Professional Baseball and the Tiny Islands of Paradise

Coyotepe was so creepy that I had to make my way back there in order to show it to my brother Nick who is with me in this picture. If you can see the stain on the wall in the back that is actually a stain from blood because this was a room where they would tie you to the wall and perform diffrent types of torture on you.
Coyotepe was so creepy that I had to make my way back there a second time in order to show it to my brother Nick who is with me in this picture. If you can see the stain on the wall in the back that is actually a stain from blood because this was a room where they would tie one to the wall and perform different types of torture on them.

So I remember leaving my last post with the possibility of me finding a school in Guatemala. The truth is that my plans have been changing every hour in the last week. I decided to stay here in Nicaragua until Christmas in order to spend my time with those that have been looking after me for last month. I remember arriving at the house of Winston and Maria Jose at 1:00 a.m. and wondering what I was getting myself into. Since then Winston and Maria Jose have shown incredible affection and flexibility towards me. Not only have those two been important in my transition into life down here but my two hermanitos (little brothers) Ton and Yersil have also been so patient in teaching me new words or helping to explain  something in one of their television shows. Almost every night they are still inviting me to head out to the street in order to play soccer in front of the church called Iglesia Xelteva. I also have two brothers at my house who have been very patient with my scattered personality and spontaneous decisions. These two are Johannes from Germany and Nick from Denmark.  They have both become two very special friends and for this I am very thankful. It only feels right to stay here in Granada for Christmas in order to be with people that are most important to me in this part of the world. That being said I am also very torn that I will not be seeing my boys Ieuan and Baz or Kadie and Hanna up in Antigua (I´m sorry for being so scattered).  Also, Winston has assured me that there will be tons of fireworks on Christmas Eve and also lots of great christmas music. Winston is a DJ and because of this has two obnoxiously large speakers. These speakers are to be placed right outside of our door and just blasted into the street for the whole city to hear. I know people say that the United States does things big, but I am pretty sure Granada knows how to do Christmas BIG. I will make sure to put up some pictures of the family in front of the Christmas tree.

My hermanito Yersil sitting at the table and waiting to help sing Feliz Cumpleanos for Johannes´ 20th birthday. The meal was incredible and it made me debate whether to say that my birthday was the next night.
My hermanito Yersil sitting at the table and waiting to help sing Feliz Cumpleanos for Johannes´ 20th birthday. The meal was incredible and it made me debate whether to say that my birthday was the next night.

When I was in San Juan del Sur I had met a friend, Celina, who lived up in Managua and we had stayed in touch since meeting. She informed me that this last weekend she was going to come to Granada in order to show her friend the city and hang out with me. It was the day after Johannes´ birthday and so I said that I would bring Johannes along as well. We all decided to all go do the Las Isletas tour together. These tiny islands are beyond beautiful and covered in lizards as well as beautiful birds and monkeys.They are located on Lake Nicaragua very close to the town of Granada. The tour was a lot of fun and speaking in only Spanish all day made me sleep very well that night. Here are some pictures:

We stopped for a beer and some lunch at one of the many small islands and as we sat out at the furthest section of the restaurant we had this to look at.
We stopped for a beer and some lunch at one of the many small islands. This was our view as we sat out at the furthest section of the restaurant.
Johannes snapped a picture of Celina and I as we enjoyed a Tona at a very relaxing location. It´s important that you notice the hammocks in the background.
Johannes snapped a picture of Celina and I as we enjoyed a Tona, one of the national beers, at a very relaxing location. It´s important that you notice the hammocks in the background. That is the easiest way to discover whether a place is chill or not.
A beautiful parrot relaxing on one of the islands. These guys can come and go as they please but the food was quite tasty so I can see why they would like to hang out.
A beautiful parrot relaxing on one of the islands. These guys can come and go as they please but the food was quite tasty so I can see why they would like to hang out.
A tight squeeze as we took our private boat for four through some extraordinarily green areas
A tight squeeze as we took our private boat for four through some extraordinarily green areas on this beautiful Sunday in Nicaragua.

This week I switched schools again (like a boss) but I am really happy with this new location. My last school was awesome as well they just didn´t have any extra room. I am at APC Espanol located above Parque Central. The location is unbelievable and the classes are only 66% of the price I was paying before. This week a few more friends from San Juan del Sur made their way up to Granada and we decided to all go check out a baseball game while they were in town.

