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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009


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A moment that defined my trip to Guatemala.

For me, the greatest worry was the trek. I was really nervous and didn´t really believe I was capable of climbing a volcano. I tried not to think about it, but inevitably, the day came. We woke up early, bags packed, and water bottles filled. We were climbing Volcan Pecul and meeting up with a bunch of local teenagers who were planting trees. We were led by Alfredo,a nineteen year old, who spoke as wisely as a 90 year old, and had organized the operation. The beginning was up ad done, but at some point it became all up. Attempting to stay in a group, the slowest were encouraged to move to the front, so I was number one. I walked up the whole mountain right behind Alfredo. Every few steps he would pause and look back to ensure I was still there. There were moments I wanted to cry, but my pride would´t let me, and at some point one of Alfredo´s friends had met up with us. He offered to carry my bag, obviously noting by struggle, but I was determined, and simply said, ¨Estoy bien¨. Those last few steps were by far the hardest, but the view was well worth it. Late that night, after an afternoon of planting trees, we sat around the fire listening to Alfredo, his inspiration message capturing our attention. At some point I took a bathroom break, but when I returned, my friend Nikki said she had something to tell me.

She told me that while I was gone, Alfredo had asked the name of the girl that walked in the front. They responded with my name and he said that when his friend asked to carry her backpack, she said she could do it. He said that he had never heard of an American that would suffer so much, just to plant one tree.

This trip truly has taught me that I am capable of so much more. I underestimate what I can do, but now I understand its all in the challenges I take.

Now, as we embark on student led travel, I will miss my family here in San Cristobal. I will miss our spanish lessons, and eye into the culture. It´s time for Tikal, and I can´t wait. As much as I miss my family and friends at home, I want to continue exploring this country.

I know I will miss the incredible people that have come my mejor amigos and the families that have welcomed with open arms.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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moments

Lauren Stamm,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

A moment that defined my trip to Guatemala. For me, the greatest worry was the trek. I was really nervous and didn´t really believe I was capable of climbing a volcano. I tried not to think about it, but inevitably, the day came. We woke up early, bags packed, and water bottles filled. We were […]

Posted On

07/19/09

Author

Lauren Stamm

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Everybody loves the mysterious and unexplainable, to be told aspects of oneself by a complete and utter stranger is intrigueing. Who knows why we find this fascinating or why we´re always left with a sense of wanting to more. Having our individual drawings interpreted by aspects of the Mayan calander was scarily accurate. After each description we would all look at each other with wide eyes exclaiming how true it was. Whether or not each description was true or if we even believed them it was fun to hear our own version of the Mayan horoscope depicted to us.

Here is a list of our descriptions:

Mackenzie- observant and has a connection to nature

Julia- reserved and solitary

Nick- observant, thoughtful, strong

Lauren- is reaching out and can either give or take

Benji- an achiever, always wants to reach higher

Simone- demanding, protective

India- shy, introvert

Caroline- guards things closely, loves spending time with family

Jacquelyn- punctual, easy going

Nikki- big dreamer, thinks alot

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Mayan Mysteries

Simone Anter,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Everybody loves the mysterious and unexplainable, to be told aspects of oneself by a complete and utter stranger is intrigueing. Who knows why we find this fascinating or why we´re always left with a sense of wanting to more. Having our individual drawings interpreted by aspects of the Mayan calander was scarily accurate. After each […]

Posted On

07/19/09

Author

Simone Anter

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I have observed three "universals" that bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together despite language barriers: music, sports, and dancing.

I just returned from the Parque Central in San Cristobol. A local high school band was performing familiar songs including "I Will Survive" while dancers twisted andtwirled to the tunes. Trumpets,drums, saxophones, and more drums! It was so nice to sit on the curb with the locals and enjoy the music without worrying about commnicating in spanish. If there´s an instrument...anyone can playit despite their native tongue!

While at my homestay in Pasaac, mi hermano Juan and I spent hours at the soccer field. No language required. Other kids would join in, and despite the fact that my spanish at that time was limited, I could still interact with them. If there´s a soccer ball...anyone can play with it despite their native tongue!

