Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally one of the same

Finally one of the same

For for weeks, actually my entire time here, I have been debating on coming to a Spanish school out in a small community. The school is Hios del Maiz and the community name is Lagartillo. I am so please that i decided to come here!

It is already Wednesday night and I can't believe I only have two days of class left for this week. Going back to last Sunday ...

My trip started with two different bus trips from Leon to Lagartillo. My second bus, an old school bus, started fairly empty but ended up being packed. Literally we could not fit any more people. It wasn't till i got off the bus an hour later when i realized there were people riding on top of the bus as well. Crazy. Also crazy, was when i helped pass a baby from the front of the bus to the back. I am not sure how the baby and his mother got so separated but I do know I was not the only one to think it was odd. Other people were making comments as well. Haha fun Nica stories.

Once I got off the bus, I started walking down the road with people from the village. I was a little nervous because the road literally looks like it's leading you to the middle of no where. After 20 minutes of walking I was greeted by someone from the school who showed me to my host family's house.

As for the past three days, I have had Spanish class for four hours every day, broken up into two, two hour sessions. During the time I am not in class, I have been wondering around and studying. I have not visited the "really cool" places yet but I should be able to get to both tomorrow.

Totally different note...

Lagartillo is the kind of place one can dream about. It is located in the mountains, looking rather like Colorado but with different trees, with warmer days and cool nights. It is also amazing because I don't feel like I stick out. When i wrote before about just wanting to fit in and go about my day; this is the place I was hoping for.

Because the Spanish school has been here for so long many of the children graduating high school this year have grown up seeing Gringos all the time. Some times as many as 15 non Nicas in a week. This is totally normal here. It blows my mind that here in Nicaragua, this this small community of a hundred people, not seeing a Gringo every day would be an oddity. Plus, the people here are so nice and welcoming. It's hard not to love it.

Only being here three days, I would recommend the Spanish school, Hios del Maiz, and the comunidad de Lagartillo to anyone interested in a different sort of Spanish intensive program.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Semana Santa pt 2

Without boring the rest of the world, I am going to quickly go through the events of the past couple of days.

Last Saturday we ended up in this small beach town because they were having a Hippica. It was great. The cowboys rode their horses down the street and made them dance. Everyone else, okay and maybe the cowboys, drank. We started after a morning at the beach and continued on til about midnight. It was a raging party for a small beach town. The best part was the title of our tab at the hostel, "La cuenta de los gringos." Awesome? I think yes.

The next morning we hitched our way back to Playa Popoyo for another day at the beach. The following day we hitched a ride almost to the beach town of Gigante. We did, however, have to walk the last 5 km. That was pretty hard with all of our stuff in the sun. BUT, we made it and spent the rest of the day surfing it up!

That night we ate dinner on top of this hill over looking the ocean. Def one of the best views of my life. The food and the people were also amazing! The best part was when the power went off a few minutes into eating our dinner. They were so concerned with getting us light so we could eat but we kept on eating. It did not phase us one bit. We were able to finish our dinners before they found another power source. I will saw that eating by the star light was one of the coolest experiences.

The following morning we had to set out for our return trip to Granada. Again, we were able to hitch a ride so we didn't have to walk the 5 km again. This trip was actually amazing because we were in the back of a work truck (the only way to hitch, don't worry I would never hitch on my own or get into a car-that would be just stupid, haha). They actually drove us all the way to the town we needed to catch our Granada bus from. It must have saved us over an hour of travel time. Thank you random people.

After arriving in Granada, I was able to wash my clothes at a friends house. This was the first time in over a month that I was able to really wash my clothes-not in sink. (FYI, there are plenty of places to wash clothes but I don't want to pay). The next day I made my way back to Leon. Back to the heat. My first night here there was the most amazing rain storm. It lasted almost all night. That might have been a hint of what we have to look forward to in May. Who knows?

This next week I am head out to the campo (farm) for Spanish school. I will be staying with a host family and I should have plenty of interesting stories when I get back next weekend.


Semana Santa pt.1

During Semana Santa the country of Nicaragua shuts down. I originally thought it was because of religious reasons but I know understand it is because every Nica heads to the beach to be with family and friends, and to of course party.

The first part of Semana Santa I spent with some friends I had met in Matagalpa a few weeks prior. They invited me to go to none other than, the beach! I was game because I love open water because I never get to spend time at a beach. We set out of a local beach called Playa Popoyo on the Pacific side of Niacaragua. That was definetly a trek to get to but it was well worth it.

First, we had to take bus from Granada to Rivas, which takes about 2 hours. That is if, there are not road blocks  that make you wait for half an hour. Of course this happened. That just ment more time together on an old school bus, all sweating. YAY! It really wasn't that bad, or maybe I just blocked it out, haha. In Rivas, we had a bit of a wait for the next bus so we got something to eat at a local place. Then we piled on to the next bus that would take us to a road that we needed to walk down in order to get to our hostel. (Even though this drive was only 20 km it still took over 2 hours. This is why it is better to ask, how long?, rather than, how far?) When we got dropped off, some of the people on the bus laughed at us because they knew it was high tide and we had few couple of challenges ahead of us.

We walked about 1km down the road before we can to out first "bridge crossing," this was just a couple of sticks across the river. We all made it over fine, but we went one by one because we could see the logs give a little under our weight. This was also the reason we made the heaviest person go first. Thanks Alex. From here we had another river crossing but there was no bridge of any kind. It took us some time because we couldn't see the bottom of the river but we finally noticed the rocks have been strategically placed in order to cross. Two down, one to go. We got our final water crossing and it looked a bit different because there were waves coming through. We sent Alex across first, and it looked at though the water was only waist deep. Not bad. So then the girls decided to go. (At this point I was feeling a bit too cocky I guess), and I stepped into the river a bit down stream than the other two girls. This of course was my first mistake. We had also heard a local guy say to us in Spanish that a wave was coming. We took that as "go" and we should have taken it differently. Lost in translation. I started to get pushed down streem further and further. Not a good thing. I thought I could just wait it out but the wave was getting stronger and stronger. I didn't care about my pack, all the cared about was my camera in my purse. And with that I started to go down. I tried my best and some Nica guys were able to help me up a bit. Finally, we all made it across. Still laughing as we walked to the front door of our hostel, I realized my leg was bleeding.

We got checked in and headed to the beach for some R&R after our travels and my failed river crossing ability. For dinner that night we decided on a spot close to our hostel. It took a while to get our food but we were sustained by beer and lots of laughs, oh and the geckos. There were two geckos, doing who knows what, above our table, when they suddenly fell and just missed one of the beers on the table. Two of the girls started screaming and everyone in the place stared at us. After explaining what had just happened, they looked at us like we were crazy. Probably rightfully so.