The fans raise to their feet and the Granada Orientales leave the dugout as they celebrate two much needed runs in the 5th inning
The fans raise to their feet and the Granada Orientales leave the dugout as they celebrate two much needed runs in the 5th inning
The fans raise to their feet once more as a Granada Oriental smashed out a homer narrowing the gap to 2.
The fans raise to their feet once more as a Granada Oriental smashed out a homer narrowing the gap to 2.
Jack, Ieuan, Sky and myself watching the The Granada Orientales take on the Managua Boer. I love how the name of the Orientales is almost a racial slur for asians and Boers are South Africans who have a Dutch background. In all fariness I don´t think the Cleveland Indians have an anymore appropriate name.
Jack, Ieuan, Sky and myself watching the The Granada Orientales take on the Managua Boer. I love how the name of the Orientales is almost a racial slur for asians and Boers are South Africans who have a Dutch background. In all fairness I don´t think the Cleveland Indians have an anymore appropriate name.

Needless to say, the game was incredible even though Managua held on to win it 7-5. This game is a professional game and had some really talented pitchers as well as batters. Baseball is the national sport here in Granada so the people are really passionate about the games. I don´t like to talk too much about the prices but if you wanted to sit in the outfield on the bleachers it only cost 20 cordobas ($0.85 USD) for a ticket. We payed $40 cordobas ($1.70 USD) for our tickets but only because we heard that the seats were way better. Next time, and there definitely will be a next time, I am going to sit in the 20 cordoba seats where all action is. Just liek at a BC Lions game, the cheap seats are where the passionate fans are. It really is amazing to see how much an extra dollar means here though. Trhoughout the stadium however there are vendors walking around with pizza boxes, quesillos, tacos, beers and whatever else you need. They also had a few dogs running around in the stadium and a few kids coming around to collect your extra cans so they can gather the refund. Old men do ridiculous dances as they hold a radio to there head and they have no sink anywhere in case you would liek to wash your hands after using the trough. For 30 minute spurts they also had one guy with a trumpet and another with a giant drum playing their hearts out in no particular sort of rhythm. The energy was high, people were smiling, and the quality of baseball was actually really high.

This party lines up with the changing of the Mayan calendar as the party begins on December 21st and ends at 10 a.m. on December 23rd. 18 DJ´s from all over Central America will perform on the beautiful beach at Charco Verde.
This party lines up with the changing of the Mayan calendar as the party begins on December 21st and ends at 4 a.m. on December 23rd. 18 DJ´s from all over Central America will perform on the beautiful beach at Charco Verde.

So I know that my plans change often and one of the huge things that has been holding onto my train of thought is the opportunity to go to Magma Fest. Magma Fest is a massive electronic music festival located on Isla de Ometepe. Let me explain to you what this island is all about. Isla de Ometepe is an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua that was formed by two volcanoes. Volcan Concepcion is an active volcano sitting at an elevation of 1610 metres while Volcan Maderas is a dormant volcano sitting at 1394 metres. It is quite a large island (276 km2) and was one spot away from making the Seven Wonders of the Natural World List. I was planning on going to Managua this weekend in order to see DJ Chuckie and visit my friend Celina but this afternoon I recieved the most crazy message on my Facebook wall from one of the biggest beauties I have met thus far.The message reads:

Hi Taylor,

So you and I are going to magma fest this wknd. I’m leaving today, will stay at hospedaje central in moyogalpa. I’ve made a reservation for you as well for Friday and Saturday night. I’ve also bought your ticket.

To get there just take bus to Rivas cab to San Jorge ferry to moyogalpa. See you tomorrow.

So it is official, I leave for Isla de Ometepe tomorrow morning and plan to be at Magma Fest at 4 p.m. when the party starts. There are 18 DJ´s from all over Central America and the location is at Charco Verde right along the beach. If you weren´t already aware, this party lines up with the changing of the Mayan calendar as the party begins on December 21st and ends at 4 a.m. on December 23rd.

This is not my picture but I thought I would give you a sneak peek of Isla de Ometepe and one of the two volcanos that make up the island
This is not my picture but I thought I would give you a sneak peek of Isla de Ometepe and one of the two volcanos that make up the island

Lots to look forward to and also lots to figure out. I really have no idea what this festival will be like but it sure doesn´t seem to be well known amongst the tourists. I´m hoping I really get an opportunity to see the electronic scene down here in Nicaragua. I hope to have pictures of the island and its festival very soon.

A beutiful picture facing Parque Central as the evening came into being. This picture was taken only one block down from my house. The streets of Granada continue to fascinate me with their colonial architecture
A beautiful picture facing Parque Central as the evening came into being. This picture was taken only one block down from my house. The streets of Granada continue to fascinate me with their colonial architecture

I hope that everyone enjoys their weekend and that you don´t get too stressed as you begin to do your last minute Christmas shopping. Hope that you have plenty of time with your families.  To my family, I miss you all and hope that you can give each other a kiss for me. I know it is not the same to be down here for Christmas but I hope you can find comfort in the fact that I am living with a great family and top-notch friends.

Sinceremente,

Taylorito

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