Also while in Pasaac, my homestay sister decided to teach me some reggaeton dance moves. No language required. We swirled our hips (or at least I tried) and shuffled our feet without having to communicate verbally. If there´s a rhythm...anyone can dance despite their native tongue!

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Universals

Jacquelyn Walker,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

I have observed three "universals" that bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together despite language barriers: music, sports, and dancing. I just returned from the Parque Central in San Cristobol. A local high school band was performing familiar songs including "I Will Survive" while dancers twisted andtwirled to the tunes. Trumpets,drums, saxophones, and more […]

Posted On

07/19/09

Author

Jacquelyn Walker

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Chicky´s and Can-Can´s

Tortillas

¨Be a Man¨(every Disney song in general)

Tamales

All types of pan....

The words ¨Awesome¨and ¨Clutch¨

Abbreviations

Bob Marley and Backstreet Boys

The ¨Cotton-Eye Joe¨ dance

Bandanas

My fleece

Dr. Bronner´s

Huevos, frijoles y arroz

Hiking boots and Tevas

Lollipops

The sound of dogs barking

Purell

Snickers

Rolls of toilet paper

Trees!

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Things that will always remind me of our trip

India Bulkeley,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Chicky´s and Can-Can´s Tortillas ¨Be a Man¨(every Disney song in general) Tamales All types of pan…. The words ¨Awesome¨and ¨Clutch¨ Abbreviations Bob Marley and Backstreet Boys The ¨Cotton-Eye Joe¨ dance Bandanas My fleece Dr. Bronner´s Huevos, frijoles y arroz Hiking boots and Tevas Lollipops The sound of dogs barking Purell Snickers Rolls of toilet paper […]

Posted On

07/19/09

Author

India Bulkeley

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As I began to recount the day for today's journal, I realized that we will all remember the main activities of the day - teaching, lunch, school, etc...but will we remember the anecdotes? Each day here seems to pass more quickly than the last, and I fear I will forget the short conversations and small moments that make each day sucha unique experience. And so here is my day, in anecdotes.

Teaching in the morning:

Lauren and I drew a body on the board to teach our third graders body parts. When we went around to check each student's notebook, we found that one student had drawn a body builder and another had added boobs to his figure.

As I was leaving the school, a small girl with a gap between her teeth and a shy smile approached me and said, 'gracias, senora.'

Lunch:

Last night as my homestay mother Ingrid was cutting ejotes, she asked me what they are in English and I told her, 'green beans - es como frijoles verdes.{ When I sat down for lunch today she brought me a mound of green beans saying, 'estos son tus frijoles verdes, Neekee.'

School:

My teacher Brenda brought me some 'revistas para mujeres' and I was about two sentences into an article when seh interrupted me to say, 'Umm, esto es para parejas.' I looked at the picture and realized the article ewas about how to make your room romantic enough for sex.

As I sat on the dock of the lake, Caroline on one side and my teacher on the other, we looked up from the Spanish conversation we were immersed in and noticed a rainbow arcing across the gray sky.

Evening at my homestay:

I returned home to find my clean laundry neatly piled on my bed!

During a game of tag when I became It for the thrid time in about five minutes, each of my three homestay siblings lined up to pat me on the back and say, 'lo siento.'

Later, we played ¿Quien tiene miedo al hombre negro? and I was el hombre negro, yet again (no surprise). My 11 year old sister Ana Julia suddenly yelled '¡a la gran!' Her sudden outburst, combined with my joy at having recognized the slang (oh my god) caused me to turn around and look for the problem as all three kids dashed past me, laughing. I soon realized I had fallen for the oldest trick in the book.

It was time for my evening leccion de baile and I was learning some new reggaeton moves when my six year old brother Dany shouted that the fat Latino rapping looked like his mother.

***

And so we rise higher and faster on the checkmark. As our time here passes much too quickly, I hope we remember to take time to savor the smiles, the greetings, the jokes, the faces.

