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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010


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Well today was the last day of spanish classes. I feel like my language speaking abilities have improved a bit so that is pretty good. My teacher was fun; we had a good time getting to know each other. This sounds sort of like a journal entry so I will keep things brief. It is, as everyone reading this probably knows, hot. Before now I was not aware how hard it is to string coherent thoughts together while dripping in sweat with someone reading over your shoulder. Well we just finished up preparing the tameles, they should be ready in two hours or so so until then I am going to go swimming and relieve myself of some heat. I cannot wait to eat the fruits of my labor. Well hopefully by the next time I sit down to write I will have a bit more to say.

Shoutouts to everyone but especially Big Freeze.

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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What A Day

Colin Southwick,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

Well today was the last day of spanish classes. I feel like my language speaking abilities have improved a bit so that is pretty good. My teacher was fun; we had a good time getting to know each other. This sounds sort of like a journal entry so I will keep things brief. It is, […]

Posted On

07/8/10

Author

Colin Southwick

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    [post_content] => More pics from Tamalito... Day.....
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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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More Tamalito Pictures

Colleen Rice,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

More pics from Tamalito… Day…..

Posted On

07/8/10

Author

Colleen Rice

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Greetings Familias y Amigos!

Today we split into two groups and made tamalitos in the homestay houses of Elle and Andrea. I went to Elle's home and we got to work chopping the ends off the corn, then tearing off the husks, then cutting off the kernels, then tromping up to the grinder, then back to add sugar, salt and pig fat (mmm pig fat), then put the dough into the corn husks, then steam them... Then EAT them. While doing all this work Elle's homestay mom and grandma laughed at how clumsy we were, in a nice way, and gave us tips on our technique - but they left it all to us - which was awesome!

While the tamalitos were steaming we took a dip in the lake, like we do, and talked about stuff lakeside, like we do. I think it's starting to feel pretty normal living here in San Andres - we know the taxi drivers, the tienda ladies, where to get ice cream, what churches make the most noise, etc. Tomorrow we are spending the better part of the day in Tikal - the Washington DC of Mayan ruins, then heading over to a local beach for some serious chill time. On Saturday we will head out to Laguna Lachua and most likely be out of Yak Yak reach until July 15th - will keep you posted!

Here are pictures from today!

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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Tamalitos!

Colleen Rice,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

Greetings Familias y Amigos! Today we split into two groups and made tamalitos in the homestay houses of Elle and Andrea. I went to Elle’s home and we got to work chopping the ends off the corn, then tearing off the husks, then cutting off the kernels, then tromping up to the grinder, then back […]

Posted On

07/8/10

Author

Colleen Rice

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    [post_content] => One does not truly appreciate the effort involved in making tamales until he or she has seen it being done. First, one must cut the handles off the stalks of corn. Then, the corn must be peeled and husked. Next, the corn is cut from its cob, and the corn is then transported to a far off mill. At the mill, the corn is mushed into one big blob, and brought back to the house. There, the mushed corn is finally wrapped in the layers of the corn stalk pulled off earlier, and placed in a large bowl to be steamed. In about two hours, the tamales will be ready to eat! Buen Provecho.
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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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Tamales

Oliver Hirt,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

One does not truly appreciate the effort involved in making tamales until he or she has seen it being done. First, one must cut the handles off the stalks of corn. Then, the corn must be peeled and husked. Next, the corn is cut from its cob, and the corn is then transported to a […]

Posted On

07/8/10

Author

Oliver Hirt

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Hola from Guatamala!

Today I felt like I was in a scene of a movie. So our instructors tell us that we were going to be hiking up a large mountain to meet some woman who only speaks mayan. What fun! haha, well we could hardely contain our joy *Sarcasm*As we pull up to a street on the left whose incline is imposibly steep, I can''t help but notice the water park to our right. ''Why can't we go there instead?" I think outloud. My comment is answered by Steve, saying that's exactly what we're doing.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves

P.S- We had ice cream after!

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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Dream Come True

Ben Finard,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

Hola from Guatamala! Today I felt like I was in a scene of a movie. So our instructors tell us that we were going to be hiking up a large mountain to meet some woman who only speaks mayan. What fun! haha, well we could hardely contain our joy *Sarcasm*As we pull up to a […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Ben Finard

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The day I arrived at my homestay, I hoped that everything was a dream. Living on the top of the steep hill, I was sweating more than ever. I was in fact laughing while walking, because it really seemed like a joke that I had to live here for a week. It was just a little unfortunate that this was not really a joke. My first day was rough, but things began to get a little smoother as time passed by. I talked about many random things about how I am doing, such as what I did at school, what I did after school, what I am gonna do. Our meals were a lot different than the ones from what I was used to, and the fact that I had to hand wash my clothes was definitely something new.

One thing that disturbed me a little bit was the awkwardness between us. However, it kinda disappeared after I washed the plates for my homestay mom, Rosa. We talked about the culture difference, and she seemed to be surprised that women and men were equal in other places. She told me that women had to do everything, which sounded sad to me. It was also sad to see that some parents had more than 10 children, and that moms had to deal with everyone. However, this talk broke the barrier between us and it was good to interact with the family more often. I played games like scrabble with the kids as well, and became more intimate with the family and blend in with the culture more, which was exactly what I wanted!

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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Homestay!

