It's been a while.

Trip Start Sep 07, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Okay I have lots to tell you. We went to the fortress of doom and it was a different kind of scary than I thought it was going to be. We took a cab to the top of a really steep hill where we found this so called fortress. It was covered in graffiti and there were teenagers just kind of hanging around. There were no other tourists, but we were there so we got out of the cab. Our "guide" came over and we paid him I think it was a dollar and we just looked around the outside. There were some amazing views of Masaya. Then we were led underground into a maze of concrete that smelled of pee. I was as usaul slightly freaked out because I just knew we were being led into some kind of trap. But we were just shown some small rooms where prisoners were kept and these tunnel things that were used for solitary confinement. That part was seriously creepy (the way I thought it was going to be). After that we went to the market. It was in a really cool building. In Nicaragua there are children everywhere asking you for money. In the market there was one who kept telling us he was hungry. Jeff offered to buy him some food and he kept saying to just give him the money and he would get it, but Jeff said no. When we started to walk away he finally said ok and he dragged Jeff by his arm around the corner to a lunch counter. We let him order what ever he wanted and then he had a friend come up and say he was hungry too so we let him order food too. We sat with them for a little bit and then we payed and let them eat their meal. That night there was some more kids asking for money and Jeff gave one the change from his pocket (which wasn't much) The next morning when we left our hotel they were asleep on the sidewalk. It was heartbreaking. They were probably only 9 or 10.

After Masaya we headed to the most peaceful place I have ever been in my life. It's called Laguna Apoyo. It is an extinct Volcano which is now a crater lake. We took a taxi there from Masaya and the ride down is nice enough but then we got to our hotel and were blown away. When you walk through the gates a calm comes over you. The hotel itself is very simple but its clean and the yard is neat (which seems to be rare in Nicaragua) On the back of the building there is a huge deck that over looks the lake. They had kayaks and intertubes and the was a little dock in the lake to jump off of. We spent a long time out on the water just floating around. We both got sunburnt. It seems sunscreen is the only thing we lost during our three weeks of travel. The water was perfect and it was so clear and blue. Every once in awhile something would hit your arm and it would be a piece of volcanic rock that had floated to the surface (they have air pockets). It was perfect I wish we could have stayed longer.

After we left the most tranquil place on Earth we went to Granada. We didn't really do much except walk around town. It's very beautiful. The next morning we took the Tica bus which is a bus that takes you from Nicaragua to San Jose Costa Rica. It's much nicer and easier than traveling on your own between the two countries, but it did take 9 hours.

Saturday we moved in with our host family. They are great! The mom and dad are very close to our age so it is really weird calling them my host parents. Their names are Cinthya and Alejandro. They have 3 kids, Manuel is 7, Marielle is 6 and Ismael is 2 almost 3 and he runs around all the time yelling. I'm very comfortable but I don't know if Jeff is used to it yet. We wake up at 5 or 6 every morning because that is basically when the sun rises and you can hear Ismael. Cynthia makes us breakfast. The first couple of days she gave me huge plates. I had to tell her I need less food because Jeff refused to keep helping clean my plate for me. We spend alot of time just hanging out with the family. Jeff has started school. Monday was his first day. We went yesterday and I signed up for classes and took a placement exam. I start next monday. When Jeff is around I don't get to practice my spanish very much but when he's in class I practice alot. No one in our host family speaks english. Alejandro does know a few words. I went with Cinthya yesterday afternoon to pick the kids up from school and I went with them to meet her family. And when I say family I mean family, mom, dad, brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins, even an uncle. She has a big family and they all live close. Well I've spent along time at this computer. I put some pictures up so check the old blogs. Love you.
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