its only been a little over a week here in Guatemala,
already had a lifetime of new experiences. For instance,
volcano greeted us on our descent towards the airport
City. Also, for many students, each day starts out with
shower. However, if the water isn't working, which is
the case on
most days, a cold bucket bath will wake you up in a
the temperature here in Guatemala is around 60 degrees
morning, not quite as cold as it is in Harrisonburg
I would guess.
The next new experience comes with trying to make it
to school in the
morning. For this, the public buses are the only way
to go. The
buses are packed so full that people usually have to
hang out the
door to get a ride. A few lucky students have experienced
ordeal first-hand. Bus rides can range anywhere from
30 minutes to
an hour and a half depending on the traffic.
in the morning is always a great time to catch up on
events at home the night before. A lot of time is spent
families and most students seem to be adjusting really
Families are quick to make you feel right at home, and
in the end,
family interaction isn't much different than it is back
We study Spanish from 8:30 to 10:30, then again from
11:00 to 12:30.
Sometimes class can get long, but the teachers are fairly
and I think everyone would agree that it's worth it
when we see
improvements in our conversations at home.
The afternoons are filled with speakers. The first week
learned a lot about Guatemala's history. It's a fairly
sad story of
persecution and war, and we've also learned that the
had a hand in the whole mess as well. Unfortunately,
support of military rule and the status quo.
After school it's back on the buses to our homes where
we spend the
evenings playing with our host brothers and sisters,
talking with the
family, and of course doing homework. One great part
about the trip
so far has been the extra group activities which keep
us from getting
in a monotonous routine and letting the days simply
slip by. Every
day in Guatemala is certainly lived to the fullest.