Almost time to return to the Jungle…

Well it is almost time for my 3 week holiday to end, and return to the jungle for 11 more weeks of hard work saving the rainforest (or turtles, birds or perhaps mammals…) and my goodness it has gone quickly.

I´ve really enjoyed my mosaic classes, and produced two in four days of classes (around 12 hours or so).  They are certainly not works of art, but I had fun and I think they are pretty good for first attempts.  One is for my Spanish school CENAC, and the second is a gift for my host family.  Two birds with one stone there as well.  I think that what I like the best about mosaic as an art form is that it doesn´t have to be perfect, I don´t really have the best drawing skills or a knack for art, and so finding something creative where you don´t have to be a master artist to achieve a good result is fantastic.

I took the bus to the markets at Masaya on the weekend, and encountered a lively bustling local market.  I don´t feel acutely ´foreign´in Granada but I certainly did in the market, it is one of those hot noisy loud situations where you don´t understand a word of what people are saying and don´t recognise half of the things for sale! I bought 17 pairs of socks for US$5.  I am planning on wearing them a couple of times each and then throwing them away.  Yes I know I am a TERRIBLE hippy but anyone reading this who has been to Cano Palma will understand! (and mum, no my package has not arrived yet, I am hoping somebody will check the mail in the next couple of weeks….)

I took the locals bus to Masaya, given that it only cost US 0.50cents to get there (hotels sell a tour out there for much more than that!) and it was an interesting experience.  Where I am staying is very close to the bus station out there, and when I got onto the bus it was not too crowded.  While you are waiting for the bus to depart, various vendors of food and drink make their way down the aisles and don´t hop off until the very last moment, the bus is actually moving out of the station by the time the last one hops off, anxious to make as many sales as possible. 

The bus did not stay empty for long, the driver basically navigates at a crawl through the cities´outer suburbs (and I literally do mean a crawl, I could have walked faster than the bus) and if anybody looks like they might want to catch it he yells ´MASAYA MASAYA MASAYA´and the people hurtle towards the bus and clamber on.  The bus barely even stops and they really have to run for it.  Once we´d left the city, the bus slowed down to pick up a guy from the side of the road.  He jumped on and immediately launched into an enthusiastic sales pitch.  At first I thought he was selling vitamins, but soon after that a full-colour poster of various intestinal parasites came out, and I realised he was selling worming pills…. several people bought some as well so it must be a real problem in these parts (hooray).

Some other snippets – the women vendors in Granada carry around their wares in baskets on their heads.  I was sitting at lunch the other day and saw a woman with a giant packet of remote controls on her head, walking into all of the restaurants & shops in the hopes they required a spare or replacement remote!  At the same lunch I left the remainders of my food on the table outdoors and went in to pay, and by the time I came out, a kid was sitting at my table polishing the rest of it off….  Today I amused myself during lunch by talking to the parrot in a cage in the back.  He could say ´ola´and wolf whistle.  Finally somebody I speak better spanish than!!!

I am pretty glad my spanish classes are almost over, not because I haven´t enjoyed them but because in 2 weeks I have absorbed SO much information, without the time to really reflect or properly learn the words and verb conjugations.  I definitely have a good base to get on with now, and I must do a small amount of study every day back in Costa Rica, and practice speaking to the Spanish speakers out there, in order to capitalise on these two weeks of lessons. 

Well this is also the end of daily internet access for me.  Now I´m an intern at Cano Palma I can use the internet from time to time (usually in the middle of the night after turtle walks on the beach) but it is antiquated dial-up so I won´t really have the best access.  Facebook will have to wait for the weekly visits to town (assuming they have finally fixed all of their technical problems that is…..)

So signing off from Granada, and I´ll see you all on the other side!

Jess x

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3 Responses to “Almost time to return to the Jungle…”

  1. Iris Greenland Says:

    Very impressed with the mosaics, esp. the second one! xxx

  2. Gwan Says:

    Always so interesting, Jess!

  3. Alysha Says:

    Wow Jess, you have done so much! I’ve just read your whole blog now. It definitely sounds like hard work, but it also seems worth it. I think I would consider doing something like this. Such a great experience!
    By the way, I think your artwork is quite impressive!
    Looking forward to more stories and pictures – keep it coming. xxx

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