May 11, 2008
Butler setter Brittany Awai documents the Bulldog volleyball team's second day in Nicaragua.
This morning after breakfast we traveled to the pottery capital of Nicaragua. Our driver, Victor, knew some of the locals in the area and asked if we could take a peek inside the workshop. The family who runs the ceramic business welcomed us with open arms.
We watched one of the potters hand paint an intricate design on one of the pots. Stephanie Steele, a member of the team, asked him in Spanish the process of making one of these beautiful creations. He explained that it takes a week to make a single pot and everything from the making of the clay to the hand-painting is done right there at their house and workshop.
Then, we went outside where he showed us where they collect the mud, mix the mud with sand to create the clay, and the kiln where they fire the pots. When the ceramic work is shaped and fired, the potters hand-paint the pot to complete it.
Many of the designs reflected the natural beauty of Nicaragua´s rain-forest. We got to visit the store where the family sells their work and each of us wanted to get a handmade pot to take back with us. Some of us even got multiple ones.
After our visit with the family, we drove up the road to visit the lake in the crater of a volcano. Here there were more artistic shops where we bought more cultural crafts for our families.
On the drive up to Caterina, we noticed the smooth drive and the many road workers that were paving the road. David had said that they had been making improvements on the road over the last year and a half. Before construction took place, David said when you drove on the roads you would find families with their children on the side of the roads shoveling dirt from the mountains and filling in the potholes so that cars driving on the road would give them coins as a means for survival.
We played against the Nicaraguan club team and came out with a victory (25-6, 25-7, 25-10). Tomorrow, we will be playing the Nicaraguan national team at the same location. It's an eye-opening experience to be able to see how different our lives are from the Nicaraguan people, but yet we come together on the same cement court to play the game that we love, volleyball.