How many cities in the world can you visit where there are more than 2.4 million people but you will wake up to the sound of a rooster’s crow?

I’m sure Managua isn’t the only such place, but it is just one example of the beautiful contrast of this place.

Laura, Sam and Jenna ready for breakfast

Laura, Sam and Jenna ready for breakfast

We are heading for the volcano and market in Masaya soon, but first — breakfast. Coffee, juice, eggs, rice and beans, tortillas, watermelon, white pineapple, avocado and cheese. The tortillas here are made of corn but are much thicker than you would find in an American grocery store, similar to pita bread.

We are learning and experiencing so much about this place. It may be weeks after we return home before we can process it all.

Conversations are becoming more common among the group about what will happen during our family stays, the work we’ll do and what it will be like to live in their homes. We’re getting to know each other better, too.

More after today’s adventure.

Posted in Go!

Brisa, 10, plays the Marimba as her mom plays guitar at Quaker House

Brisa, 10, plays the Marimba as her mom plays guitar at Quaker House

We are spoiled as guests of Quaker House. Our meals are cooked for us and for the last two nights we have enjoyed personal concerts. (Read about our visit with Philip Montalban)

Tonight we heard some of the most popular folk songs in Nicaragua, played on Marimba by 10-year-old Brisa, and on guitar by her mother. The family, from Managua, are good friends with ProNica staff.

Brisa, who, again, is only 10, played a wooden Marimba intricately painted with mango trees. When her small concert of six songs was finished, she continued to play a song in her head by moving the mallets in the air, never touching the bars. She had an obvious passion for the music and smiled brightly as she played, and at our applause.

After the concert in the Quaker House living room, we were able to browse through handicrafts available for purchase that were made by the same family.

Now, a group is playing the card game Spoons, while others read, journal or visit.

Next up: Tomorrow we visit the Masaya Volcano National Park and Masaya Market, known for its artisan works.

Brisa, 10, plays the Marimba as her mom plays guitar at Quaker House

Brisa, 10, plays the Marimba as her mom plays guitar at Quaker House

Posted in Go!