Things have continued to be busy here with site one. Writing this blog post seemed to slip my mind as we continued on our adventure. I am going to jump all the way back to over two weeks ago and start from there. This was our fourth week in San Juan del Obispo, enjoying the Guatemalan life, our host families, and improving our Spanish skills. I think I can speak for most people in our group when I say that we are not looking forward to bidding farewell to our families and the town with all of the connections that we have made there. We do have two more weeks to look forward to though and I am excited to make the most of our final weeks.
After a week of Spanish classes, finished off with a test, we were ready for a good weekend. A good weekend was had, indeed. It all started off well when a group of us girls met up on Friday morning to watch three episodes of Gilmore Girls (the best!). But it got better yet. In the afternoon we were welcomed on to the bus with Valentine’s candies, chocolates and decorations and were assigned a “date” for the ride. We were on our way to visit an indigenous town called San Antonio. There we were taught about the Mayan culture and specifically the traditions in that town. We learned how to carry baskets on our heads (Well, we tried to learn… some of us struggled with it more than others but it was all good fun!). Next we learned of the wedding ceremony and pre-wedding traditions. We played out the traditions and married off Brooklyn and Jordan. The fact that it was Valentine’s Day was so fitting. After the wedding, some of us tried making tortillas, a skill that some of us have practiced more than others here in Guatemala. We enjoyed our tortillas with a traditional Guatemalan dish called “Papian”. It’s is sort of stew with chicken, rice and whiskil (a common Guatemalan vegetable).
The next day came with more adventures. We hiked up Volcan Pacaya for the second time. This time there was no lava, so it was a bit of a different sight. We were able to go a bit farther up this time and we roasted marshmallows from the heat of the active volcano! Personally, marshmallows aren’t my favorite thing but I threw that aside to be really excited about eating my volcano roasted, strawberry flavoured, heart shaped, Valentine’s Day marshmallow. As we sat there, enjoying our marshmallows, the wind blowing in our hair, the sun began to set. It was one of the most beautiful sites that I’ve seen in Guatemala as of yet. The mountains and volcanos in the distance rose up into incredible tinges of orange, yellow, and red. Eventually, we tore ourselves away from this site to run down the volcano. The ash made a perfect running track and we sped down that volcano, arriving at the bottom coated in dust and exhilarated from the run.
On Sunday we hopped onto our favorite school bus for the long drive to Lanquin. More on that later!
Thanks for keeping up with our journey!