Day 9: Tissage des Leçons et des Célébrations

Day 9:

                Today was the first day all trip that we have been able to sleep in. We all took advantage of this; some even didn’t make the 10:00 Park meet time. It was our final full day in San Juan with our homestay families. We all ate breakfast before meeting at the park. Once all but some of us were there, *cough* Justin & Jesse *cough*, we walked to a nearby Mayan weaving company where they taught us about ancient techniques used for weaving. We learned that they use a variety of local plants to create dye for coloring, for example: beets for a dark purple-red color. Along with the dyes they showed us how they use a spinner to pull a string from the wool and even gave a few of us a chance to try and spin some out ourselves, it went better for some than others. They then pulled out a very complex apparatus that they attached to a pole and around their waist to try and spin out a full cloth.  The lady performing the lesson then skillfully interchanged two wooden rods separating two rows of cloth in a way that allowed her to create a pattern. The lesson didn’t last too long and afterward we were set loose in their store and some team members bought gifts for their families. We were set free after the session and went out for lunch. After lunch we went to the school early to help teach the older kids more complicated math problems on the laptops. After a short while the kids got a hang of it and we resigned to the courtyard to play soccer with the younger kids.  As school drew to a close they called us over for a celebration assembly to thank us. We sat down in the lawn chairs they pulled up, surrounded by kids, and they unveiled a big banner that said, “Gracias Technology services corps”. The principal pronounced the name slightly wrong but the message was good. Following a “Gracias” chanted by all the kids they called us up one by one to give us little pictures of San Juan drawn by the younger school kids. After the assembly kids lined up to be boosted into the air by Jesse or Jason, some of the older kids even asked for pictures.  Once the festivities slowed down we slowly left and went home to our host families for one final dinner.

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