Day 11

We’re coming Home!

We have arrived on Canadian soil safe and sound, all together and all with luggage! Everyone was so happy to be home and excited to get through customs and see families and friends waiting on the other side.

The day started with our final breakfast and goodbyes with our host families. For myself, it was so hard as Dona Angelica became my momma for the week and Cora a sister! We met at Casa Blanca for our farewell to Compenaros. We sang them “Let us Build a House” (More Voices #1) including 3 duets for the middle verses. It was powerful, the emotion in the room. We then passed around a bowl with the names of the staff inside. Each TCOW member would pull a name and state how that person had blessed them in the past 10 days. They would then place the blessings we had written to them in a new bowl we had got them. (And just as the first few tried to fly out of the bowl a lime fell from the tree so we used it as our paper weight … very Nicaraguan!) All 23 of us repeated this and there were some tears involved (mostly from me I admit!). After this Gonzalo came around and spoke about us all individually and the gifts we all possessed. Mayte then brought out Compenaros t-shirt for us all to symbolize how we had all become a family. We then said our goodbyes to Dalayna and Marta with big hugs, good wishes, and promises of our return and loaded on the bus. We rode to the airport and did our best soundoff (in Spanish) to date. We said our thanks to the bus driver and Gunther (or body guard) with words, hugs, tears and maple syrup. We loaded up and all got checked in. We headed to immigration and said our goodbyes to Gonzalo and Mayte with more hugs, strengthening and encouraging words and hopes for the future. After customs and security we gathered at our gate and within 10 minutes boarded the plane.
The ride to El Salvador was short, bumpy and hot. We found it funny how that flight offered us pillows and blankets and yet the next flight did not. When arriving in El Salvador we again went to our gate and those of us without seat numbers so seats assigned. We had 45min to get some food before boarding once again and taking off. We were much more spread out this time so visits between seats were a regular and wonderful occurrence. As the plane cooled we slowly and reluctantly changed into warmer clothing. Many of us refused to take off our sandals though and so far … I still have not! When arriving in Toronto customs was empty and all the bags arrived. This was such a pleasant surprise! We took a moment to exchange goodbye hugs before running to parents. It was not to tearful as we now we will see each other on Saturday and into the future with the promise of more Salsa Dancing and Saturday nights together! We all made it through final custom check without getting searched except for Santi. As we walked through his father asked if we had left him behind. On our way out I got lots for hugs and thank yous with were taken to heart and very much appreciated! As far as I have been told all made it home safely from the airport and are back to their lives of school and friends and temptation.

-Blogged by Sarah-

Day 10

OMG I saw monkeys!!!
-Joke Blog by Steven-

We woke up to a traditional Nicaraguan breakfast which was potatoes, rice, and Beef all cooked in plantain leafs. We then took the bus up to the Mombacho Zipline. There were 10 ziplines and we could go up side down or superman! We then drove into Grenada for some pizza and some shopping in the town square. Next was the Colonial Grenada Islands Boat Tour. This was possibly the highlight of my trip because I got to see monkeys (No Big Deal!) After dinner we had our farewell party with all of our host families. At the party Happy Birthday was sung to me in 5 different versions. We salsa danced the rest of the night and Saskia and I destroyed Santi and Julia S in a Salsa Battle. I was a great last day and an awesome birthday.
-Actual Blog by Steven-

Today was our last day in Nicaragua. Lots of mixed feelings about going home tomorrow; to Canada … where there is bound to be some sort of precipitation, snow or rain (slate?) ūüôĀ Hahaha anyways …

Happy 18th Birthday and feliz Cumpleanos to Steven! It was a well celebrated birthday.

First off we headed to Mombacha Volcano to go ziplining; woooo! So much fun and such a cool experience. We ziplines through the trees on about 10 different ziplines. Some fast, some slow. You could even do it superman style or upside-down! After, we headed to TelePizza for some lunch. Obviously we had pizza … mmmm it was very tasty. Vege pizza, Hawaiian pizza, Pepperoni pizza, Deluxe pizza, we ordered eight. Lunch was followed by walking around the plaza in Grenada to buy some more souvenirs; get a refreshment, whatever. The buildings in Grenada were painted every colour of the rainbow. Each building was painted a different colour; it was lovely, and such a pleasant site. Our last excursion was a boat tour of the Grenada islands. Plenty of cool wildlife, amazing houses, getaways for the rich people, and trees, what a site. The weather was so nice as well. Right now we are getting ready to go to our farewell fiesta with our host families, and then tomorrow we say our final goodbyes and fly off to Canada! I hope that everybody has a good welcome home. See you next Saturday ;(

-Blogged by Mariah <3 –

Day 9

This morning we started the day as usual. We got to the Barrio and worked till 10 finishing to weeks projects. We then held inaugurations for the houses and welcomed the families into their new homes. It felt awesome to see are projects through and have them finished! When that was done, we went to the Community house for a birthday/farewell party, (its Steven and Jane‚Äôs birthday tomorrow!). We had lunch, music, dancing, and pi√Īata and a mariachi band! Eventually we had to say our goodbyes to all of the friends we’ve made throughout the week. It was so hard to say goodbyes to all of the friends we’ve made throughout the week. It was so sad thinking that after spending so much time with this community, we might not see them again. When our goodbyes were done, we headed off to Huembes market for some shopping. The market was really cool, there were so many things to see and buy! We only had a little over and hour, so it was a bit like speed shopping! Afterwards we went back to our host families, changed into our fancy outfits and met back at Casa Blanca. We had some group time. We talked about what to expect when we got home, and Gonzalo had some advice. We then were on our way to dinner, which was great, although the service at the restaurant was less then stellar. People were upset about it as we made our way to the next location for Salsa Dancing!!! There was a live band and the dancing cheered everyone up! It was so much fun! Then at the stroke of midnight, we sang a very loud Happy Birthday to Steven and Jane. It was an awesome day!
-Blogged by Samantha-

The Final day of project work started with a tortia and guya pinto breakfast, (as tasty as usual!). We then rushed off to Casa Blanca in order to catch the party bus. That morning we finished the 4 houses and inaugurated them all at exactly 11 am. We then visited the local school we were painting to see the amount of progress that took place. Then the celebration started! There was national anthem singing, a mariachi band, pi√Īata and cake. Thanking us for our work and in celebration of Jane and Steven‚Äôs Birthdays. Lunch was a Nicaraguan version of spaghetti with pieces of ham (or it might have been bacon) with short but skinny noodles. It was AMAZIIIINNNGGG!!! Lunch was followed by an hour of fast paced, shopping, bartering and getting hustled by vendors if you were not on the ball (Ian;) The market mainly had touristy items but if you were able to not get lost, you could find some nock-offs and other less souvernee items. After picking up our souvenirs we had a session to help us to prepare for when we arrive back at home, and how to respond to questions. By the time we were done we were all starving. But sadly the restaurant we went too lacked (timely) service and we did not leave before 10. We then Party bused over to a second restaurant because the first one blew. We salsaed up the night, and sang Steven Happy Birthday when the clock struck midnight. We then of course, danced our way off the party bus as were dropped off at our Host Family‚Äôs.
-Blogged by Daniel W-
p.s. The tree threw purple

Day 8

In the morning as usual, everyone had breakfast with their host families.  After that we congregated at Casa Blanca to head to the work sites.  At the site most of the houses were starting to take shape and the progress seemed really good.  After another amazing meal at the Barrio Grenada community house, we headed off to do our rural visit.  After a long bus ride on a bumpy road we got the village of Citilapa and were shown the after school help centre, the church and the village water pumps.  Playing with the kids at the village was the most fun we had all day.

-Blogged by Ian-


Today was our second last day in Barrio Grenada.  It was today that the houses were being finished up and the last of the streets began to be dug.  At the houses, the roof was beginning to be built.  To nail on the roof we got to climb the house.  We sat up top and hammered in the nails to hold up the beams.  It was awesome to see all the houses and we could see workers on other roof tops.

After we had lunch at Casa Communal, we hopped on the bus and travelled for about an hour to a rural village called Citilapa.  There we learned about their school program.  The kids have school in the morning and then in the afternoon they can come back to get help with their school work.

We went to the church and learned about how a church from Barrie had come down and built it.  Our schedule changed when school let out.  All the kids rushed to join us.  We ended up playing the Spanish version of duck, duck, goose and we called it cat, cat, dog.

We played for many rounds and then we headed to see the water system with the kids following behind us.  The walk was very tricky.  Not only because we were walking down a very steep hill but also, many of us had children on our arms.  When we reached the bottom, some of us went with the kids and crossed the river by leaping from rock to rock.  We then gathered at the water system.  It was explained that the system provides water for the village for 2 hours every 48 hours.

