March 2013- Nicaragua “Potters for Peace” Trip Day 3

We all woke up on the morning of March 9th earlier than anticipated because of the hotel’s dog. He was tied up and had been whining since 4:00am. At breakfast Jorge took the extra pancakes and gave them to Haley saying, “I’ve seen that girl eat.” We packed the van with our luggage and said goodbye to the Hotel Zoy as we drove back to Las Curenas for one last day. Now that the new mortar we had mixed had cured for over 12 hours we were able to begin building the platform and inlay. These two elements to the kiln allowed the ladies to lay the hot pieces down to cool and cover them to smoke. These did not take long to build. Mid-way through I stepped away and snuck down to the wheels. Normally I would feel bad about stopping work but there were plenty of hands up by the kiln. (Some would say there had been too many cooks in the kitchen…) When I went down to the wheels unfortunately a few others followed me. I wanted to throw alone because, lets be real, I am not a potter. I threw a little bowl that was actually not half bad. The kick-wheel really interests me. Mainly because I like rhythm, delicateness, and balance– this technique of throwing seems to require all of those more than the electric wheel. After completing the kiln in entirety early on, we began to wait for them to demonstrate their firing process. It took a while, and if time had ever passed slowly, it was that afternoon. Eventually we went to hang up the signs that we had made them. It was quite an ordeal, involving climbing trees and throwing machetes. Maggie Sweeney ended up (despite her screaming and squealing) hammering the sign into the tree. For the sake of our “what happens in Nicaragua stays in Nicaragua” agreement I will leave out the part about throwing machetes. While we continued waiting for their demonstration they put out their pieces for us to buy. I bought Brenna a moon and myself a little pot. Robert had wanted to leave no later than 3:00pm although we did not leave until 4:30. Haley had to sit in the back with me because we are now taking Karina, a lady from Las Curenas, around with us. The drive was long and we arrived at Santa Rosa, the last socialist commune in the country, after dark. This made me feel uneasy because I usually like to get a feel to where I am when we go to a new place. My uncertainty left me as soon as we left the van because we were welcomed with open arms. Literally, we were immediately hugged by multiple women. They kissed us on the cheeks and said their hellos. Even though I am not a person who likes to hug, their hugs meant the world to me– they made it clear that they were so appreciative that we were there. On our way from the studio to where we were eating I couldn’t help but look at the stars– looking up so mesmerized that I tripped over rocks multiple times. We ate dinner (there’s no need for me to explain what it was) and were then split up into different houses. I was excited for this night because we were supposed to be staying in families’ homes. This would allow me to make connections with the people, the way we did in Guatemala. Unfortnately Haley, Rachel, Karina, and I were put into a house with Alvero and Jorge. The family that usually lived there were staying somewhere else which to me was a disappointment.

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