Days 3 and 4: Hot Springs and Hot Days
Day 3 (Hot Springs) was a chalked up with a variety of cultural activities that varied from the attendance of a Catholic service (in Spanish of course) to soaking in the Hot Springs of Quetzaltenango called “Las Fuentes Georginas.” The therapeutic waters come from one of Guatemala’s active volcanoes, and the warm waters soothed aching muscles, but the students might argue that the winding drive up the mountain was just as exciting. Later that evening, we stopped into a restaurant near the square for dinner, just after catching a glimpse of a religious procession making its way through town. At night the students settled down in Matt’s room to watch The Hunger Games’ sequel, Catching Fire, after discovering Matt is, in fact, a newfound HG enthusiast! All in all, it was an exciting day that gave the students some time to relax and enjoy all that Quetzaltenango has to offer.
Day 4 (Build Day #2) was a long but productive day on the job site. The students made significant progress on the foundation and we were able to lay three rows of cinder block, which does not seem like a lot, but is very impressive. The students also worked on more “Costillas,” filled in the foundation gaps with dirt, shaped cinder blocks, and filtered the rock out of the sand mix for the concrete. There were bumps and bruises, pokes and prods, blisters and a few minor bleeds, but the students were enthusiastic and hardworking to the point that there were no major hiccups. The mason mentioned to me that our group has accomplished more in just a couple of days than entire groups have done in a week of work, which clearly demonstrates how hard we have been working. Not to mention, a few of the niños on site had become close with our students, and it was gratifying to see hugs and kisses exchanged between the kids and the students before our departure. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for ice cream (I think everyone was grateful), and exchanged more than a few laughs over our dirt-covered, grimy appearances. Upon our return, we all thanked our lucky stars for having hot water and clean showers waiting for us. Dinner was hilarious, as both students and adults traded stories of their most embarrassing moments. Many people in the community from the hotel staff to the families with whom we work have positively commented on the behavior of our students, their manners, and how respectful they have been. It is very gratifying to hear, but it comes as no surprise to Veronica and me.
The evening continued with laugher as students had a movie night and Veronica gave Walter a hair cut. We all are looking forward to another day of building tomorrow.
Stay tuned for Day 5…
Below are some pictures: