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


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Dear Family

whatup

i tried to post one of these a few days ago but apparently it didnt work. no worries, it really doesnt bother me that i havent talked to you guys. its kinda cool being completely alone. guatemala is awesome. the pèople are all really nice and and friendly and very accomodating. this the third day with my home stay family and they love love me. they call me their "primero hijo" or first son, because i am the first male in their family. there is a girl who is 17 who giggles incesasantly and then another girl, about 23, who has a husband and a baby too. and then there´s Estela, who is the head of the family, and loves me to death. they love to talk about anything at all. they also have 2 cute little kids, who love to draw, and we occupied about 2 hours last night drawing with chalk on the kitchen floor. no problemo, its pretty much outswide anyway. there is a flushing toilet, but no shower, so they heat up water for me, which is fine. compared to the others, i am very well situated. the community service we have been doing involves planting trees and collecting seeds to protest the strip mining that is planned to go on in exactly one year. Armando is very cool, and anti capitalist so were friends. one of his good friends was assasinated by a large factory owner, for taking steps to stop the pollution and dumping that goes on in this village.

So, guatemala is pretty much the most beautiful place i have ever seen ever. we are really high up in the mountains, so the clouds are really low down and create crazy views of the mountains. im taking a lot of pictures and might run out of space so uhh, yeah. its been fun. not homesick, opr regular sick, despite not taking the malaria medication because i lost it or forgot it. yup, everythings good

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

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Good times in guatemala

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

Description

Dear Family whatup i tried to post one of these a few days ago but apparently it didnt work. no worries, it really doesnt bother me that i havent talked to you guys. its kinda cool being completely alone. guatemala is awesome. the pèople are all really nice and and friendly and very accomodating. this […]

Posted On

07/3/08

Author

Sam Anderson

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We arrived at our homestay village on Monday. Once there, we met our teachers and played hokey-pokey en español. Everyone in the village was extremely friendly and welcoming. After our introduction we met our homestay families. I was going to live with Maria, and her two grown-up daughters. Although it was a bit uncomfortable at first, we eventually got to know eachother and I felt right at home.

One interesting thing I have noticed here is the difference in the actions of the people. Although my home is very small and not as comfortable as my home in the states, the family is happy to share a room in order to take me in. The people of Guatemala do not have much materialistically speaking, but they are friendlier and warmer than people in the States. The people are happy with what they have, and care less about possessions. Although there are obvious benefits to the comfortable lifestyle many Americans lead, I think that we have something to learn from the ways of the people in Guatemala.

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

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Guatemala week 1

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

Description

We arrived at our homestay village on Monday. Once there, we met our teachers and played hokey-pokey en español. Everyone in the village was extremely friendly and welcoming. After our introduction we met our homestay families. I was going to live with Maria, and her two grown-up daughters. Although it was a bit uncomfortable at […]

Posted On

07/3/08

Author

Emily Polstein

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In the short time that I have been here it is already clear Guatemala is a very special and beautiful place. Lago Atitlan is incredible and the people here are so friendly and welcoming. Being a foreignor is difficult, we stand out like sore thumbs, but I am doing my best to be as aware and respectful as possible. I am most excited to meet more people and speak Spanish and get to know and understand the culture. I am nervous for a lot of things, trekking, homestays, health, speaking Spanish. But clearly my nerves overlap with my excitment and I am already learning how to adapt, and and realizing being outside my comfort zone doesn´t mean I won´t be ok. For this to be the best summer I´ve ever had I need to accept some of my own fears and work at making comforts of home easy to live without. Working together with a group is always a challenge as well and if we can remain solid we will all enjoy ourselves even more. I am looking forward to all the new things I have yet to see in this country (and buy) and hardships I´ll have to overcome.

Ciao!

Nora

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

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Bienvenidos!

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

Description

In the short time that I have been here it is already clear Guatemala is a very special and beautiful place. Lago Atitlan is incredible and the people here are so friendly and welcoming. Being a foreignor is difficult, we stand out like sore thumbs, but I am doing my best to be as aware […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Nora Casper

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hello this is Dillon and i am posting my first yak yak on my reactions to the first part of our guatemala adventure. i am really excited to be here in guatemala to discover the local culture and language. it hasn´t really hit me yet that i am actually in a country so far away from home and much more different as well. i am most excited to just see all that can be seen here in guatemala. the nature, the local everyday life, and the people of this third world country. i just want to absorb as much as i can during this short month and that adventure really excites me. i am not really nervous about much but the only thing that would bother me is either getting sick or losing somethihng very valuable to me. but if either of those does not happen, this should be the best summer ever. the main thing that would make this summer the best would just be to make it a memorable trip. something that i can look back on in multiple years that really changes my views on many different topics. if this is anything close to shocking than that would be great becuase i would realize where i am and how different the world is from my small town in san diego. as i look into the future of this upcoming month my main goal is to keep an open mind, to try things i have never tried, and to experience a summer much different from those in the past.

