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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008


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Last week, while Hanna was at in San Jose, Peten, Guatemala she was living with her family of 3. Every night the family ate meals together and shared experiences about their lives. They sat around the kitchen/dining area eating their beans, rice, and tortillas laughing about each others stories. On Thursday the 17th, Hanna, and the house mother, Suly, made empanadas with her many nieces and nephews. Hanna made most of the empanadas with potatoes and beans as two girls, Emili and Angeles, and one boy Alessandro stood around eagerly awaiting her emapanadas. The first few came out rather small and skinny, but as they say practice makes perfect. Hanna and Suly were making empanada after empanada and they were sharing stories about Sulys life as a child and Hannas life at home. Dinner was ready and Suly, Hanna, and the father Edwar sat around the table outside eating the delicious empanadas. They talked for hours about music, food, education, transportation, and so many other topics. Spanish seemed to be the primary language for everyone as there were no awkward pauses and not too many miscomunnincations. It was a memorable moment for both the family and Hanna. She was the first host ¨daugther¨they had, and this conversation was something both the family and Hanna will remember.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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She is….

Hanna Lee,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

Last week, while Hanna was at in San Jose, Peten, Guatemala she was living with her family of 3. Every night the family ate meals together and shared experiences about their lives. They sat around the kitchen/dining area eating their beans, rice, and tortillas laughing about each others stories. On Thursday the 17th, Hanna, and […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Hanna Lee

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Throughout the trip Dillon has been called to the transport role and has been asked to get the group from one place to another. Whether it be a twenty minute drive to the nearby school or a 13 hour travel day from Raxuha to Chichi, in one way or another, Dillon successfully accoplished many of the groups traveling goals in a short and cheap manner, at least he thinks. His one shining moment would be hard to pick out but it would probably be a snapshot or a video of him leaning into a window of a pick up or microbus discussing prices and technical details in traveling. after this he walks back to the group, explains the situation and asks if they are ok with it and takes the ride. before starting the trip to guatemala he never thought he would be doing anything like this but now he is. he thought most of the modes of transportation were already going to be worked out by the leaders, but that wasn´´t the case. along with some important help, dillon´s shining moment would be him getting the group from poing a to point b several different times throughout this adventure.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Shining moment

Dillon DuBois,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

Throughout the trip Dillon has been called to the transport role and has been asked to get the group from one place to another. Whether it be a twenty minute drive to the nearby school or a 13 hour travel day from Raxuha to Chichi, in one way or another, Dillon successfully accoplished many of […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Dillon DuBois

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    [post_content] => It was cold and rainy. I had just grumpily finished four hours of Spanish lessons and my stomach hurt. Most of all I was homesick. I wanted to run home and sleep, to hide under the covers and try and forget all the comforts of home that I missed so much. But then something changed; I sucked it up. For the evening I got over it; the rain, the cold, and my homesick stomach ache. I ran back to the two room house on the muddy roads, my raincoat and about 5 layers keeping me dry and warm. I ran into the kitchen, a seperate room from the house, a special place to sit around the wood burning stove and eat and talk. I decided I was fine, here in Guatemala in this awkward homestay, that I could speak Spanish better than I thought and that I could make the most out of what I had. And so I made jokes, and laughed, and played with the 2 year old boy who just the day before would only stare at me, and I ate the food that I was so unsure about. And when I did go back to my bed, where half an hour before I had wished to hide, I was happy. I realized that I really would be fine, better even, and that there was so much more to enjoy about the wood burning stove and the muddy roads than I had thought. That was my moment, in Pachaj, a moment that did not last forever, but whenever I get my homesick stomach ache, or feel like Im ready to leave, I remind myself of the kitchen, and the family, and how every discomfort was worth it all. 
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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la cocina

Nora Casper,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

It was cold and rainy. I had just grumpily finished four hours of Spanish lessons and my stomach hurt. Most of all I was homesick. I wanted to run home and sleep, to hide under the covers and try and forget all the comforts of home that I missed so much. But then something changed; […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Nora Casper

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One night in beautiful San Jose I walked out side my house. My house was up on top of a hill over looking palm trees, the lake and a lit up city in the distance. The air was comfortable with me being in a tank top and pajama capris. My father was sitting on the bench over looking this site and began to talk to me. I sat down next to him thinking "Ok, here we go, this is going to be difficult. " He began talking to me and i was trying my hardest to understand him. And in fact I did understand most of what he was saying and I talked and gestured back to him. Two week prior to this, I could not speak a word of Spanish other than Hola, Gracias, and numbers from 1 to 10. This conversation went on for at least a half an hour and I couldn’t believe it was happening. So that was me, sitting on a high hill, looking out to beauty, having a conversation in a completely other language.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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A night in paradise

Sabrina Hansen,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

One night in beautiful San Jose I walked out side my house. My house was up on top of a hill over looking palm trees, the lake and a lit up city in the distance. The air was comfortable with me being in a tank top and pajama capris. My father was sitting on the […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Sabrina Hansen