From Citilapa, we headed home to have dinner with our host families.  We met back at Casa Blanca for group time.  We did an activity called stoplight.  We each were given three sticky notes, each representing on colour on a stoplight.  On the green one we wrote what we were loving about the trip.  On the yellow one we wrote a difficult question that we have been thinking about.  On the red one we wrote what we found difficult to understand.  We then got up one at a time and presented each piece of paper, telling the group what it said.  After group time we all headed home and said Buenas Noches.

-Blogged by Olivia-

Day 7

Today we were at Barrio Grenada for most of the day.  During the cool hours of the morning form 9am-12pm we worked on our multiple service projects.  For the people building the houses we finally finished the foundation and put the floor on top.  It was very rewarding to finally have it start looking somewhat like a house.  We are also getting to know the Nicarguans better.  As we work many kids play around you, they are very friendly and welcoming.  We stopped for lunch at about 12:30pm and sang our grace again with everybody.  We are all learning it more and we are starting to sound good.  Afterwards we had games at the Barrio.  We had a basketball game, soccer (futball) and Ultimate frisbee game.  We really made friends with our Nicaraguan team mates and took lots of pictures together afterwards.  The feild in the Barrio was all soil (tierra) and we worked on our dirt tans as we played in the dust.  Sarah had brought a bag of lollypops and the kids on the sidelines were handing them out.  To finish our day we stopped for icecream on the way home to buy some for our host families. We took showers and went to Casa Blanca for a reflection group time.

-Blogged by Saskia-

We started off the day in Barrio Granada, doing the service project. We spent the whole morning working hard on digging trenches, building houses and painting the library blue. I built a house that day with Sarah, Daniel W, Santi and Julie D, it was very exciting to see the walls of the house go up. Silly me I forgot sun screen and by the end of the day I was the colour of the Canadian flag. Then we ate a spectacular lunch. After lunch we stayed in the Barrio and played all sorts of games with the leaders and staff of the Barrio, such as Basketball, Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee, it was so much fun!!!! But we got creamed in every sport we played. After we went to a store called Pops and bought ice cream to take home and share with our host families after dinner. I personally enjoyed the Brownie flavour, but Santi wasn’t a big fan. Later that day we went to Casa Blanca for group time, it was a time for people to open up and show their emotions. Well this was everything that happened on day 7.
-Blogged by Tim-


Day 6

Today was another good day for working in Barrio Grenada.¬† There were plenty of clouds, so the sun was not to intense.¬† I helped with building the house on street four, with Olivia and John.¬† By lunch time we had 8 holes dug and 3 posts put into the ground.¬† Putting the posts in took the longest amount of time because they needed to be perfectly level and in line with each other, and there are fifteen posts in total.¬† After another delicious and filling lunch we all boarded the bus to go see the dump.¬† We only got a glimpse of it from the bus because it is no longer safe to go inside, although people still live and work there.¬† We got to visit Micalana¬īs house in the community outside the dump.¬† She lived in the dump for the first year of her life so she does not remember it, but still told us about the dump and what she is doing now.¬† One thing she is working on is a fair trade shop.¬† So we went there to buy a few things.¬† After dinner with our hosts families, we went out to a restaurant-cafe and split three delicious cakes between the group.¬† Then we party-bussed it all the way home.
-Blogged by Julia D-

My morning was uneventful, except for some of my housemates waking me up an hour early due to not having adjusted their alarm to the proper time zone. Regardless, we eventually made over to Casablanca and prepared to go to the Barrio. Today, I was working to build a home on street 6. The house in question was being built for one Catalina Mara, her husband and her young son and daughter. Me and a member of the Kampville group worked on that site with Nicaraguan university students around my own age from the Latin American charity ‚ÄúA Roof for My Country‚ÄĚ. When I say ‚Äėworked with‚Äô, it was more like being directed by them. The reason was that today were putting in a foundation which consisted of a series of wooden poles, and it was essential for the rest of the week‚Äôs work that it be done properly. Thus, we did a lot of standing around while precise calculations were being done. However that did give us an opportunity to strike a bit of a conversation (Thankfully, a couple of them knew English so I did not have to rely completely on the poco espanol that I had). The most amusing part was the discussion of the various accents possessed by Canada (I apologize to any newfie who may be reading this blog). It turns that the Nicaraguan accent is known in Latin America as sounding like the speaker is singing. I also found out a bit more about the organization that they were working for called ‚ÄúA Roof for my Country‚ÄĚ. It is a Latin American NGO consisting of students working to alleviate poverty situations in their countries. Their methodology consists of a three step plan: The first step is to provide temporary housing to particular members of a community in desperate situations. The second step consists of social work in the community to address the development of poverty. The final step is to provide permanent housing to the community members in need. So far, Barrio Grenada is only in the 1st step of trying to create temporary housing. Being an academic youth myself, I felt a certain kinship with the students that we were working with. What made it really meaningful was that these students represented the privileged of their own society, and they choose to take a significant commitment of their time to actually helping others within their own country. This is the model of homegrown development work that will provide a lasting solution to social issues within the poorer regions of the world.