Dillon DuBois

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

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Post number one

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

Description

hello this is Dillon and i am posting my first yak yak on my reactions to the first part of our guatemala adventure. i am really excited to be here in guatemala to discover the local culture and language. it hasn´t really hit me yet that i am actually in a country so far away […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Dillon DuBois

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    [post_content] => The first two days in Guatemala have been amazing. At first, I could hardly believe that I was really here- it just seemed kind of unreal. I met the rest of the group, piled into a van with 14 other people, and just went. Passing through Guatemala city and the surrouding countryside, it seemed at first like typical Cental American suroundings. However, it soon became very clear that we had really arrived in Guatemala. The sight of political graffiti and farmers growing corn on seemingly impossible slopes, as well as the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding green hills was incredibly exhilarating, and I knew that this trip was going to be unlike any other in my entire life. Now that our two-day orientation is drawing to a close, I can´t wait to experience ¨the real Guatemala.¨ 
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Finally in Guatemala

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

Description

The first two days in Guatemala have been amazing. At first, I could hardly believe that I was really here- it just seemed kind of unreal. I met the rest of the group, piled into a van with 14 other people, and just went. Passing through Guatemala city and the surrouding countryside, it seemed at […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Gabe Golvin-Klein

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    [post_content] => Hello everyone, We have had a wonderful orientation.  The group has bonded well, and we have begun to see ourselves as a family that will be there for each other´s safety and support.  The lake is beautiful and the students have surpassed our expectations.  We find ourselves looking at each other with a smirk of disbelief at the mature and self aware things that they say.  You have raised incredible young adults.  Thank you for sharing them with us. We are on a day trip to San Juan to go to the market and see some of the town’s celebrations.  We have just stopped for breakfast and we will head to the market because the students are going to be organizing and cooking dinner tonight. Michael is giving them a lesson on whole vs processed foods. Tomorrow we are leaving for Pachaj where we will begin our language lessons and homestays. We will keep in touch, Rebecca, Michael, and Adelaide
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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Day 3

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

Description

Hello everyone, We have had a wonderful orientation. The group has bonded well, and we have begun to see ourselves as a family that will be there for each other´s safety and support. The lake is beautiful and the students have surpassed our expectations. We find ourselves looking at each other with a smirk of […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Note from Instructors

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First impressions of Guatemala: I feel like I haven't actually been in Guatemala until today's truck ride to San Pedro, the fifteen of us standing in back of a pick-up (Spanish: 'picop' !), getting rattled first against one elbow, then the opposite rib, then the person standing behind us, as the truck jounced through some of the most gorgeous scenery I've ever seen -- graggy mountains (volcanoes!) all verdant & mist-covered, and then the lake stretching still & calm... If I'm using cliches, it's because it was the perfect, quintissential mountain landscape... the one that always surpasses reality... but this was real. And even better than that. Some of us tried to take pictures, but they can't capture that.

And as scribbled on the flight from Miami:

-- What are you most excited about for this summer? --

I really want to feel like I'm learning and immersed in not just another language, but another culture. I'm probably most excited for the homestays, because they'll provide such an opportunity to do just that. Also, I'd really like to learn some Quiche (sp?) or Mam, and I'm excited for the food. (EDIT: my anticipation of the food was well-justified!)

-- What are you most nervous about? --

Probably the homestays, again -- I'm worried I'll say or do something insensitive or culturally inappropriate (and not realize.) Also, the prospect of being alone in another country is a bit scary -- and of course I'll have some contact with the rest of the group throughout the trip, but the least in the homestays. Of course, that's simultaneously the best par, as per my comments above...

I'm also a bit nervous about the general issues of travel... forgetting something -- losing something -- getting sick (that I know will happen) -- having something stolen -- etc.

-- What will make this the best summer you've ever had, and how can you contribute to that? --

Openness, in general -- both in those we meet and *in me*, seeing 'the real Guatemala', learning Spanish fluently; cohesion in the group such that traveling with a group -- often very difficult -- becomes distinctly a plus; a good homestay family, good teacher(s); learning a (few words of) a Mayan language; practicing my Spanish constantly, and also when I return; perserverance through sickness and discomfort; living in the moment -- home is home and I will return; delicious food; much journaling, to capture events and emotions; and more...

I have much more to say but no time to say it in.

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

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…and we're IN GUATEMALA!