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Hi all

For this yak yak we were asked to write about a shining moment during our travels. Though this trip has been filled with exciting encounters, I suppose the one that stuck out the most to me was when I, with Nora, was in charge of travel from Xela to Nebaj. It was the first intense travel day and our first that we were totally in charge of getting us to our destination. We got to Sacapulas with some trouble, having to switch our bags from one bus to another in Xela, but we got there nonetheless. Our microbus driver had promised us that one of his buddies would take us from Sacapulas to Nebaj for 10Q. He, of course, never came, so we were stuck in a cross-roads town with no plan. Nora, Dillon, and I went scouting and found one for 20Q to Nebaj. There were many factors involved: The distance, the comparitive price, the scarcity of other microbuses, and the exhaustion of our group. So, Nora and I had to make a choice whether to take it or not. It was then that I made a confident decision not to take it. We went back to the group to ask their approval, and they said that they were fine condition for more waiting. So we went scouting, and within five minutes we found another one for 12Q. Victory. Reward: the most beautiful ride of my life through the mountains of Quiche´.

Best, Reid Jenkins

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Sacapulas to Nebaj, looking back

Reid Jenkins,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

Hi all For this yak yak we were asked to write about a shining moment during our travels. Though this trip has been filled with exciting encounters, I suppose the one that stuck out the most to me was when I, with Nora, was in charge of travel from Xela to Nebaj. It was the […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Reid Jenkins

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They're all sitting in the living room, the four of them on the sofas. It's late -- Doña Leonza returned late from a trip to Xela -- and no doubt bedtime; but they are talking instead, having a conversation in partly-halting Spanish, the warmth of the four of them against the endless rain outside. Leonza and Angel and Cassandra are the ones talking, of course; but Bety is following, listening with her eyes, lively as ever.

There's a lot you can do with signs and goodwill; but Bety wants to really talk to Cassandra, so she indicates, Look, and writes the alphabet on a piece of paper in her curly Guatemalan-schoolgirl handwriting. Then she shows Cassandra the sign for each letter: A, a closed fist; B, fingers crossed; C, hand cupped in a curve... Cassandra imitates, clumsily, and Bety laughs and corrects her. Once through, and then Cassandra has to repeat them alone. It takes her many tries -- Bety is a hard taskmistress. And Cassandra cannot squeeze her fingers into a P, and keeps forgetting Y, and they all laugh, and laugh again... At last she does learn all the letters, more or less, and Bety, delighted, begins the game of spelling words: B-E-T-Y, G-A-T-O, M-E-S-A. Soon her mother inists on bedtime, and Cassandra admits she is very tired. Laboriously, she spells B-U-E-N-A-S N-O-C-H-E-S, and Bety grins, and waves good night.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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being a Dragon

Cassandra Euphrat Weston,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

They’re all sitting in the living room, the four of them on the sofas. It’s late — Doña Leonza returned late from a trip to Xela — and no doubt bedtime; but they are talking instead, having a conversation in partly-halting Spanish, the warmth of the four of them against the endless rain outside. Leonza […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Cassandra Euphrat Weston

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Deep within a cave in the jungles of Guatemala, Gabe Golvin-Klein is up to his ankles in mud. His boots are already soaked through from the wade through the underground river, which even now flows by in the dark. The slope in the cave is steep, and a loss of balance could send Gabe sliding towards the river, or simply flat on his face. The only light comes from his slowly dimming headlamp, and dimmer residual light from the lamps of nearby group members. Normally, this dark, dirty, slog through the mud would elicit grumbles from Gabe, or at least stony silence. But instead, he opens his mouth and laughs long and loud, marveling at the uniqueness of his situation. His laughter mingles with that of others in the group, and what was simply bearable before becomes a joke, a light-hearted traipse through the slippery, clinging mud. Gabe laughs his way to the end of the cave, and he does not fall. Not even once.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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A Great Moment

Gabe Golvin-Klein,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

Deep within a cave in the jungles of Guatemala, Gabe Golvin-Klein is up to his ankles in mud. His boots are already soaked through from the wade through the underground river, which even now flows by in the dark. The slope in the cave is steep, and a loss of balance could send Gabe sliding […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

Gabe Golvin-Klein

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The dark, crowded and cramped stall filled to the brim with tapestries, knicknacks, clothing and such was dominated by the elderly American tourist couple. Neither spoke Spanish, which was immediatly clear, and neither even tried to hide their money belts, camera cases strapped to their belts, tevas or khakis and polos. The store owner was doing fantastically at ripping them off, for they were being charged over double the price of what they should have been for a random toy shaped like a chicken that they would obviously never have any need for.

Then came in the traveler. With her Jesus-sandals, her flowy skirt, her dirty and used bag and her exquisite hair (just kidding), she obviously knew what she was doing. India immediatly chose a shirt and haggled the price from 125 quetzales to 70, all in Spanish.

