Day 3 - Volcano Day (minus Alex)

Today we woke up around 6:30 to go hike up a volcano. Unfortunately, Alex had to stay behind because he had spent last night puking seven times and was feeling too tired. We think it was something he ate.

Mike was in a rush saying that we had to be ready to be picked up by the bus 7:00 sharp. Of course, the bus came an hour late. The bus ride was about an hour and a half through windy Guatemalan hills going up towards the volcano Pacaya. This was the same volcano that the last TSC Guatemala team hiked. It blew up last May, so the tour guide took us around a different (and safe) route.

We arrived at the village of San Francisco Del Sole and were greeted by villagers trying to sell us walking sticks wherever we went. They have instructed all of their smallest, cutest children to do this job so it is hard to say no. We began our hike on a path of loose gravel and horse dung. Nevertheless, spirits were high.  Maya, the med lead, got her first real action and gave out some Tylenol and handed out numerous band-aids. When we got to the top we were looking at a volcano peak going upward into a cloudy oblivion. We found a cavern that was about 500 degrees and whipped out the marshmallows we had brought and toasted them over the intense heat. Pretty soon the focus of the group became throwing as many things as we could find into the cavern. Ben took it to the next level and threw his white t-shirt into the pit. We all watched in wonder as it went from spotless white to black in less than a minute.

The hike back proved eventful with many people slipping and sliding down the hills. Hannah Arrigoni could be heard often screaming whenever she thought she would fall, which was quite often. The Lin sisters had particular trouble on the unpredictable ground. Jenny was in need of some extra help and Abe got the lucky job of holding her hand all the way down the hill. “She complained very little. She’s a trooper. A natural born hiker”, explains Abe. Judy on the other hand had both feet slip out from under her and promptly took out both Hannah Arrigoni and my legs, creating a huge dusty pileup.  

The talk of the bus ride back was who would get the first showers. It was a heated debate. When we arrived at the house Minh sneakily slipped into the shower out of order. This was upsetting to many, in particular the girls (Judy). When asked if the shower was worth having people mad at him, Minh smiled and said “I feel like I’m in heaven”. I will take that as a yes.

Some of the boys felt the need to go walking around town before dinner. Ben, Minh, and I stopped by Pollo Campero, Guatemala’s famous fried chicken chain, for a quick bite to eat. We then cruised through the busy market and headed back to the house.

Tonight was the night of a Fiesta thrown by our host family and was started by a heartwarming speech by Mary which left a few people in tears. Then it was time to eat. Dinner consisted of traditional Guatemalan food such as taquitos, guacamole, horchata, chips, tamales, and other delicious Guatemalan delicacies.

We learned a lot of lessons today.

  1. Just because you are the biggest on the trip does not mean you won’t be the first to get sick.
  2. The Lin family should consider hiking more often.
  3. Sunscreen is really important.
  4. Anything is cooler when thrown in a 500 degree pit.

That’s all for today, I can’t wait to update you all on the adventures tomorrow will bring.




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Dawn Lucrisia-Johnson says:


Thanks for providing us with such visual and witty updates. I've enjoyed reading them and am glad to know you are all having a good time, with the exception of Alex of course. Hopefully his symptoms aren't brought about by a withdrawal from texting. I'm sure Alex doesn't suffer from text addiction, so it's probably some kind of bug. If it were Oniel, my diagnosis would be a text withdrawal symptom accompanied with an incontrollable thumb twitching, and shortness of breath. Hopefully the 3 muscles that control movement of the thumb won't atrophy while you're away. (She'll kill me for this post I'm sure.)

Tell Oniel hello for us! I'm so glad you are all getting the benefit of this awesome experience.



Heidi Noun says:

Azor, the blogs have been great! I especially liked this one, especially the lessons learned!

Kelly Arrigoni says:

Glad to hear that you guys made it safely (up) and down the volcano. I must say I wish I could have seen the t-shirt going into the pit. Tell Kit that I missed "Idol" and have to get caught up to see who got booted.

Will pass on the scoop when On Demand starts to roll. Hannah, I am glad you did not get sick but sorry to hear that a friend did...I am sure your friends know how you feel about vomiting. Hope Alex is on the mend. Bizzer and I ate at Cactus today so perhaps we were enjoying guac at the same time! Miss you!

And just so you are prepared when you return we have a new addition....NO, not Gordito but a big, fat, red drum set. Have fun and do some shout outs! Love, Mommers