By McKinley Howard
The sleepiest day of the trip. That Tuesday morning everybody woke with groans. Not groans from being unhappy or upset, but groans from sleep deprivation. We all woke up around 4:40am, as the sun was just peaking through. I personally, had not been up this early in months.
As everyone awoke, we all wondered why the heck we had to be up this early just to watch some trees “awaken.” We all piled into vans and drove 15 minutes to a body of water with two motor boats waiting for us. Ten of us each got in a boat and headed off into the unknown. From the first second we left the land, a sense of peace and calamity hit us all. We all knew it was the right decision to wake up that early to experience this. As we rode through and observed the mangroves, everyone took in the beauty of not only the trees, but the different species of birds, flowers and towns we passed.
As we returned back to the vans and said “gracias” to the drivers of our motorboats, we all prepared to go back, pack up and enter our next adventure. We did just that. Again, we piled into the vans and took on a 4 hour car ride. Some people slept, some played music on their speaker, and some took in the beauty that we saw as we traveled to the mountains and passed many gorgeous towns.
As we arrived to the house, I saw as many jaws dropped when the students saw the breathtakingly beautiful house that we would be staying in for the next six days and the views that we would get to look at.
Once we all got settled in, we walked around the town. As we walked around, I noticed a huge sense of community in this town, that I did not feel in the other towns that I had visited in El Hawaii. I also felt as though we fit in. We didn’t seem to stand out as much, it felt as though we blended in and were welcomed by the community in every way.
As we walked around, we practiced our spanish and attempted to communicate with the natives. When went back home to go to sleep and gear up for the next day, the general mood was extremely positive and everyone was very excited for the next several days to come in this amazing town.