Sun, January 15
We had our last breakfast with our families this morning. We had pancakes, corn flakes and juice. We wrote our names and addresses in the family’s book along with a greeting and then took a few pictures with our family. Donya and Amy walked with us to meet the bus. It was hard to say good-bye and I teared up a couple of times. We exchanged good-byes as group with the women. I was so touched by their sentiment of , “we hope you come back – we’ll be waiting for you.”
From Batahola we drove to see the Masaya Volcano. It was about a 15 minute drive up to the top of the volcano and then we literally only had 5 minutes to look down at the crater. The time limit is for safety since the area surrounding the crater has shifted quite a bit through the years. We could look down and see the lava and it was really cool. My pictures actually turned out pretty well. Afterwards we visited the museum on site of the volcano park and saw bats flying around (not part of the exhibit, but very cool!).
Next, we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and sunning at Apoyo Crater Lake. It was beautiful! We all swam out to the dock and played in the waves a bit. I got a little dizzy in the waves because the wind made the water pretty choppy. Then we had a buffet lunch at El Paradiso restaurant that was so good! Then, we just spent a relaxing couple of hours hanging out on the beach. It started out sunny, but got a little cloudy in the afternoon, but it was such a pleasant place. This was SUCH a nice way to spend our last day in Nicaragua. Most of the trip involved intense learning and cerebral topics so this day was much needed and enjoyed. The sand felt so good on my feet since they have spent so much time over the last 10 days in socks and boots! I think I also enjoyed this beach time because we had to cancel our trip to Hilton Head this past summer.
We left the beach about 2:30pm and headed to the market one more time for about 45 minutes so folks could do some souvenir shopping. I bought a cool cross, a nativity ornament, magnet and a clay turtle cup and saucer. After the market we went back to the Royal Inn to shower,
rest and pack. We had our last reflection that evening while some in our group went back to Batahola for mass. Dinner was at 8pm at the hotel which was good – a sweet-n-sour chicken, rice, cooked vegetables, bread, and iced tea. We also made a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the group in preparation for our long and early/late trip to the airport (midnight) since restaurants in the airport would be closed. I slept from about 9:30pm – 11:30pm and then got up to jump on the bus at midnight. Homeward bound!!