Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Take Only Pictures and Leave Only Footprints

Please welcome Kylie, one of our second-session Summer Interns, to the blogosphere. Much more to come, as they'll be with us until July 28th!

Today is my third day in Guatemala and if I had to describe my experience so far I would say that it has been extraordinary. This country is not like any that I have ever seen, it is truly unique. The towns may not be the cleanest however it is easy to look past the mere lack of sanitation because the towns are surrounded by pristine natural beauty that is just breathtaking. Our house is by a beautiful lake, which is surrounded by three volcanoes, not to mention the vast amount of beautiful rolling hills blanketed in green trees and crops. The town’s people are friendly, and tend to take great interest in five or six “gringas” walking the streets. Most all the locals dress in very colorful and vibrant fabrics, and the streets are filled with people walking and cars driving crazily, and the buildings are all different colors and the town always seems to be buzzing.

We have been traveling to the schools in a nearby by town which is so much fun. The ride there is nothing short of interesting. We ride in what are called “micros” which are basically taxi vans that take people around town and to neighboring places. It is like a giant sardine can that is packed with people, and there is no such thing as personal space, if you can move, then there is room for more! When we got to the school I found that all of the children are great, and most seem eager to learn English and socialize with us Americans. Smiling is a universal language and can make all the difference, sometimes there may be a language barrier but as long as I try to have fun and I try my best I am sure that my Spanish skills will only improve. The Country Director, Dana, and a long term volunteer Lorena, along with another Intern that has been here the past month, Christina, are all teaching several English classes to various age groups. It is truly inspiring to see the true motivation and passion that all of these ladies have. Us new arrivals are truly lucky to have these awesome people to show us the ropes, and teach us about daily life in Guatemala. The daily life includes the way the house is run, and one thing that we learned on the first night was that when we use the restroom, it is important not to flush the toilet paper, and that old saying “If it’s yellow let it mellow and if it’s brown flush it down” certainly is practiced here.

One of my favorite things is learning about the culture here, and I feel like I am gaining so much from this experience and I’ve only been here for three days! I am concentrating on the present and looking forward to what this adventure has in store. As long as my trip continues to be this fantastic (even though it has been only three days!), I don’t thing I'll ever be able to leave!


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

1 comment:

  1. I just came back from Lake Atitlan a week ago. It really is a gorgeous location...try climbing San Pedro on a clear day the views are awesome.

    It's funny how you mention sanitation several times... it can be a bit rough.