Day 15: La chocolaterie

Day 15:

Antiga,

I feel as if I am a broken record player at this point. It was an early morning, *sigh*, and we had a short bus ride lying ahead of us. We went to school. We went to classes. We helped the kids to builds cars. We dunked on some kids. We ate Lunch. We went to the cafe. 2:30 happened and we went back to the hostel. Today isn't about school though. We had five minutes at the hostel before we were off to a chocolate making class and history lesson on the other side of Antigua. As we approached the building you could smell the sweet smell of sugar and chocolate. We all surrounded a big table and put on brown aprons. To start we headed into a back room to hear about the history of chocolate in mesoamerica and south america. We learned about how the Incas ignored the potential of chocolate, but that the Mayans discovered they could roast it and make some good drinks. After our history lesson we headed back to our table and were given bowls of melted milk or dark chocolate to pour into molds. We got to pick our molds, some were pineapple shaped, some looked like soccer balls, and others looked like sea-shells. After we filled the molds we were given a range of additions to choose from: peanuts, cinnamon, orange slices, coconut, and crushed oreos. After we were done they were set in a fridge to cool. Following the creation of our solid chocolates we moved to making chocolate tea out of the shells of cocoa beans we crushed ourselves. After this we were going to re-create the hot chocolate of the Mayans. It was a spicy chocolate made from dark chocolate, some sugar, spices, and human blood. The lady leading our session mixed all of the stuff together minus the blood. To decide who was going to have a finger cut for blood there would be a competition. Two jars, one empty, one full of the unfinished hot chocolate. The task was to pour to chocolate into the empty jar starting from the lid and then raising your arm into the air and pouring it down from a few feet. Whoever spilled the most would be cut. At first nobody spilled very much. Then Luis stepped up to the plate and struck out, spilling a large amount of chocolate all over the counter. And just when it seemed we would be drinking his blood Olivia stepped up. She sorta spilled like half the jar and accepted her fate. We all waited as the lady walked into the back to get band-aids and some anti-bacterial stuff to clean the cut. Finally she reached under the counter to pull out a surprisingly large knife. She called it a machete, I would just call it a big knife though. Olivia came over and held her palm over the jar of hot chocolate. The lady drew her knife up level to her finger. Ready to slice. And after a extended and tension filled countdown. She put the knife down and said “just kidding, that would violate like every health & safety law”. I was literally only shocked by the fact that they had health & safety laws in Guatemala. Then we drank the hot chocolate and finished up. We grabbed out now solid chocolate bars and headed back to the hostel. Dinner was taquitos. I was hyped because I thought I would finally get meat, but it was just cheese. I was heartbroken. After dinner most of the team just went to sleep but some others went out dancing in Antigua.

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