Whew! Mi amigo Danny and I made it to the top of volcán concepción today! There are sulfurous gasses so you have to cover your face so as not to breath in too much. The rocks we climbed near the top were hot to the touch, and pockets of fumes came out of little holes here and there. Now gallo pinto (fried beans and rice) for dinner and off to bed early!
The blue dot is me in San Jose del Sur, and that puff of clouds and rocky terrain is the volcano I'm going to hike on my day off. It will take 10 hours and be pretty challenging. Nicaragua falls right along the Ring of Fire. This means there are beautiful mountains, active and dormant volcanoes, but it also means that there are earthquakes and eruptions that can put people at danger of natural disasters, and can also really mess up buildings! In 1972, Nicaragua had a huge earthquake in their capital (Managua) that caused a devastating amount of damage to the city and displaced over 600,000 people from their homes.
Hola amigos! In response to some of your questions: all is well in Nica. It's hot! The rainy season will start next month, but I will be back with you again by then! The picture earlier on the blog was not bananas, they were plantains which you can cook like potatoes. The meal I had was beans and rice- it is eaten with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm not sure how old the church is, but most likely very old- and huge! There are small churches too, but always in the city square there is a big one.
Are you all so excited for spring break? I hear the weather is finally warming up. Is anyone going to a Spanish speaking country for spring break? Maybe you can take some pictures of your own mascot to share with us when we all get back!
Some of you asked about their school work. Here's an example of a 4th grade schedule. Language and math daily, and a few times a week they have science, social studies, civics, phys ed, and art. They don't have English classes until high school, and there are no music classes. Did anyone notice anything interesting about their class times? School begins for some students at 12:15 pm. School is in turns, am is always primary 7:15-12:00 and 12:15-5:15 pm is intermediate and/or secondary. The school day is 5 hours long.
Many schools do a great job of using their xo laptops in class. These first graders love practicing syllables with learning games and songs. In Nicaragua, all students wear uniforms: blue pants or skirts with a white dress shirt. On the desk in the background there's an apple, but this is pretty rare. Apples are imported and cost about $1 each, which is a lot seeing as how local fruit is abundant and inexpensive, literally dangling off of trees everywhere. Bananas are very popular here and cost about $.05, a pineapple is $1.00, and I bought a bag of 12 mangoes for $1.00. Other popular fruits and veggies here are papaya, watermelon, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, cucumbers, and squash. But most meals usually have a base of rice, beans, and plantains.
There are a lot of farm animals on the island as it is quite rural- even horses and cows on the streets. The chicks are always peeping, and it gets pollito pio stuck in my head. Science fun fact: many farms here put dye in the feed to turn the babies bright pink- it keeps predatory birds from recognizing them as food!
What a beautiful Catholic Church in Masatepe, Nicaragua! It is very common for a big, beautiful church to be right in the center of town, along side a parque- a public park for sitting on benches, people watching, buying snacks, and playing. The city branches out from the parque, with it as the center.
This school gets it! They know how important it is to be bilingual- just like you, amigos! This school has English lessons in kinder and first grade, and they are adding a grade each year as well with buildings under construction. This teaching team- Dave and Bex- also teach free English classes to adults and high schoolers in the evenings- and now they are partnering with Allendale High School to join up as pen pals! I'm so happy that we are all learning second languages to be better citizens of the world, to travel to fascintati
These are my new friends in Tichana! Can you find me in the pic? I had to ride a bike an hour and a half on a really rocky path to get out here, where no buses or cars can even go. I saw more monkeys than people on the journey. They LOVED seeing your pictures you took of snow and of our community. They thought the snow was so beautiful. Do you feel the same? :)
Tichana only has one school and like most places in Nicaragua, there are 'turnos'- turns. Primary from 7:00-12:00 pm, and secondary from 12:15-5:15 pm. These students don't have many resources, but they really like to use their xo laptops! Do you know any other programs that use the xo laptops? Ask Mrs. Lema at Oakwood if you need a reminder. :)