Mangroves, niños de Cocal, and cooking; it was going to be an extremely long, and eventful day ahead of us. To begin the day, we had a 6 am start to be ready to leave for the mangrove tour at 7 but, luckily, we were fed with some scrambled eggs to get us through the morning courtesy of Mia.
On our way to the mangroves our only comprehension of them up until this point was the more dry-land area that was on the north side of Cocal. So, when we got to see this other side of the mangroves, how it actually forms, and the process that it goes through to separate fresh water and salt water, it was very fascinating. Our tour guide, Don Jorge informed us that the process is done by the tree picking a leaf that takes in all of the salt water and essentially kills it off, and that process is repeated.
When we were waiting at the beach to be picked up by Don Jorge, a couple of us decided to do a mini beach cleanup, and the amount of things that we found in such a small period of time was outstanding.
One of my favourite parts of the day was being able to ride in Don Jorge’s Land Rovers, as it reminded me of my dad’s Land Rover Defender 90 back home. Upon arriving to Don Jorge’s place, we were greeted with what seemed like an abundance of animals, from dogs to parrots. After eating lunch, my group headed back to El Cocal on what was probably the most memorable little trip along the beach with the wind breezing through the car, the waves crashing along the tires of the Land Rover, and the sun shining down on us.
Although all of this time has elapsed, when we got to the community centre at El Cocal, it was still only 12 pm. The next 2 hours that we spent in Cocal with the kids felt like a lifetime as the experience was mentally exhausting having to deal with a large amount of kids that only kept increasing as we were doing the work lesson. It was definitely a good learning experience for our group with how our exercise would actually play out with the kids.
After already being exhausted from engaging with the kids in Cocal, most of our group members were also about to have cooking duties for the night. After discussing what we could make, we came to the best decision of the day… to make tacos and yuca patties. From the response of everyone who ate our food (shout out to Zeinab, Ade, Merryn, and Ashley) I will definitely be attempting to perfect the Yuca patty when I get back home, so
hmu for some Yuca patties.