July 23 - August 6, 2013

El dia uno

Yes. We are here and have survived minor turbulence and two whole security checkpoints. Starting with our tub convention in baggage check — a staple of all TSC trips — and leading to our group wide attempt at airborne slumber, today was long.

Our layover in Houston was from roughly 4am to 9am. The group sat in a large, empty terminal cornered by a Jamba Juice for most of the time. We all had our ways of passing time (stories, music, snacking, ukulele, snacking, music, books, snacking, etc.)When my Jamba smoothie and I sat down, I told Henry that all of the girls would get Jamba Juice. A small troupe of our hungry hooligans left for ‘Ruby’s Diner,’ which Dylan noted was “disappointing,” a likely conclusion to seeking out burgers before the crack of dawn. Every girl in our group bought a Jamba Juice.

Flying into Guatemala City our windows and baffled expressions welcomed the green expanse of rolling hills. Our touchdown was swift and tub-ular. Andrea, a volunteer from Safe Passage funneled our sleep-deprived vessels into larger, car-like vessels (along with our tubs), and took us to the first school.

Even from the outside, the school was teaming with people. Policia kept watch, mothers awaited their children and the team shuffled our tubs inside. The facility’s existence is a triumph, and everyone inside appreciates it. After depositing the cargo, we were treated to some fantastic soft chicken tacos along with the young students and hit the road promptly.

Next we found ourselves in Antigua at the Safe Passage offices. We watched a moving, mini-doc on how Hanley Denning started the organization (highly moving, see the video below). With a greater feeling of purpose for the organization, Andrea donned us all with Safe Passage’s signature T-shirts and we made it for the homestay.

Our hostess, Mari (pronounced marr-ee) quickly settled us in and made us feel at home. We then wandered around Antigua, ogling at churches, markets, and a fantasized McDonalds (seating, waiters, checks, fountains). But the elegant presentation failed to trap us in a restaurant we all know well, and we returned home for some real food. Mari treated us to homemade juice, cooked chicken, rice, veggies, beans, and tortillas. As our new friend Paquito the parrot recited all of our hellos back to us, Mari promised us a fiesta in the coming days. We have settled in just dandily.

Check out some photos here!

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