Although arriving in beautiful, colonial Granada and being able to stroll around, eat well, see the lake, etc. was enjoyable, we´ve decided to recommend to the next delegation that they skip the city altogether and head straight to Ometepe. Here is what my friends in Mexico would call ¨gringolandia¨: English spoken everywhere, terrible American music playing, pricey international restaurants, lots of hippy types in the streets... Though it´s been a good time to bond and plan ahead, we´ve gotten very little out of our day here, and absolutely no Spanish practice. Also, things are expensive here! I´m glad we´re going out to the island today, though getting there will be a long and sweaty experience. First we have to bus to Rivas, then taxi to the port San Jorge to catch a ferry to the island, then take a bus to the city nearest our hostel, then hike a few kilometers to arrive.
We´ve been using our time together also to reflect on what we´ve learned to far, including sharing our ¨lightbulb moments¨: what really made a lightbulb go on over our heads. These ranged from religion as a powerful motivator for activism to a country being in debt as analagous to a sharecropper who is always in debt and never can own his own land. A couple overarching questions came out of our talk, questions that we´ll have in the back of our minds for the rest of the trip: How do you get people to care? How does change happen?
We´ll post again soon from the beautiful volcanic island!