of the MOST amazing chocolate I have EVER eaten. They shared how cacao is grown and Alex even opened the cacao plant which is very interesting to see. They were really inspiring to listen to and very genuine people. I was very happy to have met them and look forward to seeing them again next summer.
After chocolate we were on our way to Masaya to the Valentín Pottery School. I never tire of hearing Valentín share the story of his ancestors and how they made pottery. We witnessed his ancestors pottery in the San Francisco Museum from hundreds of years ago. He demonstrates how the pottery is made. They use all natural material. They travel by foot to the mines in order to collect the rocks that give them the colors and clay they use to make the pottery. The only material that is not natural is the bicycle tire spoke they use to create designs on the pottery. His ancestors would have used animal bones. The girls were able to try their hand at making a small pot on the wheel and then purchase different types of ceramics made at the school. The school is a place that the young can learn about the traditions of their ancestors as well as keeping them from alternative activities that may not be as productive.
Our final activity of the day was an afternoon at Lake Apoyo. This Lake is an endorheic lake (a closed drainage basin) occupying the caldera of an extinct volcano. It is often referred to as a crater but a crater is created with an explosion and this was created when the ground surface collapsed into a partially emptied magma chamber. It is a popular lake for both locals and tourists. The lake is abound with pumice rocks that are collected by the locals to be used in the clothing industry. Us tourists collect them to use a pumice stone. I love them!!! Definitely collect a few if you ever visit the lake!
What an amazing last day!!!!
We’ve had American food, relaxed and should be on time landing in Phoenix!! The girls are anxious to see their families! See you all soon!
Thursday Joe met us and we spent the morning in Granada. It is such a beautiful colonial city.
Joe gave us a tour of the San Francisco convent which is one of the main historical attractions and museums in Granada. You can read more about the convent: San Francisco Convent
After the convent, we went to Cafe de las Sonrisas. It is always a pleasure to hear Tío Antonio speak. He is SUCH an inspiration and is a true man for others. He is celebrating the 10th year of the hammock factory being open, and we enjoyed a delicious meal as well as learning how to make a hammock.
To end the afternoon we went to Volcan Mombacho where the girls had a tour of the coffee plantation and learned how coffee is made. It definitely makes you appreciate that delicious cup of joe in the morning!
We were treated to a visit to the Managua port. The city has updated the port for tourists and locals alike. They have games for the kids, restaurants and some shopping. We had pizza. Yum!!!
Today was spent around the San Diego area learning about sugar cane. It is a primary source of employment and income for several families that live in San Diego. With approximately 50 acres it is tough business when only half of your crop is irrigated and the other half depends on the rain. This has a been a good rainy season which has been great for the crops.
After the sugar plantation, we went to Los Cardones which is one of my most favorite places in the entire world. It is an ecolodge that strives for sustainability with community development, saving sea turtles as well as being a great surf spot. The food is organic, fresh and absolutely delicious!!! We spent the afternoon relaxing, playing on the beach and enjoying the beautiful view.
We had a wonderful 4th. We spent the morning in San Diego finishing up our work. It was sad to leave the worksite when so much more can be done, but we are proud of the work that was accomplished. The girls worked SO hard despite the heat and humidity. After work, we went to El Volcân Masaya and were able to see the lava. It was a clear day and just beautiful at the top of the volcano. We then went to the Masaya market where we where the girls were able to practice their Spanish and buy some souvenirs. They had a great time. We enjoyed the surprise American dinner that Amos had for us of cheeseburgers, fries, and coke. What a treat!!! Happy 4th of July to all of our families and friends and the states!!!
We started the day playing with the school kids of San Diego. we played soccer, and boy can they play, the yukele, and the kids had a dance party! Bonds were made and friendships were fast to form. The language barrier was not a problem when laughter, smiles, and play were involved! What an amazing time we all had. I feel very blessed!
After the fun came more fun with the work but only after a delicious meal- and the girls could not have been more excited for the donuts as dessert!!!
What a wonderful day!!!