Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jen was here

You may have noticed our previous post asking for future volunteers. How do we know people might come? Because one already has!

A friend and co-worker in the Everglades, Jen, came to visit in July, and we put her through the paces:

For her first day on the island, we worked with the kids of Si a la Vida, and she jumped right in. Settling in is, apparently, for the weak.

Through our ... fame ... as educators with that program, we were invited to be judges for a English-language singing competition. It was quite interesting:

Each group not only had singers in English, but also had choreography that was supposed to demonstrate something about the song.

It's not all about the kids down here, of course. The guides of Ometepe had arranged a first aid class with a firefighter from the mainland, so we attended to see what they were learning and if we could follow up with anything useful.

The overview of first aid was actually quite good. The fourth line on there is "No luchar con la imposible" - "Don't fight the impossible fight" - a crucial point in a place like Ometepe. We practiced as much as you could in a group of forty attendees, including carry-outs:

CPR practice without dummies was an interesting part.

Jen got the full Nica experience, with lots of rice and beans, bugs, and crammed busses:

But she also got to hang out with some of the chillest people in the world, beach time, and the freshest fruit juice imaginable:
Waiter: "What would you like to drink?"
Jen: "What kind of juice do you have today?"
Waiter: looks at orange tree: "Orange juice."
Jen: "I'll have one of those, then."
Waiter: grabs stick, gets oranges, runs to kitchen...

We spent a fair amount of time at home on the farm, too, doing domestic things. Jen usually hates the kitchen, but she now has some serious chocolate making skills.

And door refinishing skills! That's domestic, right?

One thing she hoped to find here was street raspados (like snow cones). No problem, we said. We find the guy with his raspado cart in town all the time, we said. Two weeks into her stay, and no raspados. Until...


But it can't all be work all the time. Ometepe brings in tourists for a reason, so we made sure to hit a couple of the touristy places.

How could you not, right?

We're planning our future trips now, and looking into getting funding and sponsorship for our projects. If all goes well, we hope to have Jen back for an extended visit, and many more friends, too!