Last night we arrived in Nicaragua! Our first two nights we will be staying at Hotel con Corazón in Granada. It is a breathtaking nonprofit hotel that does a lot to help educate children in Nicaragua!
This morning after meeting our guide, Lenin, we traveled to one of two cloud forests in Nicaragua. After driving up the side of a volcano, we were able to explore some of the forest and learn about the ecology of a bosque nuboso! The words "cloud forest" in Spanish are some of the few I have learned today. I am the only non-Spanish speaking student on the trip, so it's been a bit confusing. However, every person in the group has been amazing about translating for me and teaching me new phrases! I expect to be fluent by our return date of the 22nd.
After our romp in the cloud forest we stopped for lunch at a local restaurant. We sampled all kinds of Nicaraguan food (though I was sampling only vegetarian dishes... Again, problem child). We had fried cheese, meatballs with plantains, roasted bananas, pork, chicken, and fish in various forms, and the best guacamole on the planet.
Full from lunch, we took a walking tour around Granada where we were able to see many of the historic sites of the Walker occupation, where he declared himself president of Nicaragua and then burned the old city of Granada. These are both subjects that we studied heavily before coming to Nicaragua and it's amazing to have read about all of these places and now we are able to see them. We saw the house famous Nicaraguan poet, Ernesto Cardenal was born in, witnessed some beautiful local artwork, and climbed to the top of a bell tower!
This might seem like a complete day but not for this lively group! We hopped on some rental bikes and headed down to the coast for an eventful ride. There were horses everywhere, cars flying by, beautiful trees and scenery, and lots of people.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of our trip brings!