¡Buenos días! We just got back from our week long trip to Guanacaste and Nicaragua. What an incredible experience! We started out spending a few days in Guanacaste and saw the Tempisque River, the National Park of Santa Rosa, and various towns throughout the northwest of the country. Then we were off to Nicaragua!
We crossed the border without any problems and were soon in Granada. Granada is a quaint town with beautifully constructed buildings, ancient churches, and warm people. We had a guest professor named Boris who gave us a historical tour of Granada and a guided boat tour of the Lake of Nicaragua. On our boat tour we saw monkeys, turtles, and a lot of birds. We all loved Boris. He is an energetic Frenchman originally from Normandy who had a lovely French accent when he spoke Spanish. He has lived in Granada for 5 years and has guided Linfield students for 4 of those years.
The next day we headed north through Pueblos Blancos, Niquinohomo, Masaya Volcano, and finally to Managua (the capital of Nicaragua). In one of the Pueblos Blancos, we had the opportunity to see a family-run ceramics business in action. A few of us got to throw our own clay pots on the traditional, non-electric wheels. Unfortunately, we did not have the skill as perfected as the owner's 17-year-old son, who threw a flawless pot in less than one minute. Luckily Linfield offers a ceramics club so we can perfect our skills.
In Managua we had another guest professor named Miguel Ayerdis who is a history professor at the Universidad de Centroamerica. He was very knowledgeable and took us to a lot of historically significant places throughout the city. One of them included a 360-degree view of Managua and the Lake of Managua. One of our favorite places was the National Theater of Managua because of the incredible art exhibit. That, and the building was air conditioned. :) We were very lucky to get entrance into the exhibits because the past few years, the Linfield crew hasn't been able to go in due to various reasons. After a long day of touring the city, we topped it off with delicious thick-crusted pizza.
Our last day in Nicaragua was spent in San Juan del Sur, which is a beautiful tropical beach town. We had the whole day to relax, lie in the sun, and wander around the town. The weather could not have been more perfect with the sun shining and not a cloud in sight. It was the cherry on top of fabulous adventures throughout Nicaragua.
We made it back home safely with only the trouble of a flat tire. Thanks to our incredible bus driver, Don Carlos, the tire was replaced in no time and we were off. This week we are prepping for Thanksgiving break by finishing up essays, presentations, quizzes, homework, and studying. Wish us luck!
Lily Ratliff Biology Major, Costa Rica Fall 2010, Class of 2012