Day 9 - Gringo Pool Party

Today started like any other morning: loud knocking on our door trying to get us up. The one difference was this morning we had planned ahead and locked our door the night before so as to get as much sleep as possible. This plan worked brilliantly and Minh, Ben, and I were left alone for an extra ten minutes until we realized breakfast was being served and then we got up. Because Jenny was the tech lead and Abe was assistant tech lead they had already left for the school before the rest of us were up. They brought Hannah along too for good measure because she happens to be somewhat of a computer genius.

The rest of us arrived at the school and expected a warm welcome from our early-rising companions but instead were greeted coldly. Apparently, ideally we would not have come for another hour because they did not want everyone crowding in the computer lab. Everyone got pretty frustrated but Jan came up clutch with a quality run to the bakery which put everyone in better spirits. At 9:15 we were visited by two classes of 13 and 14 year olds who had never used computers before. We sat each one down at a computer and taught them how to log on, open things, and eventually built up to writing on Open Office documents. For the next 45 minutes every computer screen had a Guatemalan name in wacky fonts all in different colors. Success.

After the lesson we were invited by Julio, the school director, to go to a nearby pool for swimming and a barbeque. The pool was amazing. While some of the girls did not even go in the water, the boys stampeded into the cold water and jumped off the diving board. Alex was dubbed King of Guatemala because he was the first person to successfully catch the soccer ball off the diving board after doing a 360-spin in the air. The rest of us could only stare in awe as he emerged from the water victorious, wishing it had been us.

After the pool, the food was ready and we had a delicious meal of flank steak, beans, chips, and guacamole. We sat around and talked until a soccer game broke out on the mini field right next to us. The teams were TSC boys minus Kit (who elected to be on the other team with the Guatemalan boys). Julio stole the show and amazed us with his array of volleys and nimble moves for an adult. I myself must admit that I fell victim to one of his lethal nutmegs which sent roars of laughter through the small crowd. Carlos, unlike previously, was a true stallion of the net (LOL).

After the soccer game Julio and the other teachers at the school who had came along told us to all sit down for one last speech. Julio delivered a heartwarming speech about how grateful he was and how the whole community thanks us for what we have done that sent chills down my spine. After, we each received diplomas from the school as a token of gratitude. Then it was time to head back to the house and we said our goodbyes.

Until dinner time everyone was allowed to go out to the market. After asking around, it became clear that everyone had done a wide variety of things but one thing remained constant: ice cream. I myself cannot resist getting ice cream every time I see a Sarita shop. We all met back to the house around 7 and had a nice dinner of DIY tacos/nachos. After dinner everyone gathered around in the girls’ room for a cordial conversation and happy banter. I am thrilled to say that after nine days of hard work, we are finally starting to truly bond as a team. I’m sure that once we return to Seattle, all of us will be hanging out as best of friends. Only the Kit recovery blog remains and I will leave that up to Abe.


Abe here, here is another Kit recovery blog! He was healthy enough today to proceed to the pool with us and even get some swimming in. Unfortunately, he also seems unable to learn anything. I kid you not, he did not wear sunscreen today.  Needless to say, the carnage continued and he managed to burn all of his freshly peeled skin along with burning places (such as his face) that emerged unscathed from the initial exposure.  If you happen to be in his family, I’m going to recommend that you have the household sit down and talk about responsible sunscreen use before you ever let him go somewhere sunny again. I’m pretty sure he does not understand what sunscreen does. You should also invest in several gallons of aloe vera. He actually showered yesterday and today though. Guatemala says, hi Jen.


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Kelly Arrigoni says:

Well I am delighted to see that Hannah has actually "done" dishes...there is little evidence of dish washing here at the house. Maybe the experience will be repeated when she returns home. Still freezing cold here...hard to believe that Kit continues to burn his fair skin...Hannah have you not given him the Kack lecture?? Tell him that the final 24 have been chosen on Idol...the chubby kid got booted but the deep voiced cowboy kid made it. And the fellow with the girlfriend who was in the wheelchair unfortunately did not make it either. Looking forward to more updates (Chevy Chase?)...Love, Mommers

Jim Krieger says:

Azor, what a great posting. You guys are great...really brought a smile to my face to hear about the Guatemalan kids learning about computers for the first time and the heartfelt thanks from Julio.

And Abe, big powpow time here...went to Alpental with 15 inches of new...and looks good for when you get back too.


Kelly Arrigoni says:

Hello there and happy Sunday! Went to the computer hoping to sit and read the blog but nothing... What's up with that? Getting ready to watch the Oscars...(Hannah, James Franco is hosting) We are looking forward to having you home this week...even Tucker admitted to missing you! Quiet weekend with chilly weather. Bizzer caught Tucker's cold so he is down and out. Hope you have been to the mercado and purchased some cool items. It sounds to me like you guys are spending all your coins on ice cream!

Mom loves you!!

Jen Cole says:

We are going to be happy to see you again! Wishing you safe & easy travels back. Please bring some of the warmth with you.