Makina part 2:
Last post I mentioned how I was left stranded at a closed ecologoical reserve, well I went back and it was OPEN!!! This place was MICHELLE HEAVEN! Trees EVERYWHERE! And they were all cleverly labeled. Went with some of my awesome Nica64 enviro buddies. After exploring we sat at the edge of a waterfall and had lunch. But the adventure was just beginning. We left early in hopes of getting a bus back home....too bad we were too many to fit into a single microbus, and I did not want to sit on any more strangers' laps so we waited on the side of the road for over an hour, in the hot sun with no food. This is becoming a frequent hobby of mine. Seeing the big yellow school bus turn the corner was by far the most beautiful scene that day!! Magic School Bus to the RESCUE!
During training, we are required to spend a few days at a current volunteers site to see what volunteer life will be like after we are done with training. I was assigned LAGUNA DE PERLAS, RAAS. Why am I so excited, because that is one of the most, if not the most secluded training site in Nicaragua. It is all the way on other side of the country from where I currently live. This place is like being in anothr country, different languages, different cultures, different people; felt like I was in the twilight zone!
I had a 5 day adventure traveling there and spending some days with a current environment educator volunteer. Since this site is super secluded, it took me over 14 hours to get there, and it required 2 buses, 1 taxi and 2 pangas (small boat/canoe looking things). I literally traveled across all of Nicaragua in one day.My favorite part of that first day was definitely the panga ride. It was so gorgeous not to mention the funniest thing ever! We got caught in a tiny storm while out in the water, no problem though because they quickly through a black tarp over us and squashed us down into the boat. The wind was so strong and the rain was beating hard on my head, all I could do was laugh for 10 minutes straight at how ridiculous we all looked cramped under the black tarp getting a head massage by the rain. I think everyone on the panga thought I insane but I was having too much fun to care. Wish I'd gotten a picture of that moment.
1. Co-planned and co-taught about 50 classes! No kidding. The volunteer I went to visit loves to teach and so most of my time was spent in the classroom which was great because I got to meet a lot of awesome students and learned a couple classroom management tricks.
2. Ate turtle :( yeah that happened. I knew the meat looked a little suspicious and tasted strange, definitely not beef. Well guess I can now say I've done that.
3. Went to a zumba class! My volunteer teaches zumba classes so it was fun tagging along and finally getting some much needed exercise into my schedule!
4. Ate coconut oil EVERYTHING! They are known for their baked goods made with coconut oil and I really took advantage of them. My favorite was by far the vegan coconut ice-cream. Can't wait to go back just for that.
I spent this day hanging out with the host family, reading books to my volunteers host brother, eating way too many coconut baked goods, and traveling the town. This place is so magical because in such a tiny area you will see wetlands, mangroves, rain forests, grasslands, etc. It was awesome running into some of the local kids and having them model for the camera. I can't wait to go back and visit.