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


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Yes, Yes, Yes! Finally it feels like summer. Summer is my favorite season of all and when I found out that we were in the rainy season, I have to admit, I was pretty upset. But now it is hot and we get to wear shorts , it´s great. I also am more of a jungle person instead of a mountain person. So seeing the flat land and the plam trees was amazing! Today we got bit alive by the misquetos is the jungle on the way to see some small ruins. But we had to walk threw the jungle where i felt like I was in the Disney movie Tarzan. Nora and I , when walking back to the boat we spread out in the middle of everyone so no one was in sight. I said that if we got lost I was going to change my name to Jane, make a leapord skin dress to wear and live in a tree house. It was really funny. We have home stays tomorrow for a week, I hope that they are a lot of fun. We´ll see.

Sabrina

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

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Change in Season

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

Description

Yes, Yes, Yes! Finally it feels like summer. Summer is my favorite season of all and when I found out that we were in the rainy season, I have to admit, I was pretty upset. But now it is hot and we get to wear shorts , it´s great. I also am more of a […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Sabrina Hansen

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Hi Again

I didn't see my last entry put up, but just for the record, this is my third yak yak work of art. So we've basically been traveling for the last few days. It was a lot of "fun type B" as the instructors call it. This type of fun entails the experiences that suck in the mean time [pun intended], and involve discomfort or general badmoodiness. It's interesting how we strive to live in the moment during this trip, but in those fun type B moments [atleast during the gnarly part] we try to detach ourselves. However, I think living in the moment is important even during the gnarly part, as the result in a profound reward and a good story. This was probably shown best yesterday when we crammed 27 people into an 18-person microbus for 4 hours while it steadily got hotter and more humid=stinkier. Even though it was very uncomfortable, when we got out, everyone was pretty proud that we had just experienced the four-star rugged travel rating that we had signed up for. And when we had only 4 extra people in our van today, we felt like we were being treated, and all that people could talk about was the trip yesterday [good story.] And the reward was the Mayan ruins this morning (though the mosquitoes were myriad) and the swimming in the lake, fast internet, nice hotel, and relatively expensive dinner tonight as we celebrate one of our own's birthday. Right now though, I am so glad I'm not crammed in between two Guatamalans that I don't know in an overcrowded microbus.
Bye for Now, Reid Jenkins
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Travels

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

Description

Hi Again I didn’t see my last entry put up, but just for the record, this is my third yak yak work of art. So we’ve basically been traveling for the last few days. It was a lot of "fun type B" as the instructors call it. This type of fun entails the experiences that […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Reid Jenkins

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Just one day of travel -- maybe six bumpy hours in the van, total -- and we've completely left the conservative highland mountains for the jungly lowlands. The first thing you notice is that it's hotter here; and the fierce rainstorm that cheered us all on the long van ride here lasted only ten minutes. This is not mountain rain (near-constant after 3 PM, and cold) -- this is jungle rain, brief and intense and nearly warm.

Apparently we're not actually in the rainforest, because we're sub-tropic, but it's as close as I've ever come. Oh, and there are mosquitoes -- the lovely big malaria-carrying kind. This morning we hiked (...walked) a little ways through the jungle to see some Mayan ruins at El Ceibal... huge palm trees, hanging lianas, mud and leaf litter underfoot -- the whole stereotype complete, except maybe the wildlife. No monkeys (we've been told they're coming, at Tikal) -- just vast numbers of mosquitoes, a few parrots / other colorful birds, and some exciting insect life, such as a huge, yellow-antennaed grasshopper that crawled up my leg to settle on my backpack. (I got photos, but I doubt they'll turn out.) And of course there were the ruins -- impressive, if sparse. I'm definitely looking forward to Tikal.

The people are different here, too. Definitely far less conservative; I haven't seen a single woman in traje since we entered the Peten, and many even in Western beach clothing... whereas in the mountain village of Xix, where we spent the night at a boarding school, one girl was embarrassed wearing a knee-length skirt for a skit. This town (Flores) also has the most English I've seen anywhere in Guatemala, though I don't know if that actually has to do with the fact that it's in the lowlands. No doubt Antigua will have just as much.

So here we are, for the next week; I'm very much looking forward to our next homestay, which starts tomorrow. I will be using my mosquito repellent quite a bit... wearing shorts... maybe eating fruit (besides bananos y platanos) ? That would be really nice, actually. We'll see how things go...