             After a hearty meal of chicken, rice, beans, vegetables and plantain in the community hall, we departed for the Managuan municipal garbage dump of La Chureca. If there was anyplace in this world that could truly be called a hell, then that was it. We did not actually go within the dump itself due to the safety concerns of Companeros, but we did drive by the neighboring streets. There was garbage haphazardly strewn throughout the street, and there were many smoldering fires that nobody bothered with. Starved dogs with missing patches of skin foraged amongst what was there, but it was the inhabitants themselves that made the scene most disturbing. One of the things that we had learned as a group was that all Nicaraguans greatly value personal hygiene, and even in the dusty and poor community of the Anexo people took the time to make themselves clean. However, that standard seemed to be discarded in La Chureca. The most disturbing thing of all was the atmosphere. Despite the poverty of the Anexo, there was an optimistic undercurrent which energized the people there and created an awe-inspiring sense of community. However, that hope was missing here.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A few blocks away from the dump we were taken to the home of a young woman called Michaela. Michaela‚Äôs mother had moved into the dump in order to provide for her children. Her family succeeded in moving out of the dump and into a proper home nearby. The house itself would not be much larger then one floor of my own home, and yet the family of her mother, her four sisters, three girls and one of the sister‚Äôs husbands lived within that home. Michaela herself is a true superwomen if there ever was one. Despite being only twenty-two, she studied, volunteered, worked, and looked after her three year old daughter. Her family does amazing work within the community. They are using their home as a make-shift clinic, so that people in need can come and receive some basic treatment and medication. They have also welcomed a young girl into their home when her mother thought that she could not provide her daughter with what she needed. I asked them what had kept them going, and she said that ‚ÄúJesus Christ had came to serve us, so why should we not serve others?‚ÄĚ. That fits in to the theme of servanthood which has appeared in many different places, and it is one I hope that we can thoroughly understand and apply to our own lives.

 -Daniel Saunders-

A Mid-Week Note from Gonzalo

Dear friends and family of the TCOW group in Nicaragua,

 Just a quick note to let you know, from an organizers point of view, all is going well. Each morning progress is being made on the installation of a potable water system for 850 residents of Barrio Grenada y Anexo here in Managua, the assembly of 4 houses with families, the construction and painting of a new school library nearing completion, and the painting of one very detailed mural.

 Lots of fun excursions and learning visits, welcoming host families, and group activities fill in the afternoons and evenings. Temperatures 30-35 C. during the day, 25-30 C. at night. Delicious food and tropical fruit being enjoyed. Some predictable and manageable intestinal issues affected about 4-5 people, but everyone’s bouncing back.

¬†Many thanks to you and other supporters for making this service learning experience a reality ‚Äď not only for the Canadian participants, but for the hundreds of local Nicaraguan residents working and benefiting with them. ¬†Attached photo was taken yesterday at lunch ‚Äď enjoy!

