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


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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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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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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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    [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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    [post_title] => Photos from Trek
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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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    [post_title] => Pasac Proyecto de Servicio
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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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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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This morning, we awoke to the sound of cell phone ringtones and chuckling Guatemalan teenagers. The clouds had cleared, and it was time to leave our time on the slopes of Volcan Pecul as a memory. We quickly scarfed down a desayuno of beans, eggs, and tortillas (but of course), and broke down the camp we had put together only the daybefore. An hour passed, and we were off to the races with our hike back to Pasac, our newly adopted home. With the huge relief of a downhill trek, hours passed in tranquil silence as each of us back shish kabobs out of our walking sticks with humongous leaves of oja de platano. Before we knew it, we had reached the half way makr of our journey to be rewarded with fruity lollipops. We wiped our sweaty brows and loobed up with a combination of sunscreen and bug spray as we picked ourselves up for the final stretch.

After settling back into my hiking groove for quite some time, I suddently left my thoughts behind as the sight of Pasac´s small industrial buildings became visible. With relief and glee, we completed the last few steps of the 21 kilometer excursion and settled down to a lunch of steak and creamyverduras.

Afternoon snoozes and showers followed as we all took some time for reflection and rest. Despite the frigid water, I felt completely clean and refreshed for the first time in a long time.

A short while later, all thirteen of us regrouped to discuss the next day´s agenda, our time spent with Alfredo, and of course, the SLT. I´m proud to say that we´ve come to a final decision incorporating visits to the markets and volcanoes of Antigua, tours through the ever famous Tikal, and disorientation. Though rumbling bellies and growing impatience got the better of us by dinner time, we´re now only left to a few details to straighten out the inevitable kinks that come with travel.

Fortunately, cena was served soon enough. To affirm that the dust had fully settled, Benjy led us in an interesting and meditative process to let our frustration go like lava down a mountain. Yet another face to Benjy that we hadn´t discovered!

What a great day!

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

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Memories of the Trek

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

Description

This morning, we awoke to the sound of cell phone ringtones and chuckling Guatemalan teenagers. The clouds had cleared, and it was time to leave our time on the slopes of Volcan Pecul as a memory. We quickly scarfed down a desayuno of beans, eggs, and tortillas (but of course), and broke down the camp […]

Posted On

07/15/09

Author

Mackenzie Walsh

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