Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 8 - Work Hard, Play Hard

By Ari Standish

Today we woke up back at the hostel after two nights away with our host families. After breakfast, we left for the Santa Anita agricultural co-op. We worked different jobs to prepare a building for the police to live in. We had to clear an area for a septic tank amd a sidewalk, and prepare concrete for the rooms. We all had different jobs, like hoe-ing and shoveling the grass, picking up trash, taking out a tree, and reinforcing a road. We took breaks in the shade, with cokes and coconuts. 

A little before noon, we stopped for lunch, which was tortillas, rice, beans, chicken, and veggies. People from the Santa Anita community made our lunch, and we all ate together.

Then we drove back to the hostel for a quick clothing change, and headed to the lake. We had always looked out at the lake from the hostel balcony, and it was even more beautiful in person. We set out on two boats, and the lake was absolutely breath-taking. The water was still, with lots of floating plants, and there were huge mountains in he distance. We also liked the flowers growing on  the lake, which smelled like watermelon  if you got them wet. 

Our guides told us how the lake was man-made, that towns were flooded to create it. The lake was used during the civil war; the boatman took both the army and guerillas across without giving either side any information. We made a stop at Bird Island, which is home to around 20,000 birds. There are also crocodiles in the lake, but they only come out at night.

After the boat ride we came back to the hotel for free time. Some of us shopped in the town square, while others swam or napped. For dinner, Tita made us Mexican-style quesadillas with beans. After dinner we relaxed, played games, or packed (it's our last night in the hostel!). Then we had reflections, where we played a quick game and had check-ins about our goals for the trip. We were all very tired after such a long and interesting day!

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