Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 6 Granada

So we finished our 3 days of private classes and both feel that we learned alot. Jennie`s teacher told her that she is now at a good intermediate level, which is a great improvement from her beginner level 3 years ago. She was able to have some great discussions with her teacher, in Spanish, this time.
This furniture moving was happenening right in front of our rented place in Granada. Love the means of transportation!!!

These dancers were in the central park in Granada.

The language school had a party. These kids were showing off their breakdancing and dancing skills. We also had delicious homemade tacos!!! The funny masked people are part of a cultural comedy act. Very entertaining!!!

Jennie went for some pampering at a spa in Granada that cost WAY less than at home!

Carita Feliz is a place where kids can hang out when they are not in school. It keeps them off the streets and out of trouble. Jennie volunteered here on her last trip. This time we stopped by to donate hairdressing supplies for the hairdressing program.

This is the former hairdressing teacher from Carita Feliz. Luz now runs her own beauty salon out of her house and is going to mentor our Nicaraguan friend, Reyna, who we are sponsering, as she trains to set up her own beauty salon.

We gave some of the donated hairdressing supplies to Luz and she was very greatful for everything.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 4 Granada

This morning, we both had 3 hours of Spanish class - mucho por la cabesa!
Afterwards, we went to the market and the supermarket to buy food for supper (we invited Reyna and her boys and Jennie´s Spanish teacher and his wife. This will be a good experiment in cooking in our little kitchen.
We then visited Carita Feliz, where Jennie volunteered 3 years ago. It is an organization, started by a Danish man, that works with poor people, teaching them skills they need to succeed in school or to make a living. It has made amazing progress in the 3 years and now offers its courses in bright, clean and spacious halls. We´ll be bringing lots of hairdressing supplies there tomorrow (donated by friends in Langley and White Rock) to help the hairdressing instructor teach young girls how to do that job.
We have to borrow a card reader to post pictures, so we won´t be posting them every day. You´ll have to wait until the next time!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 3 Granada

Hola Amigos!

It´s our third day in Nicaragua. We have reconnected with our friend Reyna and her extended family through shared meals and much talking, showing pictures, gift-giving, etc. Reyna´s kids and her nephews and nieces who we visited three years ago are growing up. The niece who is Gabrielle´s age is now married! (Don´t get any ideas, Gabrielle!) One of Reyna´s sons has graduated from primary school and is learning the trade of carpentry.

We had dinner with a nice couple who Jennie connected with a year ago via e-mail. They rebuilt a nice colonial house with a beautiful courtyard. They have started a bamboo house business - the ultimate in environmentally-friendly building materials. We toured the factory that has begun turning out kits for low-cost housing in Haiti and other places where earthquakes can be a problem.

We met three young people, from France and Spain, who are volunteering in Costa Rica for a year. We visited Granada´s market and some artisan shops. We started Spanish lessons at Casa Xalteva.

Mucho occupado!

Here are some photos to give you an idea of our surroundings.

Some street scenes in Granada.

Here´s the house we´re renting for 2 weeks.

We "had to" get a membership at a pool for the week. It´s so hot here. It really helps to cool off in the pool.

Reyna, Manuel de Jesus, and Juan-Ramon. Jesser models the clothes we brought him.

Mercedes served up a feast in her backyard at lunchtime today. Here daughter and daughter-in-law smiled a lot. Her middle son modeled his new jacket and the newly-weds posed for their first picture as a couple.

The bamboo house factory. The founder is at the bottom.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We've arrived in Granada, Nicaragua!!!

David kindly drove us to the airport last night. Jennie´s backpack didn´t make it through security without being totally emptied. I´d forgotten to remove my school scissors from an outside pocket and also 2 fort Langley hooks made in the blacksmiths shop! OOps! Quite embarassing. We left on time at 11:15pm and arrived in Houston at the wee hours this morning. So my ears didn´t explode with the flying, but they were uncomfortable, so I didn´t sleep a wink on either flight. I drank a ton, chewed lots of gum and put hot, wet compresses over my ears during descent. Wow, did the humidity ever hit us when we arrived! A nice Dutch man was there with a sign and drove us to our cute 2 storey place. I´ll post pictures tomorrow. We unpacked a bit but were literally dripping with sweat, so we came here to the outdoor pool and got a one week membership. The water is wonderfully refreshing. At 5pm we´ll leave to get a taxi to Rena´s house. Then at 7:30pm we´re meeting a new couple that moved here from the States and built a beautiful colonial home. Full day! I imagine we´ll crash after that! ps We have air conditioning!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Heading back to Nicaragua on July 25th, 2010

Leaving in less than a week. Exciting! We're looking forward to reconnecting with Nicaraguan friends that we made last time we were there. Time to start packing!