Monday, June 3, 2013

The Weeknd

Well where to even start! This was a weekend for the books! 

I guess first I will explain my week highlights. We had Spanish class all morning and tech classes all afternoon. Spanish classes have been dull and pretty unhelpful, but hopefully they will improve. The tech classes are really helpful! We have learned a handful of medical equipment so far and it's only the first week! The labs are also pretty great. It's a nice change from the rest of the day of sitting and listening. We have made extension cords, learned to solder different things and worked with some basic electrical measurements and calculations. 

And...Back to The Weeknd

Friday we had a guest speaker come in and talk about this history of Nicaragua. It was pretty interesting and the lady was so smart! She really knew her stuff. But then we were done with class around 9:30 and really had no plans on what to do. We decided to walk around the market and the city and just to kind of explore. We ended up finding a few cool places and eventually heading home to go eat lunch with our family. I am eventually going to post about some different typical food here, but that will come later. So then we hung around with the family for most of the afternoon. They are so great! Then after dinner we went to this really awesome art exhibit! They had four artists who focus on this island in the middle of lake Nicaragua. We even got to speak to one of the artists! 
The little lady is the artist and Charlotte is the ginger on the right and Allie is the one on the left. 

Then we went to the main tourist street of bars and restaurants for a while. We always get approached by people trying to sell stuff, but we still end up having a wonderful time! Here are a few fun pics from that evening: 
 Silly selfies with my friend Dan! 
Then Chas and Charlotte joined in!
Chas and Akshay with this guy who always tries to sell us things. 

Then after that we ended up walking down to check out a place that had dancing so Chas could show off some of his moves. It was a pretty interesting time. Then Charlotte and I and some guys took a cab home and we headed to bed. 

Saturday we woke up pretty early and went met up to go to the Laguna Apoyo which is a huge lake inside of a volcano that is still considered active. There are a ton of hot spring in it so it was so warm! We paid a hotel to use their amenities (docks, wifi, kayaks..) for the day. I mostly spent time in the water but we also ate lunch there and I laid out a bit. I have really gotten pretty tan which is a nice change from last summer. 

Here's a picture of the Laguna on the 3D altitude map. 

And the view from my chair..

And this is from a lookout as we left the Laguna. Is this not spectacular?! 

Then we headed home around dinner time and ate when we got home. After dinner I met up with two of my friends that I have made since I got down here. Travis, who is working an internship with Viva Nicaragua doing marketing for the Laguna, and Brando, who was down to help with a kids camp. Saturday was Brando's last night here so we all hung out one last time. Charlotte joined and we just mainly sat outside on the same main street away from the noise and talked. We actually had some pretty stimulating conversations about a wide variety of things. From religion to life goals. It was really great. We also had some amazing gelato about halfway through the night! So good! 
We also saw a fire dancer. 
And Akshay took some cute selfies with my phone when we stopped by to talk to the group. 

Overall an A+ evening. Really relaxing and great to see Travis and Brando. 

The Sunday, Charlotte went to a mountain town for the day and I hung around Granada. Dan and I went to the market and I spent some time researching some plans for the weekend in the Cafe and got to FaceTime the lovely Emily Nicole. Also one of the really cute Cafe employees came to strike up a conversation with me as I was waiting on my lunch. But with my Spanish skills and his lack of English, the conversation was pretty brief. It left me feeling pretty embarrassed and ready for my Spanish classes to kick in! I don't think I've learned a single thing yet. It's really frustrating to be in a country and taking language classes and not moving forward. I have been trying to study topics on the side that I come into contact with daily. Like talking about the weather, learning different tenses and stuff. I hope that things will be better soon. 

Today is Monday- and we were back at it with the classes. Today we learned about irregular verbs in Spanish, pulse oximeters in tech class, and did a lab on voltage, resistance and current measurements. After class I went to the cafe for a bit to work on some plans again for the next weekend. We are planning on going to San Juan Del Sur, the main surfing beach, to spend the weekend and hopefully watch a surfing competition! 

On the to do list is laundry. I haven't done it yet and need to make that happen asap. I am running out of clothes that still smell decent. Struggles of living nearer to the equator. I think I am going to drop them off tomorrow with a lady who runs a flower shop with a laundry service on the side. What an interesting combo. 

Overall this experience has really been such a blessing and a true growing experience. A weeks ago I was in a new country with new people and no knowledge regarding medical technology. 10 days later and I have amazing friends, an even better family and could probably realistically diagnose problems on 6-8 different types of medical equipment and potentially fix them. I can't imagine what it will be like after the entire summer. There aren't even words for how this experience makes me feel.  

One last note- I didn't spell the title wrong, it's a band name. 

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