Today was a good day – the kind of day that leaves you tired and happy but eager to do more. It set the stage for us. Soon, you will read blog posts from our student leaders thus far – Hali, our first leader for the day of travel yesterday, and the team of Sophia, Alexander, and Enrique who helped us think about three major topics as we explored Antigua Guatemala. Sophia helped her group think about the economy of Guatemala and the center for tourist activity in the area. Alexander helped his collection of students and teachers think about the tension between the native Mayan identity and the Spanish colonial history that has long challenged it. And Enrique led a contingent that explored the educational system.
Our students asked questions in Spanish and English, connected big ideas, and made lots of friends today. They behaved like curious learners as those around them purchased without much care or thought and let the life of Antigua simply drift in front of them. Our students tried to make sense of the place and its people. It was an easy day to feel proud of this eclectic collection of young people.
After our time in Antigua, we traveled to the Ordonez house. Pilar, the youngest child of Giovanni and Heidi Ordonez, is a Seahorse and we all got to enjoy the amazing hospitality of her family. We ate delicious grilled hot dogs, chorizo, and steaks that many of us said were the best we’d ever had. We roasted marshmallows over a beautiful firepit they had made just for our visit. We took a long walk in search of the neighborhood monkey. We shared stories. We drank hot chocolate. Whatever we wanted, the Ordonez family provided.
We haven’t been in Guatemala long but our group has already settled in… Yesterday, there were tears of anxiety and homesickness. Tonight? The same kids were talking about moving to Guatemala. This place is embracing us!