Saturday, March 31, 2012

Granada and Las Isletas

By Isabel, Charles, Emilia and Gerrit

Last night we went out to eat at Asados El Gueguense, it was really open and didn’t have windows. There we had all different types of meat; beef, pork and chicken. After everybody ate the fantastic meal a live band started playing music and we all started to dance. It was kind of embarrassing and I was just as much sad to leave as I was relieved, but the true embarrassment came when we got back. We read out loud the past posts. . . and comments. Everyone blushed as they heard their pet names called out by their parents.
The 21 Travelers

Today was the day that we went to Granada, and we were accompanied by Isabel and Lola’s partners from ANS, whose names were both Andrea. Granada is the oldest city in Central America. It was our first day where we experienced a little bit of shopping, because we went to a market in Granada. All the stuff that were being sold were all hand made, interesting, and really cool. For example there was a wallet that was made of a real frog. All the stuff were really pretty and nice, and it was hard to resist buying everything. To start the day off we began with a few questions given to us by Cullan and Ahmirah. the questions were to find out about a famous Nicaraguan singer or writer, and to find out a verse or two of the Nicaraguan national anthem, find out about a typical Nicaraguan meal, and to find the three best things about Nicaragua. To find out all the answers we had to ask local people. We sometimes had to ask more than one person to find out the answer because some people just didn’t know, and it was sometimes embarrassing.

While walking around we saw poverty, and also the opposite. While we asked people questions the boys all bought sunglasses and had swagg. At some point this was a challenge, but in the end it all worked out. After the questions we went on a horse carriage in Granada to tour the city. We saw a couple churches, a jail, a hospital, a old train station, the oldest house in the city, and of course we took swagg pictures at every stop. All the houses had brilliant, vibrant colors that amazed everyone. To end the beginning of our trip we stopped at a nice restaurant by the lake to get lunch called Puerto Asese. It had a pretty view of Mombacho, which is one of the biggest volcanoes. Eamon and Alex started chugging water and soda and by the end were both able to finish a full glass in less than 4 seconds (Eamon was better at chugging from a bottle, Alex was better from a cup). To pick from we had a choice of chicken, pork, and beef. All of it was very good.

Soda in a bag

This afternoon after this morning’s adventures we went on a boat tour of Las Isletas. It was so nice. We were all spread out between two boats. As we toured Lake Nicaragua we saw so many tiny islands, many of which were privately owned. We then all started to fantasize about buying an island of our very own. One of the islands had spider monkeys living on it! They swung from branch to branch, even coming to arm's length within the boat. And after that we went to the fort where the Nicaraguans defended the docks from the pirates. Half way through we stopped at a restaurant and got drinks and Alex and Eamon chugged theirs in a very short amount of time. On the way back we raced to the docks then got on the bus and came back to the hotel. And later on Cullan and Charles got one of the people that was staying in the hotel to prank Alex. To summarize it all up Alex was sort of shaken up and was afraid he was going to get arrested for being a terrorist.

 Lola the student meets Lola the monkey

 Celia paints a beautiful flower

 A view of Mombacho
Saying adios to the Andreas

Before we end for today Mykyah just wants to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her dear mother, and to have many many more.


  1. Hey Loganberry, it's 5:20 a.m. here so that would make it 3:30 a.m in Nicaragua just got in from dropping Brianna off at the airport for her adventure at Grand Canyon. I had to come on the blog before I laid down again to read about your adventure to Granada. All I can say is WOW!You all seem to be having a fantastic time. I wish I could be there experiencing all these new things with you. I miss you. Love you lots. Mom

  2. Wow I am so jealous about the monkeys! I hope you are taking lots of pictures, Bel. Also thank you Tr Lacey for all the amazing pictures posted. I love being able to see what you guys are doing everyday.

    Belly, I love that I can still manage to embarrass you at 2000 miles away. I feel like my job as a mother is well done. ;) love you!!

    Be well and enjoy your travels to you all!

  3. Hello everyone!

    Just a quick note to say that we are having a blast. It's hard to believe that we are already through half of our time here! Everyday Tr. Kate, Tr. Anthony, and I wish that we could teleport you all here for a moment just to catch a glimpse of these amazing students in action. We've been so impressed by their willingness to jump into each and every activity with openness, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor - we tell them that soda in a bag exists: they want some immediately; would you like to snack on nacatamales and fresh cocotes from a tree: yes, please give us some; we're having field day with ANS and Chacoccente students - no I don't mind crawling on my hands and knees through layers of dust (Shaniyah should get a medal for her arms and elbows army crawl)...I could go on and on.

    Touring Granada in horse drawn carriages and later exploring Las Isletas by boat yesterday was a true highlight for me. In the park, students snacked on salted mango and traveled around in groups of six to ask some of the locals a few questions about Nicaragua - Eamon went so far to buy a plaque with all of the words to the National Anthem printed on it! It was a great chance to get to use their Spanish a bit more and learn more about the country. The history in Granada is truly incredibly. We learned that many of the sites we saw were originally built to protect the city against pirates, and then later taken over by various presidents and used throughout the country's revolution.

    Las Isletas was beautiful. We didn't see any freshwater bull sharks (thank goodness!), but we learned that there are still some alive and swimming in the deeper waters. We boated around the islands that were formed thousands of years ago from Mombacho's erruption, and saw so many birds: tall white egrets, blue, green, and purple(!) herons, water hens, and cattle birds with fuzzy white faces that apparently eat the ticks off of cows, and orioles swarming around the tall trees and epiphytes. And later when we approached the spider monkeys we were pleased to meet another "Lola" - both were very well behaved during our visit.

    A couple of other highlights that have made me smile was a couple of creative endeavors during our downtime. The boys directed and filmed a death scene by the pool (Gerrit was very convincing); and the girls recorded a "music video" that is probably best watched with the sound off.

    Today: Mombacho! We will be hiking the crater and zip-lining - and I will be trying my best to be brave!

  4. Hey Ahmirah! I really wish I could be there with you to enjoy this wonderful experience. I get so excited when I see a new picture of you and your friends. I miss you so very much! L'amourai is here and she's been asking about you. She said tell her to come home. I can't wait to hear you say "bell pepper" again. To all the travelers enjoy and be safe! I'm curious to know how was the soda in a bag? And logan beautiful shirt!

  5. Kai j,

    It seems as if you are having the experience of a lifetime... Everyone here is so very proud of you!
    BTW... I spoke to Olivia last night and she's on her way back home today from her adventure. We can't wait to see you, your brother misses you too:)
    Love, mom

  6. P.S. It's April Fools Day and I have to say that last night Cullan and Charles orchestrated a pretty good prank with the help of a loud, large hotel guest. You'll have to ask Alex for the full details, but after "Sam from the C.I.A." asked him about his DNA being found in the pool, I was pretty sure that this was all a joke and we weren't going to have to free Alex from a Nicaraguan jail. Alex maintains that he did NOT pee in the pool.

  7. Many thanks, travelers, for such interesting reflections! I echo Beth's appreciation for Lacey's visuals AND the monkeys. I didn't know monkeys would be involved in this trip!

    Celia: Beautiful watercolors! Can't wait to see you and your sketches in just a few days. Remember to soak it all up while you can. Looking forward to hearing about the zip-lining too!

    And now, a very parental thought to all travelers: please take a moment to send a mental (or better yet, written!) note of thanks to all the folks who contributed to your trip; all the family and friends who believe in you and this travel experience. There are many hearts and minds traveling with you!

  8. Tr. Ericka MorrisApril 1, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    ENVY!! It is cloudy and I cannot find any soda-in-a-bag around here if I tried.. The food at the restaurant looks delicious! Take it all in-when I lived overseas, I didn't really think about how different things were than the U.S. these days I think back and wish I had been more cognizant of what was going on. Stay safe, have fun, make friends and keep eating good food. @Kai Burton-I saw everyone yesterday-no one(aka-your mom) falling a part @Maestro Anthony-that was "messed up" how they put you on front street with that sleeping picture on the
    ~Tr. Ericka Morris

  9. Wow! Thanks kids and teachers for making this blog so amazing! I feel like I get to live a little bit of your trip (without the heat). Gerrit, if I find out that you've instigated the chugging contests or the pranking, I'm definitely going to publish your pet name so Tr. Rich can use for his personal arsenal! I see you've spent your cashola on shades and a necklace, but I'm really hoping that frog wallet isn't out of price range (hint). Keep having a great time, we miss you. Your Bunkas (Fabio and Cecil) are patiently waiting for your return. Love, MOM

  10. Hello, all! I'm an old friend of Tr. Kate's (since third grade!) and was in her seventh grade Spanish class where she got A's on everything (I got B's). I'm tempted to tell you funny stories about Kate in middle school... but I won't (for now). I know how much she loves Nicaragua, and how excited she is to share it with you! Also, your photos all look fun and warm, and it is cold and raining in Philly, so you are definitely the lucky ones. Celia - your watercolor is beautiful!

    Best wishes for the rest of your trip!
    Tr. Kate's friend, Elaine

  11. Wow..I am jealous! I would love to be there with my fav crew! Looks beautiful & reminds me of my trip to Colombia with M. Marcela! Enjoy the rest of the trip..&'s your turn for a prank! Buy lots of treasures!
    Tr.Alison A.

  12. Wow! What an amazing trip! I am a friend of Tr. Kate, and also used to live in Nicaragua. You are all really getting a VIP tour, and I can tell that you are seeing many aspects of the country. I'm excited that you went to one of my favorite restaurants in Nicaragua, Asados el Gueguense! I'm glad you got to embarrass yourselves dancing there. I've been embarrassed there too - I brought my mom there when she came to visit me, and boy was I surprised when instead of Nicaraguan and Latin American music, the band started playing some old 50s and 60s American songs, and my mom started singing along!
    Que disfruten el resto del viaje!!
    Kate S.

  13. Wow, this is so amazing, I am loving the pics & stories. Royalti, I sent uncle Donald the post web address so he can see how much fun everyone is having. I hope you are taking plenty of pictures. The weather looks great. Hey Royalti, can I post your nick name too? Enjoy, enjoy & enjoy some more. Love you, be safe.

    1. Hey daddy! Miss you much! Feel free to embarrass me because I have come to except that name. Cam you ask mom to try to write a post sometime before we leave on Wednesday? And tell my sister I miss her too.

  14. Hallo Emilia,
    Sag Hallo zu den Affen - suess, wir vermissen Dich sehr, selbst Luisa freut sich, dass Du bald wieder kommst. Viel Spass. Besos de tu papa y portate bien. Heute kommt die Oma

  15. Noah--The photos are fantastic and it sounds like you are filling every moment with advenrure and fun.I Hope you are taking lots of photos and writing evrything down so you remember it all. Have fun. I love you and miss you. Jonas and I are on teh Russian River with Aunt Patrice and all we can think is how much better it would be if you were with us. But I know you are having the time of your life!! xo mom

  16. Wow! I want to truly thank you for reminding me that I gotta get out of Philadelphia more often. Your vibrant photos and prose have inspired me to travel more. Thank you for that reminder! I was feelin' Sabine with the nervous flight photo - I assume earthquake position for most plane rides. I need to hear more about how you got through it!
    My vicarious living through you has transported me out of cloudy, cold Philadelphia. Thank you & keep it coming!
    Love, Tr Anne

  17. Hi, Cully! We are loving reading about your adventures with your friends and seeing the photos. Carl, Lenny and Bruce all miss you! And we do too, of course! T. Lacey, thanks for your updates as well. It is really SO MUCH FUN checking this blog everyday. What a great way to keep in touch. We can really feel what a great time everyone is having. We hope you're enjoying the zip line today. Keep trying new things and having fun!
    Love, mom, dad and anya.

