Last Sunday I went to a city called Masaya with another volunteer, a friend from the same house. We were looking for ceramics classes because Masaya is famous for its pottery, but when we arrived we discovered nearly all the schools were in a nearby town called San Juan de Oriente.
After exploring the locally famous artisan market, instead of making pottery, we met a group of people dressed in colourful, traditional costumes ready for a dance celebration or something. The girl I was with, Lydia, speaks fluent Spanish and is very open and chatty; she asked them what was going on and was told that today was a tradition where participants walk round the city dancing for others in their houses. We were invited and soon found ourselves sitting in a large hall watching a great performance. I was struck by how much like birds humans are at times, parading bright colours and presenting themselves to each other with carefully executed, delicate movements and gestures. The dancing was shared, innocent, communal, and including Lydia and I was generous and endearing. It made me appreciate how traits like celebrating and coming together are very much alive here, unlike the UK where they seem to be fading.
When we had seen enough we headed back to the bus station which also served as the food market. The ground there was almost completely blanketed with a layer of plastic rubbish, flattened by people walking from stool to stool buying fruit and veg. I saw two boys playing catch with a ball of rubbish over a concrete irrigation ditch and managed to take a photo.