Day 1 - The Beginning of a Journey

Outside the Continental gate at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, TSC Guatemala assembled. Thirteen students arrived on time ready to go but one was missing. Hannah Arrigoni arrived late with all her luggage and a completely full CamelBak. While everybody was getting ready to take off, somebody noticed that Minh’s bag seemed to be larger than he was. When asked about it, Minh explained that he had packed a sleeping bag, his own sleeping pad, and a pillow; all of which were unnecessary. Chaperones descended on the poor traveler and quickly stole all of the frivolous items. Now everyone was packed and ready but the day proved to be extremely uneventful.

A three and a half hour long flight to Houston with a 45 minute delay tried everybody’s patience. Even as our frugal trip leads booked the red eye to rule them all, the plane ride was not terrible. For the most part everybody tried to catch up on sleep. For many however, this was harder than it sounded and when we arrived in Houston everyone was still tired.

The three hour layover was uneventful and had many wondering why people live in Texas at all. The food was greasy, waistlines were gargantuan, and there was not a hill in sight. While we waited for our flight, some tried to sleep while others sat and tried to occupy themselves until our next plane ride. Finally, we boarded the plane and departed for Guatemala City.

When we arrived in Guatemala, we still had the daunting task of going through customs. To our delight, we got through unscathed and were on our merry way. We were picked up by Julio, the director of the school, and headed off onto the maze that many Guatemalans call roads.

After about an hour of driving past fast food restaurant after fast food restaurant, we finally arrived at the school. For many, this was the highlight of the day as young Guatemalan students approached each TSC member and gave them a heartwarming card thanking them for their help. We unloaded our computers, monitors, and massive amounts of donated shoes at the school. The school seemed great and everyone is excited to be working there.

Mary, Leo, and Manuel have been kind enough to host us on our trip and have been more than accommodating. After we got settled in, we set off to explore the town. We stopped at the ice cream shop to beat the heat and everyone was in a good mood. We also checked out the legendary McDonald’s and it did not disappoint. Unlike McDonald’s in the US, this one had a full fountain, courtyard, and life-size Ronald McDonald.

We returned to the house for dinner and everyone was eager to eat after a long, tiresome day. Before dinner was ready however, we had some time to kick around. Hannah Arrigoni took a special interest in the parrot, who we named Buzz because of his characteristic intergalactic green color. Hannah somehow seems to be the only person who can get him to talk. Needless to say, we were all quite puzzled. The boys began an intense game of Texas Hold-Em which was picked up again after a delicious dinner consisting of tortilla soup, spaghetti, and banana bread.

Everyone in the house is tired from a long day of travel but there is definite excitement about going back to the school tomorrow. I am beat as well and think it is time to retire.

Hasta manana,