Thursday was our team day; a day to get away for a few hours to rest and bond as a group. We headed out early in the morning to go to Masaya and walk through the artisan market. The market in Jinotepe is a normal market with the usual day-to-day fare but the Masaya market has everything you can hope for in terms of gifts and souvenirs. There are blankets, hammocks, machetes, mugs, cigars….everything! We spent an hour there before heading off to Laguna de Apoyo.
Laguna de Apoyo is a crater lake at the base of a volcano and it is magnificent! We lounged at the Hotel Paradiso with the team, our translator and the American couple that lives at the children’s home.
A few competitive games of volleyball were played and lots of time spent in the water. Majority of the team took some time to kayak at one point or another.
I won’t name any names but a couple people got lost in the kayak….the distance across the lake is 3 km and once you are out in the middle of the water everything starts looking the same. Luckily it only took them 3 hours to get back to us. 🙂
We ended our wonderfully relaxing day by preparing decorations with the girls for our fiesta celebration. They helped us make really awesome tissue paper pom poms (which turned out so well they are still up in the casa grande). We had to return to the casa grande at curfew time so the girls could get to bed on time so half the team helped blow up several hundred balloons. It turned into quite the event. We all rallied around Wayne while he attempted to blow up the long balloons for making balloon animals. It was successful in the end…but barely. 🙂
Friday brought El Dia de Los Ninos celebration. June 1 is the actual International Day of the Children but because the Nica kids have school we did the fiesta on Friday. There was so much happening that it’s almost hard to explain it all. Let’s just say there was candy and balloons and pizza and face painting and crafts and nail painting and soccer and volleyball. Oh and lots and lots of ninos! It was also SO loud. The music was blaring, there was Gerald as the MC getting the kids excited and the crowd involved in everything, there was dancing. It was quite the extravaganza! The community kids join the house kids for the celebration but then they trooped home and the rest of the day was spent playing volleyball and/or soccer with the house kids. The day was amazing and successful but incredibly exhausting. We all fell into bed that night very ready for sleep!
Saturday brought a lazier day due to some unexpected schedule changes. Many of the kids were also gone for the weekend because it was Mother’s Day on Saturday and they were able to go spend the weekend with their family. For the morning the team did work around the property or played soccer with the kids. In the afternoon the older Nica kids and majority of the group headed into Jinotepe on a mission to buy cake and bread. We split into 5 groups and spent some time wandering the market in search of our assigned task. Our journey home took a bit longer than our ride in because we weren’t able to find enough taxis for all of us. So once again we split the group; half walked home and half got taxis. Due to our delayed return though everyone had to quickly devour dinner before hopping back on the bus to attend evening church at La Roca in Jinotepe.
Wayne and I opted to stay on the property with our other married couple, Becky & Matt, and Cori squared (Cory & Kori) to help babysit the child of the couple who lives here. We played a mean game of soccer where the girls were dominated by the boys and then played an even meaner game of UNO! Since I didn’t attend evening church this year I can’t personally speak to the events but I heard it was a great service. Good times were had by all!
I mentioned previously that we have evening porch times to see what God is doing in our lives but the last couple of nights have been digging deeper into what that looks like and how we are being challenged since coming to Nica.
That’s a wrap for now. The wifi is starting to buffer more frequently and it’s becoming progressively harder for me to write a long post.