Basking in the rising sun,
assessing the damage of midnight flood,
Walking through the soaking walk
listening to my cohorts talk,
Sue and Sophie deep in slumber
despite last night’s rolling thunder.
The smell of beans and peppered eggs,
seem to call to Philip’s legs,
Rolling in with his son,
he eats his food until he’s done.
Our friends gather round
and we begin to get loud,
We listen to Billy explain our fate
as Astrid translates.
We will go to a park,
and start to STOMP
and then make tarjetas to our heart’s content,
Then play fútbol,
until we’re spent,
we take our showers
and hop into bed,
my eyes begin to feel like lead.
— journal entry by Jakob, international traveler and CELC student

~Click on any image to view a scrollable gallery.

Today is my first real day in Guatemala. I was awoken by roosters and church bells at 4:00 in the morning. When I finally got up and put on clothes, it was around 6:00. I walked downstairs and saw Grace setting the table. For the next two hours I ate breakfast and had Spanish class. I didn’t really know what to think when in walked a whole group of kids, even though I was expecting them. We played some games and then headed out to Guatemala City. When we got there I was glad that the hot trip was over. Hmmm, when we went inside, it was still hot. And I was still uncomfortable around the other kids because they were so small and because they only spoke Spanish. Almost all of them were quiet while the others poked our legs, Nolan’s and mine.

After that we walked for a while and then got back in the vans. My head was hurting so to sleep I went. I woke up by my head hitting against a window as the van went over the cobblestone streets. Out of the van, back in again. Out of the van again. We played soccer.

Have to go to sleep!

Today is the second day – I didn’t know what to do in the morning, so I just slept till 7:00. Still not knowing what to do, I went downstairs and just waited. Waited for breakfast, waited for the Guatemalan kids, waited for the day to come. When breakfast was ready, I got up and was served food by Grace. There were three things on my plate : black goo, a fried banana, and the only thing I knew was eggs. Soon I was told that the fried banana was a fried plantain. Nolan told me that it was “really good”, so I saved it for last.

I ate the eggs first, still not knowing about the black goo. Done with the eggs, I started on the goo – I put the spoon in my mouth and let the flavors soak in. Then it hit me; the black goo was just mashed black beans! Next, the plantain. It really didn’t look appetizing, but I gave it a try. With spoon in hand, I cut the plantain in half. I picked it up and dropped it in my mouth. Let me tell you something. IT WAS G-O-O-D !
— journal entry by Gabe, international traveler and Hamden Hall student

Dear friend,
Laughter and smiles is what most of the day was. We did a replaying of STOMP in the park. Everybody had to use parts of their bodies to make sounds. We did this for about an hour. Some of the EducArte girls taught Sue and me a very fun hand game.

After that we went back to the house and had lunch. Once we were finished, EducArte’s director Alejandra taught our art class. When everything was finished, we went back to the park and played fútbol … I’m not good at fútbol!
— journal entry by Sophie, international traveler and CELC student

Dear friend,
Today is our third day in Antigua. We spent the day with the EducArte kids (here, here). Today was even better than yesterday! (I know, I know, kind of impossible) I think that my favorite part of today was going to the park – and not just because we got helado. I loved just being with the kids from EducArte. After all that’s happened in the past few days, just something as dang simple as going to the park and playing soccer was a really nice change.

Also, for tonight’s dinner, Scott took us to his favorite restaurant, called ¿Porqué No? We got to eat upstairs, and my quesadilla was probably the best I’ve ever had. I think my favorite part of the restaurant, though, was the ceiling and walls. Patrons had written all over them! There were quotes and pictures/drawings and some insider jokes. When Carolina (who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Carlos) came to first say hello to us and take our order, she put a marker on the table. At first I was confused, but then I realized that the marker was for us to write with – ANYWHERE. Even the lampshade had writing and messages on it!
— journal entry by Sue, international traveler and CELC student