 Thanks, Gonzalo

Day 5

The first thing we did today was g to LosQuinchos, which is a school for children who work on the streets.¬† We got to talk with one of the teachers there and ask him questions about the school.¬† He talked about the history of the school and what it means to the children who go there.¬† He was really passionate about his work and about the kids at the school.¬† He sang us a song that the school had been practicing for their 30th anniversary.¬† It was in Spanish so we couldn¬īt understand the words, but he sang it with so much emotion and pride that we almost didn¬īt need to know what it meant to understand the feeling behind it.¬† After he talked to us the bell rang for the kids to have a break, so he said we could go out and play with them.¬† It was so much fun being outside and playing games with them.¬† They were so happy all the time and they wanted to talk to us.¬† As we were waiting for the bus to leave, we took a few pictures, and every time we would start to take one with a couple kids, they would all swarm and try to get in the picture.¬† Being at the school was an amazing experience.
We then made our way to Barrio Grenada to start work in the Annexo.  We were working on multiple projects today, taking apart houses, painting murals, working at the library and digging trenches.  I started working on taking apart a house, but we quickly finished that, so I went to dig some trenches.  We had pick axes and shovels, someone would jump in the trench and break up the ground with the pick axe, and the other person would shovel out the loose dirt.  Digging was moving more quickly than I thought it would.  There were many people from the Barrio helping, which made the job even quicker.  We took a break for lunch and went back to the community house.  After we ate lunch, people brought out their instruments and we sang song for a while.  After lunch we went back and worked on the projects for a bit longer.  We took a watermelon break and then we left.  We got on the bus filthy.  Digging trenched pretty much covers you in dirt from head to toe.  We went to a pool to g swimming, it was a nice way to end the day, cooling off an d just having some fun, before we went back to our host families.
-Blogged by Jamie-

Continue reading “Day 5”

Day 4

Today we had our first experience at Barrio Grenada.* When we got there we were met with open arms by the community and the leaders, it was really something. We all sat in the community house and were introduced to the leaders, and likewise we all went up in groups to introduce ourselves and tell them a little bit about Canada and where we all live. This included the farmers market, RIM, maple syrup, Oktoberfest, hockey and of course Tim Hortons and a demonstration of the chicken dance. After introductions were done we gathered in 3 groups to listen to the leaders tell the story of how Barrio Grenada had its trials as the community fought for more land to live on. This included the equivalent to the SWAT in Nicaragua trying to take the land any many community members including children and pregnant women getting beaten by them. It is amazing that people almost lost their lives for the right to buy land. We were then led on a tour to get a sense of the place we were to be working in and what the projects looked like. The reality of poverty was everywhere and it was amazing how happy people were despite their living conditions. After the tour, which was a real eye opener and brought up many overwhelming feelings for many, we went back to the community house for lunch. Following lunch we went back to Casa Blanca and had some group sharing time where everyone was able to reflect and share their feelings of all that was seen at the Barrio. Soon after we were taken to the Moravian church, one of the partners with the United Church, to hear a sermon (in English) which was very interesting.** We then ventured to have dinner at a traditional Nicaraguan restaurant which everyone agreed was very tasty! With our tummies full we headed back to Casa Blanca to sit down and enjoy a movie to end our busy day.

-Blogged by Julia S.

*Where the service projects will be completed.
**Many new songs and traditions were learned and may be incorporated in some of our return services.

I¬īd like to begin today¬īs blog with an enormous thank you to Sarah, Elizabeth, Sherrie and everyone else who helped me feel better after a bout of heat exhaustion got the better of me. I truly appreciate how you worked to make me feel better physically and emotionally. Needless to say, I shall definitely remember to wear a hat from now on. Now to today’s events…
This morning my housemates (Julie, Jenn and Vanessa) and I made pancakes for our host family. Topped off with all-Canadian maple syrup and accompanied with fresh Nicaraguan fruit, it was a delicious breakfast (¬īdeayuno¬īen Espa√Īol). It was very nice to be able to give something back to Do√Īa Guadalupe and her family who take such good care of us.
After meeting up with the rest of the group, we travelled, for the first time, to Barrio Grenada. Barrio Grenada is very different from the neighborhood where we live with our host families (LosRobles). As you enter the Barrio from the highway, houses made from tin, plastic, cardboard and branches line the street. The people walk and play in the street wearing very worn down shoes and sometimes no shoes at all.
As we gathered into the Community house (Casa Comunal) we were greeted by leaders who live in the Barrio and who work with Compa√Īeros on the projects. Many ¬īholas¬ī and kisses on the cheek were exchanged before we all sat down to get to know one another. The street leaders introduced themselves and so did we. We also told them a little bit about where we come from. They played music and danced for us and we sang both the Canadian and the Nicaraguan national anthems.
We were split into groups and got to hear the story of how Compa√Īeros came to the Barrio. To make a long story short, the people in the Barrio were becoming very crowded in the space of land that they had. They went to the municipal government to ask for another small piece of empty land to expand their cramped population onto. The government rejected their proposal and ended up calling the police to take them away. The police started to beat them, but just then a camera man who was from a local news crew began to film the horror. Because of this video, the government ended up granting them the land. But it would be years before the new piece of land (now called Anexo) would receive potable water and electricity. Working in partnership with Compa√Īeros the people in the Anexo have been working on 3 different projects. The first is building a library into the Barrio¬īs school, second is putting working water system that would bring clean water to the people of the anexo and third, building houses for extremely needy families. We toured the Anexo looking at the progress already made on these projects. As we talked to the residents of the Anexo, I was struck by how hopeful and grateful the people were. They have unending thanks for our financial support and help in the construction of the projects. Sarah and I both found it saddening because the things that we are providing should really be in place already. We take them for granted in Canada because we are born with all of them at our disposal, no questions asked. Water, education and a roof over our heads are not an option they are a necessity. In much of the world though, people go without these necessities. Thanks be to god for the Compa√Īeros staff and for the willingness of the community in Barrio Grenada to share their lives with us.
-Blogged by Jasmin-

