Today (24 May 09) we met at Mario´s house at ten o´clock to learn how to make corn tortillas. We were told to bring large knives and many of us felt a little strange walking down the streets of San Ramon carrying them. We walked through his house into the backyard where we began peeling the corn and placing the cut corn into bowls. After having finished all of the corn stalks, we walked into town to a mill where the corn was placed into a machine that grinded the corn into a pastey substance. Upon returning to Mario´s house, his host mom placed the batter in between two banana leaves and ploaced them over the stove to cook. They took about three minutes to cook and then everyone was able to try one. We were all very pleased with the taste and commented that it was like eating a pancake made of corn. We then left around noon to go have lunch with our families.
At around 1:30pm we met again in order to go on a 20 minute walk to a waterfall to swim. The walk was nice; a dirt path surrounded by Nicaraguan beauty. The walk was long so the water felt very refreshing. We watched as the little Nicaraguan boys jumped from about 10 feet off the top of the waterfall into the water below. After about an hour and a half we headed back to our host families. There was about two and a half hours of relaxation to do whatever we wanted in San Ramon with our families until we met back up at 6:30pm for a brief meeting and a class on the history of Nicaragua.
The class was taught by an American named Elizabeth who is currently living with a host family. She had a lot of intriguing information to offer the group about the history of Nicaragua having personally experienced a lot of it for herself. She joined the peace corps right out of college and therefore had a lot of personal experience with what she had made reference to. The entire group felt very enlightened by what she had to say and are eager to learn more in the next week.