Life in Tecpan + IST (weeks 4-8)

For the past four weeks, our group has been living with homestays across the town of Tecpan, Guatemala. My roomate Nishtah, and I were welcomed with open arms by the Ajcet family. We have two host sisters: Andrea and Isabel, a host brother Pedro Jose our parents Elba Marina and Pedro and of course our dog, Ricky! Our host mom is an elementary school teacher and our host dad works at the local university. A typical day would be waking up at 6:45AM but hitting the snooze until 7AM just enough time to scarf down a brekfast that typically consists of eggs and beans. If we are lucky, pancakes! We then get on a bus and head off to worksite. At worksite we are placed into smaller groups. My worksite group is the same as my media project group: Gabi and Ben. Some days we use machetes and other days we weed. My favorite job is putting freshly ground corn into feed sacks (somehow only my worksite group got to do that). After lunch, Nishtah and I take a siesta and then head to the hotel to do either media project or to participate in seminars. After our afternoon responsibilities, we hit the cafes. We eat crepes, drink chai, read for seminars, and play cards. I have recently decided to make a cafe club so we have more "variety".  For dinner, we eat our body weight in tortiallas, chicken, and the most important part: papas fritas (French fries). Don't even get me started on Jamaica (Hibiscus) juice. I think it's amazing. For fun, we handwash laundry, go zipling at Bonanza, play soccer, going to the local carnival (riding Dragon for the millionth time), and visit the ancient Myan ruins by my house, Iximche.

We celebrated Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All Saints day! For Halloween, we had a party (I dressed up like a pineapple). On Day of the Dead, we flew kites and ate a meat dish with about 10 different types of meat... The meat was raw and I didn't want to get sick so I aired on the side of caution.

After two weeks with our homestays, we got to go on IST (Independant Student Travel). I went to the coast with six other students and a program leader. We stayed at the cutest B&B in Montericco the owner was from Italy and therefore, we ate the most amazing Italian food. His daughter, Mary Angela (2 1/2) was always speaking to me in Italian and running around yelling "HOOOOLLLLA CLARA" pretty darn cute. We also visited a local mangroove (unfortunately, my camera was broke so I will share some photos from another student in the group). We got caught in the waves and drank pina coladas. It was a stark contrast from our everyday work on the farms. On our last night, we saw a sea turtle giving birth to about six dozen eggs.

By the time this posts I will be in Semuc Champey/Tikal and after that, Thailand for the next seven weeks! Stay tuned.

Tecpan local that we interviewed for our Waste Managment project

Media Project Selfie scavenger hunt around Tecpan

Catholic church in Tecpan (this one is for you mom!!)
TBB with all the host families

The inside of our house and its beautiful yellow walls (and the shrine in the corner)

We went to a pottery workshop and saw a lady form pottery like this within a couple minutes.

View from pottery workshop
Andrea and I

Bonanza

Trash sign regarding fines for littering

Mangrooves in Monterrico

Pueblo Real (Nish was sick )
Monterrico! (Me, Jen, and Meg)
Fresa farm

All Saint's Day!
Halloween!

Baby cow at the dairy farm we visited
Gabi and Ben

Gabi and I catching up during media project
Cemetary near my house

Cemetary
Roomie photo at the ruins :)

Me being entertainment at the ruins!!

Iximche
Host parents! 
"Gringos" I could not stop laughing at these tourists. I got a hoot out of them.
Setting up for the bike race 
Andrea and Pedro Jose (2/3 host siblings)
RICKKKKKY!
Vaca
I love my host mom´s humor so much
Typical farm day
Vaca eating trash at illegal dump

Pollo!

By the time this has posted I will be on enrichment week! Hopefully, I will have lots of photos to share (if my camera cooperates!) 
Also, as soon as my media project gets posted I will share the link for all of you:)
Mucho amor,
Clare



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