Check out the videos below made by Compa√Īeros about the projects!!!

Day 3

Hola nueostros familias!!!

Today we got up bright and early (again) and drove to Volcano Masaya. ¬†First we looked around the museum then drove up to see the caves. ¬†The caves were really cool. ¬†They used to be used for rituals before humans were¬†sacrificed¬†to the volcano.* ¬†The caves were home to lots of bats who were¬†probably¬†not so happy we disturbed them. ¬†We then hiked up to the Santiago crater. ¬†From the highest point you have a beautiful¬†view¬†of Laguna Masaya and the volcano Masaya. ¬†Some people (Including Julie who¬†didn’t¬†come in the caves) took the trail all the way around the crater. ¬†Steven and Saskia decided to run around the whole thing after the caves, which was very impressive.

When we came back from the volcano we had a little Siesta.**  We then had a little group time and a Spanish lesson before we went back to our host families for dinner.

After dinner people had the choice to go to a bar and grill to sit and have a drink, or to go to a concert.  The majority of us went to the rock concert.  On the way we turned the bus into the party bus with strobe lights in different colours and we blared the music.  On the way home the only way to be allowed off the bus was to dance your way up the aisle.  It was lots of fun.

Hasta Luego

-Blogged by Jenn-


*The Nicaraguans used to¬†believe¬†that the¬†sacrifice¬†of virgin children would keep the Volcano god happy and so then the volcanoes would not erupt. ¬†It was considered a great¬†honour¬†to the be family¬†who’s¬†child or young daughter or son was¬†chosen¬†to be¬†scarified. ¬†There was big ceremonies in the caves where the ones to be¬†sacrificed¬†were dressed up and all had a big feast before they were thrown in.

**Which is blog posting time!



Another day, another sunburn … Well technically not another sunburn, the sunburn on my neck has gotten worse.¬† Today, we went to the Volcano Masaya, and while other people were busy touring the caves, I was busy hiking a trail that went around the rim of Volcano Masaya.¬† I was the only one from the TCOW group, who actually went, but there were two other people that came along anyways, and they were from the other group.¬† There was a boy and an older woman who was an avid hiker and mountain climber.
The whole trip around was suppose to take between 45 min and an hour, but I think we did it closer to 40 minutes because the women from Ottawa who’s tagging along with the other group hiked at a fast pace!
I’ll be perfectly honest with you and the fact that yes, it was a difficult hike.¬† Volcano Masaya has a few difficult “peaks” around the edge and many of them are steep and the path isn’t clear, of if it is clear the path is filled with sharp rocks.¬† I picked up a tiny red rock from one of the highest tips on the Volcano and I can’t wait to show people back home!¬† The climb up to each tip was hard.¬† At the pace we were going by the time we reached the top of the tip, your calves might be hurting a bit and you would be breathing a bit harder.¬† However, the view from the tips made up for all the work it took to get up there.¬† You could see for miles around and the bus and the people looked so miniature that you often couldn’t see the people!¬† The wind was strong, extremely strong so high up.¬† I helped to keep you cool and minimize the heat from the sun because there’s simply no shade because the trees are off the path.
It was hard sometimes when you would be climbing down a steep path made up of jagged volcanic rock (definitely not the softest), the wind would be pushing you in the other direction, towards the centre or towards the rocky side.
My adrenaline was always pumping and it helped me power up some of those steep slopes while the wind was tugging at my shirt, my hat, and my sunglasses and the feeling when finally get to the top or walk past the eagles nest and all dozen or so eagles flew out.  When you were up there, you just wanted it to last forever and ever because it was THAT breathtaking I just wish you could all experience the same thing so you could know how incredible it is.
-Blogged by Julie –