Hola de San Juan del Obispo!
This week our group arrived in San Juan Del Obispo and had the exciting experience of meeting our host families and beginning Spanish lessons.
As we mentioned in the previous blog, we had the opportunity to visit Cerro De La Cruz (also known as Cross on The Hill) before meeting our host families! While standing on the hill you could see San Juan Del Obispo in the far left corner, and within a 20 minute drive later, we found ourselves there! We gathered in the courtyard of “Mundo Spanish School”, and one by one we were called up to take a picture and meet our host families. Immediately we were whisked away and headed home with our families to see and get settled in our new homes.
The following day we all greeted each other excitedly as we talked about our individual experiences and our families from the night before. The school day started off with learning basic Spanish words and phrases and ended off with a piñata! The next day we were split into groups of 3 and 4 and began our Spanish lessons with our new teachers. In the afternoon, half of our group toured Antigua and bought frijoles (which are your early 2000 small T9 cellphones) while also learning about the history of the city. Antigua is a much larger city than San Juan, and is a fun, touristy place to explore, drink coffee, and try new foods. We can get to Antigua from San Juan for 2Q (about 40 cents) on the “chicken bus”, which is basically a decked-out school bus that can pack in many people! The other group toured San Juan and were introduced to chocolate factories, restaurants (specifically La Taberna, which seems to be the hot spot to hang out).
On Tuesday the groups switched in the afternoon: one went to Antigua and the other stayed in San Juan.
On Wednesday, we had or fist small group meetings in Guatemala where each group took on there own adventure. Thursday after school we met up with our PMG (peer mentoring group). Some groups went to Antigua for lunch while others stayed in San Juan to talk over coffee. PMGs are a good time to have some independence from the rest of the group. We have some freedom to make our own plans. In the evening we had a night of adoración (worship) in the cool night air of the school yard.
On Friday we had a free morning. Some students slept in, went on runs up the volcano, studied Spanish, hung out with their host families or washed their clothing in a pila. The community pilas in San Juan also seem to be a common place to find Outtatown students, ‘pila parties’ have been happening all week where the students will all do laundry together! In the afternoon we had salsa lessons with a lady who had a lot of patience and good humour regarding our dancing abilities. As a thank you for the dance lessons our group went out onto the streets and picked up garbage surrounding the church in San Juan. Overall, our week has been jam-packed, full of amazing new experiences and beautiful sites.
– Caleb & Julia, on behalf of Guattatown