Monday, April 23, 2012

Altering my perspective...

Easter Sunday - overcast.  Part of the group went to Church, and a group of us stayed close to home.  We relaxed, swam, and explored the site.  Talked with Fifo and Ellen (the couple who were more or less running the programming at Skylark.)
Ellen - from Tennesse, has been in Nicaragua for 3 years.  Has worked for various organizations in Nicaragua.  She met Fifo while in Nicaragua and they have become quite the team.
Fifo is originally from Guatemala, totally bilingual, and has great taste in music! He and Ellen are two very generous spirits and so equally matched it is fantastic.
There is gratitude... #whatever by now.  This whole beginning has become... one soul swelling experience... and yeah I am a little sappy about it.

The others returned from church, we gathered and finalized some details.  We then did a tour of Los Madranos, the local community.

 Catholic Church - next door.  Fireworks and singing very loudly Sunday night.
 Boys watching us in the bushes.
 Our neighbours... two energetic and funny boys.
 Benjamin - the famous boy ... my uncle fell in love with this pic.
Our neighbours gave us a great tour - humble but comfortable accommodations.  

It was... how to say this... neat? that doesn't seem to fit... humbling maybe... seeing that people have taken resources, what they can find and they have made their world comfortable, with less and I mean much less money, much less "stuff" and are so happy, welcoming, embracing of all of us who came.  There was this pride to the community (well there are the usual characters, but I think that is expected).  Everyone was pretty friendly, curious, and open to meeting us.  Life was modest, but there were roofs over heads, warm loving large families surrounding each other, food on the table, laundry to be done, laughter and smiles abound.  Maybe that's just my snapshot but you can usually tell by how the whole group works together. 

We ran back to the centre, and grabbed lunch - now let me say... we ate well.  Such good food, lots of it and the gals in the kitchen were outstanding!  I know some of my companions took pics but I just can't do it.  It was a good combination of local and north american flare. :)

Once lunch was done we got back in the van and headed toward Massaya Volcano..

It was fantastically hissy, boiling, growling in the bottom, a huge crater in the earth, that was smokey and smelled like a terrible vat of rotten sulfury eggs.  
 View from parkinglot to lookout - warning maximum stay is 20 minutes and cars must be parked facing the exit - backed in.

Almost to the top - overlooking the volcano.

It was a beautiful view, it was smelly and it was phenomenal.  Not very often you can say that you got a chance to stand at the lip of a live volcano... tho Amanda and Ellen told us that they've never been up there when they could hear it hiss and boil... hahah! Our visit wasn't long...
 They have horse rides up along the volcano - this is the foal of one of the workin ponies.  Pretty timid.
 My attempt at stitching together a bunch of scenery pics from Massaya.
 About 300 years ago... it errupted... and this is what remains...
 on the drive up to the volcano - the lookout.
Looking down into the volcano - can't see much... :)
Team Ottawa!!!! Lookin out over the world.  Kevin Corrigan and myself.

We headed down into Massaya and hit the Market - which was unusually quiet but not surprising being Easter Sunday.  That was okay tho... :) Got a few trinkets, and with my lack of spanish it was a little intimidating.  But fantastic folks helped get me through! And I was very happy to have gone there, but sad because I was interested in doing more shopping... hahah! Once you start... :D Ha ha!  Leslie was a huge help and I don't think I would have bought anything if I didn't have Amanda there.  Note to self - time to learn some spanish... hahaha! :D

Dinner, planning, and relaxation as we get ready for the next day.  Full group, full fun, full Woo Hoo!! :D  The fun was going to begin!  The most fun was that we were all on the same page... and realized that we knew what needed to get done and where to start.  Even though it wasn't going to be the smoothest adventure, but we knew where to start and the rest can only get better! How amazing!
 Gettin ready, getting psyched!
 they grow on trees?!
Blooming - so pretty everywhere!

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