So you want to know what it was like to live in Guatemala for ten weeks?
Good! Read on. 🙂
I’m not sure whether this post is better described as an overview or a preview. Since life in Guatemala was so crazy, blogging was sadly not on my highest priority list, so I am quite behind on letting you all know what has been happening! I returned home on April 16, about nine days ago, and am finally getting a chance to post some photos here! Hopefully more posts will follow shortly, but I want to give y’all an idea of the many crazy, fun, and traditional things we did before I go into detail about any of them.
Let’s start with normal life….at least, as normal as it ever gets in Guate. 🙂
I help teach third grade, which has all of six students. Since it’s a bilingual school, they know a little bit of English, but it’s still a challenge to communicate sometimes…especially with the Guatemalan teacher, who knows almost no English. So I am very motivated to learn as much Spanish as possible!! I help with all the classes they have before their noon break, and during that time I also teach them reading and spelling.
Agh, I love these kiddos. They’re so full of fun and personality!!
Mikah and I do most of our cooking ourselves, except for a few times when we went out to a restaurant and bought Guatemalan food. Some of our endeavors flop, but most are successful! Sausage Cheese Biscuit Casserole, anyone?
I often stay at school during lunch break and play tag or cops and robbers with the littles, which helps me get my “kid time” in while I’m thousands of miles away from my siblings. Once, as I carry my camera around snapping photos as the children excitedly chase each other around, a little first-grader, Elizabeth, stops me.
“Puedo tomar una foto con usted?” (Can I take a picture with you?) She asks. Why not?? This picture is now one of my all-time favorites from my entire stay!
One Saturday, we hike down La Barranca, which translates as “The Ravine,” with the sixth grade students and teachers from the bilingual school at which we teach. It is beautiful, and we enjoy being able to be out in nature again!
Needless to say, this group is a hoot. 😀
And the food…..is…..AMAZING. Goodness, I could eat that every day and not get tired of it!
Mikah and I go on an adventurous bus journey to visit our good friend Corrie, who is doing missionary work in another part of Guatemala. It is a refreshing and encouraging weekend away, even if bus trips in Guatemala are a little hectic.
We have a whole week-long break from school during Holy Week (Semana Santa, as they call it)! It turns out that Corrie’s plans changed and she is able to come visit us a couple days before Holy Week begins, so we surprise the teachers with the presence of a third gringa at their small-town school. 🙂 All three of us go to Antigua, Guatemala, with the Schaper family for half the week while they complete three days of language school.
Corrie has to fly home on Tuesday, so we decide to go hike a volcano on Monday to make sure we get our tourist experience in. Aaannd, we just feel like hiking an active volcano, ya know, just for fun. Right?
While in Antigua, we observe several Catholic parades and the huge crowds they draw…yes, that float you see is carried by probably a hundred people.
Mikah and I enjoy taking my senior photos after Corrie leaves, and are beyond grateful for the beauty of the apartment complex and yard! Besides, not many people get their photos taken by an amazing friend while in a foreign country…I am blessed!
Coffee….is one of the best things in the world. 🙂
Back at school again after Easter comes and goes, we have three merit parties for the students at the school with the most merits!
One for kindergarten through third grade…
One for fourth and fifth grades…this is a water party! Kids here LOVE getting wet. 🙂
And one for sixth through tenth grades!
Mikah and I are asked to sing and play for church twice, and for a wedding once. This is both fun and nerve-wracking…but it goes pretty well overall. 🙂
The week before I fly home, all the teachers throw a surprise farewell party for me! It is a blast and almost completely a surprise! We play several fun games, including human foosball, before eating a very delicious, very Guatemalan meal. Mmmmm….
Even though Guatemala was in its dry season while I was there, many beautiful flowers still bloomed!
And this is just a portion of the adventures we had….did I mention anything about trying to catch some kind of banana-stealing critter that lived in our kitchen? Or going with the church youth group at 4:30 AM on a school day to wake up a birthday girl with loud singing and firecrackers? What about almost getting locked in the dog pen for the night? Or about entertaining unexpected company on afternoons that we were already worn out? Yes, there’s much more to tell than can be written in a single post.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed your taste of Guatemala as much as I enjoyed sharing it! Let me know in the comments below what you’re looking forward to hearing about the most!!