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

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Fog to jungle…

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

Description

Just one day of travel — maybe six bumpy hours in the van, total — and we’ve completely left the conservative highland mountains for the jungly lowlands. The first thing you notice is that it’s hotter here; and the fierce rainstorm that cheered us all on the long van ride here lasted only ten minutes. […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Cassandra Euphrat Weston

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This week has mostly consisted of travel days, moving around the country and gradually coming out of the cold, moist highlands and moving into the warm, and well, also moist, lowlands. It´s been so much fun to see more of the country, and it´s hard to say which I like better of the two. Although I enjoyed the winding roads and traditional traje of the highlands, I also like the warm weather and relaxed feel of the lowlands. Both are geographically beautiful in different ways. The highlands offers stunning green mountains and fields of corn. The lowlands are rife with gorgeous jungle and water views. There are also differences in the attitudes of the people. The people of the highlands were very traditional, dressing conservatively and having modest homes. There were very few tourists in most of the places we went to. People in the lowlands dress very differently, and much less conservatively because of the heat. There are many more travelers, and people speak a little bit of english. I like the weather, and the fact that I can wear the types of clothes that I am used to, but I also miss being in more of a cultural environment. I am very excited for our next homestay, which starts tomorrow, and to see even more of Guatemala.

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

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Seeing Guatemala

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

Description

This week has mostly consisted of travel days, moving around the country and gradually coming out of the cold, moist highlands and moving into the warm, and well, also moist, lowlands. It´s been so much fun to see more of the country, and it´s hard to say which I like better of the two. Although […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Emily Polstein

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    [post_content] => Hello Friends and Family, We have made it to Nebaj. It is a wonderful place in the mountains that was hit hard by the war.  Tonight we will have a speaker come to talk about the war in Guatemala and how this particular area was affected.  We are staying at Popi´s here and enjoying some non-beans and rice food. I think the students are really enjoying some down time to process the week in Pachaj and write home. We will be leaving tomorrow for a short hike to Xix, a small community, where we will spend the night.  Then we will hike to Chajul, about a four to five hour hike, to catch a truck back to Nebaj.  On Friday we will travel to a place the students will choose.  And then we are on our way to San Jose for our second homestay and language school.  We will be out of contact with you on those few days we are hiking. The students have been taking more and more of a role in traveling.  Yesterday they did a wonderful job figuring out transportation from Xela to Nebaj, no small feat.  We were please as an instructor team because they did such a great job and spent a lot less than we expected. They know how to bargain.  Our group has some great leadership and traveling skills.  We see life-long explorers in the making, it is beautiful. Hope all is well up there.   We will keep in touch, Adelaide, Rebecca, and Michael
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Where there Be Group B

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

Description

Hello Friends and Family, We have made it to Nebaj. It is a wonderful place in the mountains that was hit hard by the war. Tonight we will have a speaker come to talk about the war in Guatemala and how this particular area was affected. We are staying at Popi´s here and enjoying some […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2008-07-08 00:00:00
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Hello all,

Today was an EXCELLENT DAY.

We took off for Chajul, where we went to the market. Needless to say, I had rather low expectations due to just my overall unwillingness to leave Nebaj. As many of you know, I´ve had access to many amenities (a functioning bathroom, laundry service, and internet) that weren´t as easy to get in Pachaj. While the experience I had in pachaj was great, it was nice to feel in touch with a little bit of home again.

Well, the market was okay, but not excellent. What really made my travel to Chajul such a great experience was the people. While wandering around the marketplace (mostly full of vegetables and products for the people that were actually living there) we (Cassandra, Emily, Reid, and I) stopped at a small ice cream place, where I met a boy named Arnaldo. He was about 12 and after we left, proceeded to follow us around which was, if not only quite flattering, really nice. We left the marketplace a while after that and took to a bench outside the Iglesia. Then, a lady came up to me, expecting that I had money, and offered to show us some textiles at her house.

After arriving to her house, she brought out the wide variety. Belts, hairpieces, and tablecloths were the majority, which she tried to push on me, even though I had no money. She was treating me really nicely because we were considered customers to her, but I felt like this sort of treatment would not have been given to us if we were in the states. Talk about southern hospitality (and I say southern meaning south of the border, haha).

When we were walking back, I had two quetzals in my pocket, so I bought 4 pieces of gum and gave some to Arnaldo, his friend Oscar, and Emily. We walked back to the church, where I was introduced to even more of his friends. While dancing for a few of them (you know the standard running man, robot, and fish and hook gag), 10 or so showed up as well. I then was given a nice rubber band, which I shot at the kids and they shot back. The game was halted because a poor kid got hurt by one of the others, but after he ceased crying, Rebecca brought out the paper and we had a paper airplane war. I swear, I felt like it was raining paper airplanes, because so many kids wanted a shot at the gringa playing with the kids! It was all fun in games though, and it definitely was a spectacle, if not one of the biggest highlights of my trip.

The trip back was fun in the back of a pickup truck, where we waved to any onlookers we saw.

I´m glad to say today has been one of the best ones of the entire trip.

Well, I gotta go. I´m making Cassandra wait in the internet cafe, and it must be boring just waiting for me to finish my novel-length piece.

Pas (peace),

Jessie Serrino

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

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Chajul

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

Description

Hello all, Today was an EXCELLENT DAY. We took off for Chajul, where we went to the market. Needless to say, I had rather low expectations due to just my overall unwillingness to leave Nebaj. As many of you know, I´ve had access to many amenities (a functioning bathroom, laundry service, and internet) that weren´t […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Jessie Serrino

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So, we´re out of Pachaj, the small, corn-farming community we had our homestays in, and we survived a full day of travel filled with chicken buses and vans, and now we´re in this very cool, chill city/town called Nebaj.