Josh (Eun Youb) Lee,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

The day I arrived at my homestay, I hoped that everything was a dream. Living on the top of the steep hill, I was sweating more than ever. I was in fact laughing while walking, because it really seemed like a joke that I had to live here for a week. It was just a […]

Posted On

07/7/10

Author

Josh (Eun Youb) Lee

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Greetings all from the gentle shores of Lake Peten Itza!

Here are some of our latest pictures. Today we visited an organization called ARCAS which rehabilitates animals captured from illegal trafficking or being kept as pets - like spider monkeys, ocelots, parrots and other birds. It was great to see a place taking care of these animals, although really sad and heartbreaking that many will never be released into the wild because they are chronically sick and hurt. After visiting the NGO, we spent an hour running around the small island of Flores - lovely! Later back in San Andres many students took a swim or hung out with the fam. Tomorrow we are heading over to San Jose to learn about the Maya culture "Itza" and probably.... take another swim!

Everyone sends their amor to family & friends at home ... Thanks for reading & keeping up with us! We love Elle's bracelets, Oliver's energy, Colin's comments, Caroline's smile, Andrea's courage, Lucas' laughter, Sierra's motivation, Josh's desire to run all the time, Maxine's chillness, Anna's smarts, and Ben's bravery!! They are a wonderful group of young adults and thanks for sending them our way! :)

More soon, as always,

Colleen, Juancho and Steve aka Doña, Juanch-Juanch & Esteeb

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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Great days in Peten

Instructor Team,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

Greetings all from the gentle shores of Lake Peten Itza! Here are some of our latest pictures. Today we visited an organization called ARCAS which rehabilitates animals captured from illegal trafficking or being kept as pets – like spider monkeys, ocelots, parrots and other birds. It was great to see a place taking care of […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Instructor Team

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On my first night, after scorpion shenanigans, I was startled awake at 4 a.m. by very, very loud music outside. After the song ended, it was replayed, and again. I feared I was missing an important family tradition and was weighing the pros and cons of getting up when I heard what sounded distinctly like a gunshot. My heart pounding, I lay there, but the continued music and a later string of crackles convinced me that the sound was indeed fireworks. I arose to find my home all dark, but light shining from the neighbors' house. I learned later that it was the neighbor's birthday; the party continued all day in the "centro social parroquial" just up the street from me. Back to bed... but the music continued, transitioning at 5:00 smoothly into children's songs and the "Dora la Exploradora" theme song. It was accompanied by the crowing of roosters and the barking of dogs.

So that is how I was awake to watch the sunrise over Lake Petén Itza my first morning here.

The three days since then have been comparatively smooth. We are all learning a LOT in Spanish school in the mornings and in our homestays. The endless sweating caused by endless humid heat is tolerable with periodic dips into the lake. Every time I'm with my family, it seems we get more comfortable with each other. I rode up the steep hill next to the driver in a tuk-tuk and played basketball with some local children - wellp, I didn't last long in that game. :) Yesterday we Dragons explored the town of San Andres on our July 4th scavenger hunt. Among what I learned: Sarita "nieve" is delicioso.

Speaking of food, my homestay family is being wonderful at accommodating my vegan diet! (So don't worry, Mom, I'm eating.) They are such hospitable people, and the family is large, so there is always someone around with whom to spend time. I hope to get less shy and get to know them even more.

Love to my family and friends,

Andrea

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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San Andres Homestay, part 2

Andrea Steig,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

On my first night, after scorpion shenanigans, I was startled awake at 4 a.m. by very, very loud music outside. After the song ended, it was replayed, and again. I feared I was missing an important family tradition and was weighing the pros and cons of getting up when I heard what sounded distinctly like […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Andrea Steig

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It´s wierd waking up ina country where the fourth of July is just another day in the year. We woke up around nine in the morning, (rare for us to be allowed to sleep so late!) ate breakfast with our families, and met as a group at the school. Once everyone arrived, we recieved our groups, our list of tasks, and 50 quetzales and were sent off into the city to complete our tasks. the tasks varied from "Purchase a bag of water" to "Find out the name of the head of the police in San Andres". Some tasks were easy to complete, while others required asking around the city to find out where or how to complete a task. Once we finished, we treked all the way back up to the top of the city to give our answers to the instructors. This scavenger hunt was both fun and educational. I not only was able to learn a lot about San Andres, but I also gained the ability to navigate the streets better as well, and to fraternize with the locals without fear of embarrassing myself. Even though it may not be the same as the fourth of July back at home, it was still a blast

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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A fourt of July scavenger hunt!

Oliver Hirt,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

It´s wierd waking up ina country where the fourth of July is just another day in the year. We woke up around nine in the morning, (rare for us to be allowed to sleep so late!) ate breakfast with our families, and met as a group at the school. Once everyone arrived, we recieved our […]

Posted On

07/4/10

Author

Oliver Hirt

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Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

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tourist vs. traveler

Maxine Eisenberg,Guatemala: Mundo Maya (6 week), Summer 2010

Description

All fourteen of us are here for different reason. I want to experience something completely new in great depth, completely immersing myself in everything I possibly can about Guatemala. All of us have one common goal and that is to be a traveler not a tourist. A tourist is someone who visits a place with […]

Posted On

07/1/10

Author

Maxine Eisenberg

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