Day 15 - Masaya Not Messiah

Today was the great day of market shopping. We awoke at 8:00 with visions of hand-crafted traditional clothing, bags, and various other knick-knacks dancing in our heads. Breakfast was the normal granola with yogurt, fruit, and eggs. At 9:00 a money changer came so everyone could make sure they were stacked with enough money to buy gifts for all their friends and family. Here a 20 dollar bill gets you 400 cordoba, which, if you remember yesterday’s blog, is enough to buy you 4 Spain soccer jerseys. You get the picture: things are pretty cheap.

A van came to pick us up at 10 to take us to the market at Masaya. Masaya is about a 30 minute drive, but, unlike Ometepe, the roads are paved. Once again, the van we got was too small and we had to squeeze a few people in. At the market, we divided into small shopping groups and headed into the vast market ready to bargain and find the best deal on every souvenir we wanted.

It turns out that the market isn’t very big. From a spatial standpoint it’s fairly big, but then you have to consider that 80% of the shops carry the exact same merchandise. Most of the stuff was made in Guatemala, but when I pointed this out to a store owner as a reason why my item should be cheaper he responded, “No, no. The materials are from Guatemala but it was made here.” I still don’t buy that. I did buy the item, however. Overall the day was extremely successful and I think everyone got mostly what they were looking for.

The market trip lasted until about 3, when we reconvened at the hotel. Then the chaperones let us hit the town. The trips were mostly out to grab an afternoon snack before dinner. For dinner we went to this Irish pub (owned by an Irishman). Catherine got confused and tried to make a complicated order in Spanish and was struggling pretty bad. Luckily Punneh reminded her that the man was Irish and spoke English. Phew. A few of us ordered burgers, a few picked salads, and a few got pasta. The shocking part was that it took them almost 2 hours to prepare a burger. And the burgers were the first food item served to us. It was good to get food, because everyone was getting really unhappy.

This is a short blog, but today was a pretty leisurely day (although you wouldn’t guess that from Bob, who has fallen asleep while reading his book in the chair across from me). Tomorrow is our last day! Hopefully everyone can hold it together for just one more day. It should be fun since we are going to the top of some volcano and going ziplining. Curfew has been moved up so I’ll probably post this and then have about a half hour until bed.

Salida de emergencia,


(I didn’t learn any Spanish today, but there is a sign I’m looking at that says “Salida de emergencia” so I thought I’d go with it.)