Monday, January 31, 2011

snapshots of Leon Murals

check out uncle sam under
the Sandinista boot

That's Somoza under the
Revolutionary boot

The Shadow of Sandino on a huge
mural of Nicaragua's entire history

Monument to murdered student leaders

What this corner looked like in June 1979
as students were gunned down

Fleur de lis- on the University Bldg
from the 1600's i think..
At the University (6 % funding from
the Government)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cathedral in Sutiava

Original stone road (400+ yrs

At the ruins of the 1st Catholic Church

the Sun god, added to the Cathedral
ceiling to appeal to the indigenous
sun worshippers 
1 of the altars from the Cathedral in Sutuiava
Cerro Negro ( from the wrong road!)

The wrong path!

Beginning the climb up

At the Ranger Station
Mosaics of Myths at Museum of Myths and Legends

The Gigantona with a small nina

the short nicaraguan man that the
Gigantona (spanish conquistadora!) dances with

Sandinista guerilla ready to bomb a tank
Mosaics of Myths at Museum of Myths and Legends

What have they done with our   Laura?
in a crack at Tiger Rocks

looking south from Tiger Rocks at Las Panitas

Sunset from Playa Roca

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Week Of Activities

Every week day we go to school in the morning from 8-12 (with a break at 10), and then we do activities in the afternoons. Here are the activities that we did this week:

On Monday we went to the other beach, Las Penitas. There were huge waves that came up onto the bar and got everybody wet! We were supposed to leave at 6:00, but that didn't exactly happen.... When it was 6:00 everyone was ready to get in the van and leave for Leon.... except the driver! We had no idea where he was. One of the owners of the bar let us use her cellphone because Ivan's was soaked and wasn't working.We couldn't get through to him so she drove in her pick up truck to go get him. After a couple of minutes she came back with the driver and he had been buying fish!

We tried to leave because it was already about 6:20 but when we were backing up in the parking lot, we hit a white truck! The driver got out and talked (and talked) with the other driver about what to do... and finally we left the beach! We got home at about 7:30. "mas o menos!"

Tuesday's activity was to go to the Museum of Myths and Legends, but the school went there last week and all of the other people had already been there, so Rafael(a teacher) took just us there. The museum was a prison during the revolution, so there was paintings of what you would have seen during the war throughout the whole museum.

 Outside of the museum there was a statue of a Guerilla throwing a bomb at a Somoza tank. There was also mosaics of different Nicaraguan  legends and myths. Inside of the museum there was a photograph of the Nicaraguan revolution and many other little rooms.    In the little rooms there were puppets and sculptures of the people and other things in the legend and myths.

On Thursday our school's activity was to climb Cerro Negro Volcano. We came back to the school at 2:00 and we left in a gray van.We were supposed to come home at 6:00. We had no problem getting to the main road that was paved but after that we got really lost! Our first mistake was at a little school and there was a sign to go to the right but of course no one in our van read the sign at all, so we went left! There were many forks and turns in the road and no one in the van new which way to go, so we just hoped luck was on our side. Also somewhere along the way we got a flat tire so we had to change it!

Finally we got to Cerro Negro Volcano but there were no signs telling us where to climb! We looked around but didn't find anything.We all got back in the van but the van wouldn't move so everyone got out and pushed the van until we could drive. We drove around a little more and finally realized that there was a sign back at the town that said go right so we went right and a guy  got in the car and told us which way to go.

We got to the volcano after 5:00 and the sun was going down already so we didn't climb but the rest of the school did and we didn't leave until about 7:20. We made a wrong turn and got stuck in the dark but managed to push the car and get to Leon at 8:30!!!

On Thursday we had a tour of Sutiava. The bus drooped us of in the middle of Sutiava and we walked around town. We went inside the main church  and looked around the city.We saw ruins of the first church that was built there by the Spanish.

Usually on Friday there are no activities but since we are new we had to do the tour of Leon because last Friday we went to he beach. Rafael took us around Leon, and we saw lots of murals and other interesting pieces of history. We saw a mural that showed he whole history of Nicaragua. We also saw the university that is the oldest in Leon and was founded in 1812. We walked to the place where four students at the university were assassinated. Hundreds of other students were also killed during the revolution because they were leaders against the government. There are also a lot of museums in Leon so we walked to an art gallery. In the art gallery were paintings of different things you might see in Leon and other things.

we'll add pictures later..

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week End Getaway--Surfing Turtle Lodge

On Friday we took a taxi from Hilda's to the Mercadito Subtiava where the buses leave for the beaches. It was a traditional Nicaraguan trip on an old US school bus packed with people, food, bags of who knows what and all kinds of things that people bought in the city of Leon. It's only about 20 km but many stops later and after about 45 minutes or an hour we got off at the end of the line in Poneloya.

To get to the Surfing Turtle lodge we hopped on a canoe (with a small motor) and put putted across an inlet to the Isla des Brasiles. Luckily, we could walk along with a local the 1.5 km to the lodge on the edge of the island in the emerging forest. 

"Awesome"  said Margot ... there were 3 small cabanas and a 2 story building with a dorm room and a couple of private rooms, as well as a covered patio connected to the kitchen where meals and yoga happened. And swings at the bar! Very casual, of course, and right on the beach with humongus crashing waves all day and night. Bigfoot Hostel in Leon operates their surf school there.

It turns out that 2 other American families were also there; one living in Tegulcigalpa, Honduras -- the parents teaching at the English school there, and the other from CA traveling  for 2 months ( all the kids under 8!) They were friends from home and quickly made friends with us too.

Margot watched Star Wars on their computer with them the first night!  We went swimming, body surfing when we were not worried about the stingrays at low tide, and walked to the end of the island and the inlet/estuary there. It was a great calm place to swim.

We had hoped to do some computer work and start our blog, but the solar power was out, so they only ran the generator for a wee bit at night. 

Saturday night they made a huge bonfire on the beach and Pedro, one of the owners, brought his guitar and played for us.

The Surfing Turtle also tries to help protect turtles. Almost every night, either their night watchman or a poacher who has seen a turtle come on to the beach to lay eggs, digs up the eggs and then re-buries them in a secure spot on the Surfing Turtle beach. The Lodge buys the eggs from the poachers at about 12 for a $1, but they can't buy them all...

On Sunday we went back to Leon with one of the families in a private car, so it was very quick compared to the bus!  The CA family is staying in Leon now, so we have been visiting each day.....

From Dariana Spanish School-- our first post!

We arrived on Wed night January 19th, after an exhausting trip. Carlos picked us up at the Managua airport and drove us Nicaraguan-race car style to Leon and our homestay with Hilda and Hildita (another 10 yr old).  As it turned out, they were in Miami, due back on Friday, so Nellie, Hilda's niece met us with a typical dinner and after a shower we dropped into bed.

Classes started at 8am on Thursday at Dariana, a15 min walk past several churches --Leon has   16 or more, including an amazing cathedral, all quite ancient-- and all used for landmarks, as street names are either non existent or disregarded.

After class on Thursday we tromped back to Hilda's for lunch, which has become our routine, and in the afternoon skipped out on our school activity of a movie about Nicaragua's revolution ( a wee bit too intense for day 1 for us...and all in spanish, of course...)

Friday afternoon we hightailed it out of Leon for a respite at Ponteloya, or Isla des Brasiles..

more soon!