The difference between the two customers was incredible. The latter transcended tourist to traveler today, succeeding in using her knowledge and her "street knowledge" to secure the best deals and to not appear conspicuous. After that, she continued on to eat not-so-sterile fruit out of a bag and some incredibly greasy fried chicken and french fries, both from a street vendor, both with her hands, and both for very cheap prices. Today, she became fully comfortable in Guatemala, fully unthreatened by anything she faced and fully capable to take on anything.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Chichicastenango

India Emerick,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

The dark, crowded and cramped stall filled to the brim with tapestries, knicknacks, clothing and such was dominated by the elderly American tourist couple. Neither spoke Spanish, which was immediatly clear, and neither even tried to hide their money belts, camera cases strapped to their belts, tevas or khakis and polos. The store owner was […]

Posted On

07/24/08

Author

India Emerick

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It is hard to believe that only two days have passed since we left San Jose, but its true. We woke up at 4am for the second day in a row and after a tough start with a flat tire, we made our way to Santa Elena where we crammed into a van for the several hour ride to Raxruja. We were amused to find that it was the same van that drove us to el Peten, the same 16 passenger van we had crammed 27 people into! 27 people had seemed like a great feat to us at the time. But this time, we managed to fit in over 30, plus whoever might have been riding on top! The drivers tried to rip us off by charging us too much and then dropping off us at a random cross in the road instead of Raxruja but that just opened space for us to have more adventure when we all squeezed into and even smaller van for 15 minute ride to our hotel--essentially sitting on one another´s shoulders, it was by far the closest thing any of us had come to being in the cramped clown car. We finally arrived, chowed down lunch (the ordering of which was a HUGE task, dispite the fact that we all essentially ordered the same basic dish of rice, eggs, and beans). Then we jumped into the back of a pickup and went to explore some caves. the first two were lovely and we had fun singing opera and the likes. The third cave challenged us by slowly turning into a giant mudpuddle. We all got filthy, almost losing shoes and falling flat in the mud. I doubt many caves in the world produce quite as many laughs as this one. We then piled our muddy butts into the pickup where the rain kindly cleaned us off. our adrenaline soared as we made our way through the forest each carrying our own innertube in anticipation of the last cave. The river water was rushing and as the guide explained that while it normally took him an hour to tube through the cave, today it should only take us 15 minutes! We jumped and screamed with excitement. But once inside, the underground river was actually quite calm. We floated down, often turning off our headlamps to appreciate the intense darkness. I can safely say it was one of the most special places I have been in Guatemala. The drive back was filled with more rain and even more laughter. It was truely a special day and I personally would not have wanted to share it with anybody else than these incredible students!

Yesterday we all went to the community of Carolina to start gridding and drawing the world map on a school wall and to interact with the kids of the community. Local families suprised all of our starving bellies with an incredible display of food that we essentially devoured to the laughing eyes of school children. Despite the intense poverty that this community faces, the families refused money to help cover their costs. After more collective work on the map we all took a break to celebrate Cassandra´s birthday with a pinata. Pure madness!!!! I have never seen such scrambling for candy in my life. We waved goodbye to the community as we left in the back of a pick-up, wind kissing our smiling faces as we past some of the most incredible landscapes many of us had ever seen. We spent the evening eating burittos, drinking chocolate banana liquados, and raving about how incredible everything is, especially our group. As I was getting into bed a 8pm (well past my now typical bedtime), it started raining--insanely! I looked out the window and one-by-one saw each of the students enter the rain and begin dancing. Jumping around, they formed a circle, raised hands to the sky, and just had a freggin blast. The past two days have been very special for me. I keep constantly being reminded of how truely beautiful Guatemala and each and every one of these student are!

We have less than a week left which is hard to grasp, but we are already so full of memories that we will keep for a very long time. Thank you Dragons, Guatemala, Jessie, Gabe, India, Nora, Logan, Dillan, Cassandra, Hannah, Reid, Emily, Sam, Sabrina, Michael, and Rebecca for making this possible!

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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the glory days of raxru-JA!!!!!

Adelaide Nalley,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

It is hard to believe that only two days have passed since we left San Jose, but its true. We woke up at 4am for the second day in a row and after a tough start with a flat tire, we made our way to Santa Elena where we crammed into a van for the […]

Posted On

07/22/08

Author

Adelaide Nalley

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-07-20 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

For this yak yak, I will be imagining the daily life of my homestay mother in San Jose´.

I am Elsa. I wake up at 5 40 every morning to do chores such as washing or cooking breakfast for my two sons. I have to go shopping frequently, as I do not store many things in the refrigerator that I have. In fact, I spend a lot of time at home, as there is so much to do there as my husband died 10 years ago. I live on top of a large and steep hill with two sons (the third now living in El Mirador with his wife), a dog and chickens. Recently my gas stove hasn´t been working, so I´ve been cooking outside with using wood for fire. Inside the house the air is filled with sound of my sons´ music and television. My sons are 12 and 18 of age, and I love them very much.

Ok, that´s all for this installment,

Reid

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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San Jose

Reid Jenkins,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

Description

For this yak yak, I will be imagining the daily life of my homestay mother in San Jose´. I am Elsa. I wake up at 5 40 every morning to do chores such as washing or cooking breakfast for my two sons. I have to go shopping frequently, as I do not store many things […]

Posted On

07/20/08

Author

Reid Jenkins

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