Day 2 - Llegamos a la Escuela

Everyone woke up around 7 this morning. We were greeted by a delicious breakfast of eggs, juice, and fresh fruit. The day was off to a good start.

We took a colorfully painted school bus, aka Guatemala’s transit system, to Asociation Benedicion de Dios in Alotenango to begin setting up the lab. Before the work started, however, we were introduced into every classroom and were greeted by countless beaming Guatemalan youth. We even got to sit in on a class of five and six year olds and participate in their activities. It proved easy as the whole class was filled with toys and even the teacher admitted that the everyday the kids just played. I am writing letters to Garfield suggesting new teaching methods.

After we were done helping out in class it was time to start working. I would not know how this went because Minh, Ben, Kit and I were pulled aside by the director of the school and told to go play with the children at the nearby park. At the park we played an intense game of futbol on a sandy gravel field. By the end everybody was filthy but in high spirits. The Guatemalan boys we played with were possibly the toughest kids I have ever met. Each one of them must have fallen down at least ten times and had been nailed in the head with the ball around five but they just got back up and kept playing. The Frisbees that Bob Huppe donated were also a big hit with the kids, as many had never played with one before. We hope to teach them how to play ultimate Frisbee later.

When the bus to Antigua pulled up, we could tell that it was already packed to the brim. Nevertheless, the driver opened his doors and beckoned for us to come on. As our party of close to 20 walked down the aisle all conversations that had been previously going on in the bus came to an abrupt halt. There was a lucky few who were able to find seats, such as Minh who got a seat on Hannah Collins’ lap. But the majority were stuck standing in the crowded back.

Finally we got back to the house and had a wonderful meal of vegetables, rice, and beef. We then set out for the market to meet all of our consumer needs. After a quick stop for ice cream we arrived at the market and broke into groups. My best accomplishment of the day was when I bargained my way from buying a 30 quetzale slingshot down to 15 quetzales. Whether this was some clever talking by me or the vendor was just trying to rip me off initially and ended up at the original price is a question that will forever remain unanswered. “We walked down some creepy alleyways”, says Hannah Arrigoni. Don’t worry, they ended up just fine.

After the market we came back and for descended to the girl’s room for massages and candy. Then it was time for a dinner of rice, beans, and plantains.

Next it was the boy’s turn to host the gathering and everyone crammed into one room once again. Judy and Alex had the unfortunate job of dishes tonight. “I loved it!”, exclaimed Alex.

And the moment all you readers have all been waiting for: shout outs. There will be no shout outs today but possibly tomorrow so stay tuned.

Love from Guatemala,