Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mombacho Canopy Tours

This weekend we took a trip to Mombacho, a nearby volcano, to go on the canopy tour. We ziplined through 15 platforms in the trees! Some of us were nervous at first but after the first ride everyone was having a blast. Our group included 5 other volunteers, and then two girls from New Mexico who signed up to go on the trip as well. The guys running the trip let us ride the ziplines a few different ways, the most exciting being upside down (estilo de mono "monkey style"). After the trip we went to try some of the coffee grown on Mombacho, and though I don't really like coffee, I drank a bit and it wasn't bad. Definitely an enjoyable morning, followed by a relaxing afternoon here in Granada.

Liora riding upside down on the last zipline

Last rope

Me riding upside down

Lauren showing off her skills

Sarah, ziplining like a pro
Here are a few photos of the kids at my school Elba Zamora. The kids are a lot of fun, though can be crazy, and I'm definately enjoying working with them. For the next two weeks there is vacation so we are holding a "summer school" at one of the other schools. Hopefully that goes well, it will be a change of structure and a chance to work with just a few kids. I'm excited, and since it is run by the volunteers (rather than working within the regular school day), hopefully things will run more or less as planned (as at school we have to work around all kinds of surprises, early releases, extra recess, exams, etc...).


Puzzles at Recess

First and Second Grade

Another Shot
San Juan Del Sur/Playa Madera

Last weekend we took a trip to San Juan del Sur and Playa Madera--two nearby beaches on the Pacific Coast. They were beautful beaches and it was a really relaxing weekend! San Juan is a bit more developed while Playa Madera was pretty deserted and lots of big waves--pretty popular with surfers.

Me at Playa Madera

Playa Madera

Playa Madera

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So, I'm pretty bad at keeping up with this blogging thing, but I will try a little bit harder. I'm definately getting into the swing of things here, though that really seems to mean learning that nothing is ever "normal." Official holiday vacation has changed, days off become days on and then days off again all within a matter of hours, and school gets let out an hour early for no reason and with no one telling you. But I am enjoying working with the kids, when I do get to, and also started working on the severely neglected library project which is a lot of work, but should be good when done. Right now we are sorting through hundreds of dirty and sometimes bug infested books, which is an ugly mess, but I am looking forward to making a functional library out of all this! Over the weekend I went to the beach, it was a lot of fun and really beautiful, I will post pictures soon!. Miss everyone, keep in touch!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This weekend I took a trip with two friends to the beautiful colonial city of Leon. The highlight of the trip was volcano boarding, where we hiked up the active Cerro Negro volcano and followed that by sliding down on wooden sled-like things in pretty amazing orange suits. Once at the top of the volcano we hiked into the crater. Also there are some pictures from around Leon, which is a very beautiful town and a lot of fun to walk around in.

The Volcano Boarding Truck

Going down the Volcano

Me on the practice run

Showing off the orange suit

On top of the Cerro Negro Volcano

Looking into the Crater of the Volcano (which we climbed in)

One of the many beautiful churches in Leon

Another Church in Leon

Un Leon (Lion) en Leon


I've decided to go ahead and use a blog, mostly to post pictures, but also to tell you a little about what I am doing here in Nicaragua. I guess it would have been smart to start this off in Mexico, but better late than never. Here I am volunteering with an organization called La Esperanza Granada, working with 2nd graders in a school outside of Granada Nicaragua. Things are going pretty well but its been a been crazy these past few weeks with parties for International Children's Day and exams this week. It's pretty eye-opening to see what kind of education these kids are getting and the huge differences in levels going on in the classroom. Today and yesterday have been pretty weird days because the students have exams in the morning, so we haven't been able to work with them much. We did give an art class today, so that was nice.