  18. Baseball boys... Noah never signed up so the league draft can't happen tonight (Sunday). If he signs up you can go to the site and vote to move the draft to 3/4. That would be the best thing to do if you have access to a computer to do it. Otherwise we can deal with it after Spring break (and have a very late draft). Have fun!

  19. Hi Ahmirah looks like ur having fun wish i were there, i was lookin at all the pictures ur the littlest one, well fun again love u c u when u get back ur Godmom

  20. hi kai its anonymous it could be anyone u know. how was the trip is the weather there. do u think the boys r cute.this is not ur dad. what is ur favorite part of the trip so u like the food there.

  21. Hey Noah, you have to go on the zip-line.So that means no chickening out.I miss you dude.Love you.

  22. whats up Noah?? Hope your having a great time, I will see you this summer, love your cousin, Kyle.

  23. Hey Noah, I hope that youre having a great time on your school trip, we miss you , cant wait to see you this summer love you xo love your cousin Amelia

  24. I laughed so hard to hear about Lola the monkey meeting Lola, my gorgeous daughter! Very beautifully written post. Really felt like I was there. Can't wait to hear about the zip lining & hiking. Spent the weekend with the cousins, Lollers (I would put it another nick name but I'll have a little mercy even though I think it's too funny that y'all are embarrassed by them!). They asked about you and can't wait to see you. Keep having fun, everyone!


  25. hi jola: hope you're having fun. miss you i guess.

  26. Dear Lola (the student)
    It is great to hear and see that you are having fun. We all miss you here. Can't wait to hear all your stories first hand when you get back. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. Have FUN!!!!

    Dear Lola (the monkey)
    There is a room waiting for you in Philly.

  27. Hello Loganberry, just wanted you to know that your sister got to Phoenix okay. She will be camping at the Grand Canyon tonight. She called a little earlier and said it was really cold and snowing there. Aren't you lucky you aren't dealing with that kind of weather? Can't wait to hear about the zip lining and hiking. Your aunts tried to send you a message but couldn't quite figure it out. I will attempt to talk them through it tomorrow. lol Good Night my love. Mom

  28. Hey hey miss you all. For my friends that force me to do things I finished The Hunger Games stayed up till 1:00 in the morning! looks like you'r having fun can't wait to see you guys. Call me when you get in to the US because i am so so bored and lonely :(.

  29. Hi Ky!! Miss u soooooo much, sweetie!! Thank you for the birthday shout out, it was/is the BEST PRESENT EVER!! I love you & am very happy that you and your friends are enjoying yourselves. The stories are delightfully entertaining and I noticed you were taking pictures of the dancers. Hope you've got great ones of the architecture & beautiful scenery as well. Didn't realize they had cool stuff like "frog" wallets at the market & the whole time I've been hinting for jewelry. Ha ha hah. Hopefully you've snagged something curiously odd to show me when u get home. Have fun ziplining & watch your step hiking the craters. Can't wait to see u soon. *smooches*

  30. Hello my nephew (Charles) and friends I wrote a post earlier but somehow it was deleted. Which is horrible because Im using Ronalds phone which is not optimal but the resort in Vegas does not have free internet. I would love to see more pictures of you. Which post is yours? I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU! Stay safe, have fun and take more pictires kid.
    Gtandmom says enjoy yourself and she loves you!
    See ya soon
    Love Aunt Charlene

  31. CeliaPie:
    Loved seeing your vibrant colored sketches.
    Mine are all cold and grey because - well - its been cold and grey here this week, especially without you.
    love u DADA

  32. Hey hey,

    I miss you guy so much and with all of you gone there is no one to text I don't know how I've survived. Looks like you guys are having a ton of fun and I cant wait to hear about it. Any way I miss you so much and cant wait to see you again. Don't forget to call me the minute you are back. Ok bye then.