June 1-14, 2015

Day Four: Prepare to be Amazed

Guest written by Andy and Hannah.

The troops were rallied a bit late this morning mostly due to the piercing sound of Yonatan's sleep talking and Carter's frequent moaning. Regardless, Mari prepared an incredible meal of French toast and fresh fruits that quickly made us ready to roll. We took our usual walk to the chicken bus - shout out to the sidewalks for keeping us off the streets. The bumpy bus took us to the school we've been working with in Ciudad Vieja and we met up with our Guatemalan homies. We ceremoniously gifted them TSC t-shirts and immediately went to complete today's task which was to move the old computers from Colegio Valle de Almolonga to a school in San Miguel Duenas.

With our partners, we loaded the heavy computers into the back of a car and took off on a bus to our destination. We had to stand this time and hold onto handrails, which proved to be a challenge. At one point, Jessica, quite the daredevil, took her hands off of the bar that was keeping her up and yelled "No hands!". Livin' la vida loca. When we arrived, another short walk took us to the school and we went to work setting all the computers up. The teamwork was amazing as we quickly finished almost the entire lab with time to spare. I was so proud of Trang when she and and her partner Jonathan we able to successfully set up one computer.

Having finished early, we waved goodbye to our friends for the day and then made our way back to Mari's house. Many kids chose to take a nap while some decided to play Banana-grams, Hannah's new favorite game. She dominated the competition, racking up zero wins but managing to spell out some words. The gloves came off when I constructed words like "exoskeleton" and "ethernet" - Frances was so impressed! Shortly after, everybody was woken up to enjoy Mari's lunch, except Zach. It took three buckets of water and several death threats from Elliot to wake him up. Just kidding! Lunch consisted of this beautiful soup with beans and beef along with rice, tortillas, and a peppered meat thing. It definitely hit the spot.

Hannah really wants to finish the second half of this blog now, so I better let her before she smashes my face into the keyboisrjgaio;qjwq3oi0rfjkwho;eafguehw.

That was a lie, I am in no ways violent. Anyways, after lunch everyone was soon sleepy again, a result of stuffing ourselves. However, most of us decided to go the market and see what deals we could scavenge. The reigning queen of haggling, Niaya, decided to stay behind today, and instead enjoyed a nice refreshing nap. Khoi took up the slack, seeming to buy something at every place we passed. He bought so much stuff he had to buy a duffle bag to carry it in. Many interesting items were bought, most probably not needed. Carter showed up with brass knuckles, a lighter, a knife and something we cannot name. Remind me not to mess with him.

Around 4:30 we all met back up and went to a restaurant that was showing the US vs. Guatemala game. It was a supposed "friendly game", but allegiances were shown among the crowd. One group even stood up when the US national anthem was played; how patriotic. Elliott, himself, was especially thrilled by the fighter planes that flew over the match. We only stayed for the first half, because Mari was making us dinner and we didn't want to spoil that, but the game was interesting. The one US goal that we witnessed was actually scored by a Guatemalan defender who was trying to head the ball to the goalie. Andy: "You had one job". Of us all, Henry probably enjoyed the game the most, as he IS a self- proclaimed soccer extraordinaire.

While most of the group walked back, I got to take a Tuc-tuc with Angelica. Tuc-tucs are small, three-wheeled "motor- tricycles"  that consist of a frame and cloth as doors. We could feel every bump of the cobblestone road. The fun was even extended, as we took a wrong turn and our driver had to pull a U- turn. Khoi and Yonatan's driver, who was following us, charged them double because of it. Most of us took refreshing showers after that and then sat down to yet another great meal. Thanks again Mari!

After that, things have been winding down, at least for me and Andy. Right now we are sitting on a couch, putting our blood, sweat and tears into being at least a little entertaining with this accursed blog that Kylin decided not to write. As we type away we can hear the screams and howls from the other room, as Bob face-times in the adjacent chair, raving about us. Tomorrow we are going to a water park sort of deal with our partners, so be excited for that. Hopefully someone gets a minor injury so that the next post will be more interesting. We can guarantee that it won't be written by us. Anyways, we're going to leave our self- induced isolation and join the festivities.

Love from Hannah and Andy (and the whole crew)

New feature (woohoo!!!):

Mike's bird of the day: the Rufouse-Collared Andean Sparrow (look it up!)