Kickin’ it in the Mountains

24 August 2012

Here we are in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, or also known as Xela.  After climbing through the mountains and clouds out of Antigua, we arrived in this mountain city.  In fact, it is the second largest city in this nation.  This will be our home for the next four weeks.  We have been in orientation for the past week, and tomorrow is our first full day that we have free, where many of us will be hiking up the volcano named, Santa Maria.

In the past few days we have grown as a group.  We have come to learn about one another and learn from one another.  Each of us comes from a different back ground.  Each of has our own educational biography, which has led us to the people we are today.  Through sharing our educational biographies, we have learned of one another’s past; the experiences we’ve had, the interests we’ve developed, and the people who have effected our lives.  The insight we have acquired through this educational biography exercise, has led us to love the group that we are.  We love the diversity of personalities, backgrounds, and interests, all of which will bring something unique to the table.

We have also learned about Guatemala through our orientation.  The economic situation, the health situation, and there is still so much more we will learn.  In two days we will set out on the first real part of this already amazing journey.  We will be staying with host families here in Quetzaltenango for the next three weeks.  While some of our group have stayed with host families before, some of us have never.  We all hope to have cultural experiences with our families, and begin to learn about Guatemala at a deeper level.  We will also begin Spanish class on Monday.  This class will consist of one-on-one teaching, from 8 AM- 1 PM, Monday through Friday.  Again, we all come from different backgrounds, which has put some of us in different levels of Spanish.  We all hope to become much more comfortable using Spanish, and would ideally like to speak Spanish as much as possible throughout the semester, even with one another

This journey has only begun, and there is still much to be experienced.  Until next time…

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