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Friday, July 17: Our Day in Anecdotes

Nikki Bank,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

As I began to recount the day for today’s journal, I realized that we will all remember the main activities of the day – teaching, lunch, school, etc…but will we remember the anecdotes? Each day here seems to pass more quickly than the last, and I fear I will forget the short conversations and small […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Nikki Bank

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Pasac Proyecto de Servicio

Nick Braun,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Check out these photos of our project.

Posted On

07/17/09

Author

Nick Braun

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    [post_title] => School Visit to Intervida School in Pasac
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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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School Visit to Intervida School in Pasac

Luispe,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Posted On

07/17/09

Author

Luispe

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Photos from Trek

I-team,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Posted On

07/17/09

Author

I-team

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Pasac Proyecto de Servicio

Nick Braun,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

Description

Upon our arrival in Pasac, we were greeted by the president and vice president of the coffee cooperative where we were staying. They gave us a brief introduction and bvackground on the work that they are doing in the area and the projects that they are supporting. The following day we had an opportunity to […]

Posted On

07/16/09

Author

Nick Braun

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Hola families, friends and yak followers:

After spending 5 days in pachajis hard to imagine we have already spent half the month together and time seems to be flying like an arrow. We arrived in Pasac on thursday 9th after our 2 intense chicken bus rides from Zunil to Mazate and then to Santo Tomas La Union. There we walked thru the local market, with curious looks from the quiche vendors. All the comercial transactions froze. Everyone stopped their duties: "Ya llegaron los primos" people yelled from one side to the other. We jumped in the back of a pick up truck and made the last leg of the dirt road to Pasac expecting the "unexpected". Pasac isthe kindof places where if you look in any Guatemalan map you hardly canfind it. To travel here is to go where there be dragons. We stayed at a the community coffee co-op "bodega", we were soon introduce to the leader members of this organization Francisco, Juana (from Cafe femenino) and to Juan Choc family who religiously prepared every meal for us with abundant tortillas and pan dulce.

Showers and lighting, wind and thunder. Overlooking Cerro Pecul and waking up to the alarm of early singing of parrots and birds. Hiking to the waterfall under the rain and stopping at a tienda for tortrix limon. We did 2 service projectfor this community. One working with compost and reforestation. and the other with the local high school students leaded by inspiring 19 year old Alfredo. Both helped our group getting a better understanding of what a service learning project means, the challenges we face when presenting our expections and meeting those of the community.

From saturday to sunday we hike up (21 kilometers total) up the Cerro to share with the locals, plant some pine trees, cook some food and set our campsite. The days were precious, blue skies and cool breeze. It was the BIGGEST challenge for the group and the BIGGEST acomplishment so far. The student practiced exceptional expedition behavior and I agree when Alfredo said over the fire that night after Nick's "over-wood-baked" brownie: Each one of you has abundant courage and a big heart. Instead of quiting and turning back you decided to come here, help us planting this tress and share time with our people. It's not easy and for that I am eternally thankful.

For that and more, this group of Dragons is leaving a footprint that will carry one for the rest of our lives. To understand not only that we are capable of overcoming all obstacles but also be diligent, perseverant and positive. All swet has its reward: and it tastes great.

We are in Guatemala city in transit today for only 1 hour and headed to San Cristobal Verapaz (15 min. from Coban) where we will start spanish instruction and homestays again until Sunday 19th where the students are taking the lead and practicing their travel and expedition skills.

Missing all of you and we will post in the next few days where we will have better internet acces.

Mil abrazos,

Luispe, Rebecca and Nick

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Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Journey Update

I-team,Guatemala 4-week, Group "B", Summer 2009

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Hola families, friends and yak followers: After spending 5 days in pachajis hard to imagine we have already spent half the month together and time seems to be flying like an arrow. We arrived in Pasac on thursday 9th after our 2 intense chicken bus rides from Zunil to Mazate and then to Santo Tomas […]

Posted On

07/15/09

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I-team

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