We´re staying at Popi´s hotel, which is a nice, comfortable change of pace, and it´s fun. Today we went to a small, secluded town and explored their market, and I got a very cool, woven bag for about 3 dollars, which has now replaced my touristy and obvious backpack. We´ve been having free afternoons here in Nebaj, which is fun, because we can explore in smaller groups without looking touristy and just have a good time. I got a really cool shirt, also, for like 9 dollars, and I am quite happy.

I´m not very homesick anymore, and hearing voices from home was awesome. I already sort of miss Pachaj and my homestay mom, Manuella, but I´m glad we´re moving on to see new things. Tomorrow we´re going on a hike in the rainforest, and it´s going to be awesome.

Miss home, but am happy here, feeling comfortable, and having fun.

India

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

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Nebaj

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

Description

So, we´re out of Pachaj, the small, corn-farming community we had our homestays in, and we survived a full day of travel filled with chicken buses and vans, and now we´re in this very cool, chill city/town called Nebaj. We´re staying at Popi´s hotel, which is a nice, comfortable change of pace, and it´s fun. […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

India Tess Woods Emerick

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    [post_content] => hello there. this is dillon. since my last post there has been so many fun things going on and i could write for forever. my homestay family was great as they took me into their home, fed me, and treated me as one of their own children.  being out in the cornfields was a great change in atmosphere as opposed to the city and travel life we have been used to for the other parts of the trip. jorge and raul were great friends that i met as we played a bunch of fun games together. the work at chico mendes was really awesome as i really felt like my community service work was going to help the cause in the long run. leaving the community of Pachaj was slightly difficult but also exciting as we were moving on to something new. after a long, stressful day of travel we are now in Nebaj which is much like the city life in the US. exploring the market and the local shops is really cool because we are given good free time to be able to explor the local life of Guatemala. the food is great and so is an occasional ice cream. peace.
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Post number 2

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

Description

hello there. this is dillon. since my last post there has been so many fun things going on and i could write for forever. my homestay family was great as they took me into their home, fed me, and treated me as one of their own children. being out in the cornfields was a great […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Dillon DuBois

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watup family.

having a great time in Guatemala. still not feeling homesick, and im truly enjoying every minute of it. yesterday i had a grilled cheese and french fries at Big Popi´s hotel, and it was more amazing than words can express. everyone here is very friendly and nice and im having lots of fun. just bought some awesome colorful pantalones from an old lady and im really excited to not be such a tourist when i where them tomorrow. i also miss my homestay family a lot, and i know the next family will have a lot to live up to. nothing to complain about, having a great experience.

love sam

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

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checkin in from Nebaj

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

Description

watup family. having a great time in Guatemala. still not feeling homesick, and im truly enjoying every minute of it. yesterday i had a grilled cheese and french fries at Big Popi´s hotel, and it was more amazing than words can express. everyone here is very friendly and nice and im having lots of fun. […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

sam anderson

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A fabulous morning today, which more than made up for yesterday's long and at times disheartening travel day. We even got to sleep in (in theory -- in practice Guatemala's everpresent roosters ensured that I was awake by 6), then met for a breakfast of bananas, pan dulce, and peanut butter: an unbeatable combination. Then we took a van to nearby Chajul, where it was market day and we fifteen were absolutely the only gringos there: even in smaller groups, we attracted many stares and a retinue of small children. Around us were women and girls in the traje típico of the region -- elaborate woven huipils (blouses), maroon cortes (skirts) with vertical stripes, and beautiful, colorful servietas (literally napkin, I'd always thought; here a kind of shawl thing.) A few of us stopped to talk with a woman running a tienda who was meanwhile weaving herself a huipil on a loom attached to the wall; we befriended an astounding number of small children (the boys, generally, were more adventurous and followed us around); and discovered the heaven of chocolate-covered frozen bananas. Later on, we all congretated in the plaza in front of the church, and Jessie began talking to some children: soon there was a horde around her and quite a few more staring at the rest of us. Rebecca and I tried to think of some game to play with the shy ones watching us, but they were much too scared to play hand games or to draw. Finally we came up with paper airplanes, and the plaza turned into a huge game of tag and run-around-yelling with paper airplanes flying everywhere. And then to top things off, we managed to catch a pick-up truck back to Nebaj, through gorgeous scenery and past muchos Guatemaltecos who waved back at us as we passed.

I guess this is why I'm here...

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

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just another mañana Guatemalteca

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

Description

A fabulous morning today, which more than made up for yesterday’s long and at times disheartening travel day. We even got to sleep in (in theory — in practice Guatemala’s everpresent roosters ensured that I was awake by 6), then met for a breakfast of bananas, pan dulce, and peanut butter: an unbeatable combination. Then […]

Posted On

07/8/08

Author

Cassandra Euphrat Weston

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