Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Full Day in Guatemala

Hello Interactor friends and family!
We all made it through the first day of manual labor without any injuries or health problems!! Thankfully, everyone has enjoyed the food from such a different culture. Even our friends who cant eat gluten and our vegetarians found meals that suited their taste buds! 
We began our day with an early wake up call at 7 am. (well Mrs. Richards woke up at 1:30 due to phone malfunctions..), had a hot breakfast at the hotel at 8, and by 9 we were at the Mayan Families learning how to assemble the stoves. To our surprise, we didn´t have to ensure the steep hills of San Antonio alone! A mission group from South Africa was there to lend a hand. We all traveled on the back of pick up trucks to gather equipment and take a scenic drive to our destination.
 Right when we got there, Mayan women were anxious to lend a hand, and a head! They would balance two cinder blocks on their heads up the mountain to the numerous houses that were receiving stoves for the day. 10 to be exact! Three separate groups spent the day building stoves, while Mrs. Richards, Katie, and Ellie assisted at the pre-school.
Everyone came back with stories such as Mr. Theodore getting licked by one family´s cow (I guess to say thank you?). HR strutted the streets wearing overalls and carrying a spatula. which he claims he can use it to dig, cut, and make food with. The group at the pre-school read stories, played with hula hoops, and helped over 50 kids learn the Spanish alphabet.
 After installing stoves, Keri went to the pre-school and bonded with a boy named Danny, which she is considering taking home! Others are hoping to take puppies home from the Mayan Family shelter because of the overcrowding.
At the end of the trip to San Antonio, all the groups had to meet at the beautiful white church overlooking the lake. The sun was just starting to set, and its rays reflected against the water. It was breathtaking. To make the moment even better, we decided to take out the hula hoops. Children ran from almost every direction wanting to be a part of the fun. Then once the stickers came out, we were swarmed. The moment was amazing. Everyone was having the time of their lives by just receiving a few stickers. The kids also loved getting their picture taken. They would gather their friends together to pose for pictures and get to see them on the screen after. It really showed all the things that we may take for granted. after we said our lat goodbyes to all of our new amigos, we took the 30 minute ride home to wash up and get dinner at the Circus Bar.
We got way more than we could eat with pizzas, salads, soups, banana splits, just to name a few. Some of the girls danced it out to live Spanish music, and we all took crazy pictures trying to imitate art on the wall.
Of course the night has to end because we were doing some heavy lifting all day. When we arrived back to the hotel, we got to make our Agape bags, where our team members can write notes to each other and receive them at the end of the week. Chelsea then lead our first evening discussion that focused on our "high" of the day.
Just in the short time here, it´s easy to see the great impact Guatemala has made on all of our lives and that we are giving so much to them as well. Well it´s time to get to bed, we travel to San Jose tomorrow! Good Night!
Love your blogger of the day,
Lizzy Houska   

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