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

Description

First impressions of Guatemala: I feel like I haven’t actually been in Guatemala until today’s truck ride to San Pedro, the fifteen of us standing in back of a pick-up (Spanish: ‘picop’ !), getting rattled first against one elbow, then the opposite rib, then the person standing behind us, as the truck jounced through some […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Cassandra Euphrat Weston

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My first experience in a foreign country: the grungy streets of Guatemala. I have to admit, it´s pretty spectacular. The brilliance of the mountains create such a contrast with the humble houses and narrow streets, yet somehow they make the same picture, the same beauty that is Guatemala. I´m filled with anticipation. I imagine myself a month from now having experienced so many aspects of life that I had heard about in books and wondered, but never gave a thought of doing it myself. I will speak better Spanish, I will have become a more thoughtful and conservative traveler, I will have learned to bargain, to negotiate means to travel, and other things that I don´t even know yet. Yet with anticipation comes nervous energy. I guess I´m most afraid of disappointing my group or my homestay family, getting lost or doing something inappropiate. Whatever happens, whether I screw up or not, I can tell that this is going to be the most fulfilling and spectacular summer of my life so far, especially if I learn to live in the moment, not let little things get to me, and, well, take lots of pictures. In the words of Bob Marley (whose music our orientation hosts blast constantly on their five-set speaker) "every little thing, is gonna be alright."

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

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First Impressions; looking forward

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

Description

My first experience in a foreign country: the grungy streets of Guatemala. I have to admit, it´s pretty spectacular. The brilliance of the mountains create such a contrast with the humble houses and narrow streets, yet somehow they make the same picture, the same beauty that is Guatemala. I´m filled with anticipation. I imagine myself […]

Posted On

06/30/08

Author

Reid Jenkins

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    [post_content] => Hi Mom,         It´s Sabrina. I miss you so much. I actually hope that you get this because you´re not good with computers. But I want to talk to you so badly.There is no service here though. Ummm....the plane ride was fine. We took a 3 or so hour bus ride to San Marco where we are now. I got a little car sick and i had to pee really bad.It wasn´t good. But the house that we are staying in is very beautiful, except to get there we had to hike up a steep hill. I´m home sick a bit. I miss you all so so so much.          I have to write what I´m most excited about. That would be...I don´t know, i just want to have fun and find something deep about myself so that I can tell Mr. Berman and Mollie and Debbie. This is the rainy season right now so we are probably going to get soaked all the time. But right now it is actually pretty hot and sunny. I´m really nervous about the home stays because i don´t think i really want to be alone anymore. And I´m also worried about the Spanish because I´m the only one who can´t speak a lick of it. I don´t know how I am going to communicate with anyone, especially the people i stay with.     The Guatemalan people here are very nice and I like them. I don´t know why Summer Search likes to send me to the hard stuff. Thirty more days...thats a lot. I can do it but it´s going to be really really hard. I don´t want to cry either but that´s not gonna happen since i´m starting to cry here just talking to you. I really hope that you get this so that you know how I´m doing. It´s kind off the same as how i was in Wyoming...you know how that is. I don´t know if I will be able to e-mail anyone but if I can i will e-mail Aunt Sue because her´s is the only one that I know. But they will let us do a Yak Yak again most likely so check it every night but there will propbably only be like two more. I LOVE YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH and ALEX TOO. Pray for me all the time and tell Aunt Sue to pray for me especially because you know that she is good with that stuff.                                              Love you,                                           Sabrina/BB   
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2008

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For My Mommy

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

Description

Hi Mom, It´s Sabrina. I miss you so much. I actually hope that you get this because you´re not good with computers. But I want to talk to you so badly.There is no service here though. Ummm….the plane ride was fine. We took a 3 or so hour bus ride to San Marco where we […]

Posted On

06/29/08

Author

Sabrina Hansen

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We are here in Guatemala! Its an absolutely beautiful country with beautiful people. We arrived in Guatemala City yesterday and took a 3 hour bus ride to a town on Lago Atitlan, San Marcos. After a late arrival at our house we had a delicious dinner and had a good nights rest. This morning we took a short walk down to where we saw breathtaking views of the lake. We learned the importance of staying in a group and how we can all benefit from helping each other.

We will soon be moving on to our homestay families. This is probably the part I am most excited about-to really be a part of their culture and to experience it first hand rather than simply reading about their traditions and lifestyle in books and magazines. This will be a great experience - both improving our Spanish and learning new things beyond the classroom.

The group of 15 that we have, 12 students and 3 leaders, is an amazing variety of people from the East and the West. Everyone is really excited to be here - to really learn Spanish and walk away from this summer with a new understanding of Guatemalan culture.

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

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arriving in guatemala

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

Description

We are here in Guatemala! Its an absolutely beautiful country with beautiful people. We arrived in Guatemala City yesterday and took a 3 hour bus ride to a town on Lago Atitlan, San Marcos. After a late arrival at our house we had a delicious dinner and had a good nights rest. This morning we […]

Posted On

06/29/08

Author

hanna lee

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