June 1-14, 2015

Day Five: MRSA

Today--giving that it was a Saturday, we didn't have to wake up very early. By that, I mean we woke up around 8 in the morning which most of us consider pretty early. After rolling out of bed, we sat down to breakfast and then began to get ready for a long day of fun. We had plans to go on an outing to a very affordable amusement park with our Guatemalan buddies, giving us a chance to bond with them without the pressure of doing work.  At 9 a chartered school bus picked us up outside Mari's and we then made our way to Ciudad Vieja to pick up our friends. A 40 minute bus ride followed that, filled with amazing views of the Guatemalan landscapes--lush green fields and desolate volcanoes. Some of us, especially Khoi and Carter, had many fun conversations with the Guatemalans on the bus ride, despite language barriers. Many topics were discussed, ranging from siblings to career goals.

Once we got to Los Aposentos, the park, there were many options including swimming, zip lining, boating and horseback riding. We all wanted to go experience different things, yet all ended up traveling in one big group to ride horses. There we rode horses, often led by trainers, up a small path and then back down for 5 Quetzales a ride; which is less than $1. Most of us had some experience horseback riding, but others weren't so great at handling a horse; for example Yonatan, who's horse returned because he didn't know how to make it turn in different directions.

Afterwards, most people went to the small lake in the park where we went on row boats and paddle boats. A few of the students and our own crew bought water guns on the sly. Once we were in the middle of the lake, everyone who had bought one started spraying us innocent people and all we could do was try and splash them from that far away. Nevertheless, we all had fun getting wet and splashing each other; except for an injured Niaya, who was deathly afraid of catching "A MRSA." She has talked about MRSA a few times on this trip, but we're pretty sure it's not a thing...in Guatemala at least. Whilst row boating, Niaya was legit yelling because Andy and Sally wouldn't turn the boat around to take her back to shore. Although this was very hilarious to all of us,  nothing was very funny to Niaya until she was sure Jason had caught A MRSA when he cut the bottom of his foot later in the day.

We had lunch after air drying for a couple of minutes. Mari had prepared us a lunch, but more than half of the group went to go eat at a restaurant; they spent a hecka long time waiting for some delicious food, much longer than it took us to eat our free lunches. After lunch we all went on the zip-line. Earlier in the day the park peeps told us it was 20 Quetzals when last week they told Bob that they charged 10. However, a bit of haggling did the trick and we only paid 25 Quetzals for every two riders. The zip-line went over the lake and was very enjoyable and we are now looking forward to zip-lining at Lake Atitlan even more. Andy did some dope flips on the zip-line, which was cray. He got in trouble for being too badas* and got yelled at in Spanish (which is pretty scary).

After that many of us decided to hit the pool. The water was kinda cold, but it was a refreshing change from the hot weather of Guatemala. The ever present frisbee made an appearance in the pool, with all the boys throwing it back and forth and even trying to catch it while jumping in; there were may failures on that front. Rough-housing was also a favorite with the boys; lots of people were pushed in by Elvis, Miguel and Antonio (three of the Guatemalans). After an hour of swimming it was time to go; we got out and dried off, then boarded the bus back to Antigua. Once we were home a few people collapsed into a catatonic state, including Jessica, the champion face planter of the trip. Although Zach is a close second. Everyone who was conscious fought for some shower time and then it was time for an early dinner.

Knowing that it was the 4th of July in the US, Mari prepared us a special dinner. After making a touching speech about how thankful she was that we were here together and working for the good of Guatemala rather than enjoying the festivities at home, she joyously pulled the string on a huge popper that showered us (Elliott and Zach) in confetti. Then we feasted.  She told us she had prepared "an American meal", which was almost like chili dogs. Hot dogs in the usual Guatemalan bread with yellow mayonnaise in between and a bowl of chili. So the meal was very close to being American, but without the usual ketchup/mustard combo.

Until next time,

xoxo, your fave Guate gaalz -Kylin, Jessica, Hannah, and Andy


Mike's Bird of the Day: The Bushy-Crested Jay