Thanksgiving 2008: Getting Gnatsy [updated]

>> Saturday, December 06, 2008

[Edited with more pictures!]
We spent Thanksgiving with most of our TEFL group and a few people from the new group at a campground in Buenos Aires, Rivas, right on Lake Nicaragua. A map for your viewing pleasure:

We all met in Granada to do our grocery shopping, then a big group of us (people and dogs) staked claim in the back of a bus to Rivas.  We met up with the rest of the group, and rode in the camp owner's van to the campground.  Here's the whole gang (minus Cella and Nicole, because they were in the front seat).  Shortly after this picture was taken, Luna vomited on the floor... thank goodness I packed a roll of paper towels.
We were soon met with a surprise when we stopped in the middle of the dirt road leading to the camp and had to get out; the road was flooded, so the van parked at the edge of the flood and we all traveled the rest of the way with luggage and pets in a horsedrawn cart.  Here are Paul, Marcella, Katie, Dora (on Paul's lap), Brown Dog, Luna (Brown Dog's BFF), and me.  This picture was taken  just as the horse cart jerked into motion, so we were all a little shocked:
 When I say campground don't be misled--we actually stayed in a brand new guest house that was 100x nicer than we expected.
When we looked out our window, this is what we saw:
We got to go horseback riding, though the horses could sense our inexperience and pretty much behaved as they pleased:
The wind coming off of the lake was super strong and so the waves of the lake made it sound like the ocean. The lake level is the highest now that it's been in something like 50 years, so the nice beach was covered with water. All along the lake this time of year there's a constant cloud of gnats that get into everything, but as long as you're in the wind it's not much of a problem.

We took the dogs with us and Brown Dog and Katie's dog, Luna really liked the freedom. Dora was mostly terrified by it and rarely left our side. Whenever we left the main house area the dogs would always follow along:
The two bigger dogs spent most of their time wrestling, but sometimes they would wander off and come back mysteriously scratched, sopping wet, or, in the case of Brown Dog, covered in horse poop. On the last morning there I found a mysterious dead chicken and can't shake the feeling that the dogs were somehow responsible:
The TEFL group that we came in with originally had 20 people and now we're down to 13, so now whenever we get together we pretty much forget the things that used to annoy us when we were in training together and just enjoy each others' company. Since the camp was in the middle of nowhere and the road out was flooded, there wasn't anywhere else to go and we were forced to talk and hang out.  Surprisingly it wasn't awful.
It was Thanksgiving and everyone pitched in and got food for a huge feast. Everyone spent the day either preparing food or watching other people prepare food.  The camp had a really nice industrial kitchen, so it was perfect for making a feast for 17.
When it was time to eat, I think there was a pretty impressive buffet. Turkeys are ridiculously expensive (at least 6x as expensive as in the States) so we ended up with chicken, stuffing, broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, salad, and cornbread.  Our boss also came with her husband and supplied us with pumpkin and pecan pies and wine.
Being away from family on Thanksgiving will definitely make us appreciate future holidays, but being able to spend it with friends is probably the second best thing. Plus, this view didn't hurt:

1 comments:

Daniel 2:27 PM, December 05, 2008  

lol, Paul thought of this title right?

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