Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thank you SHe for an incredible experience. I loved Guatemala, the Mayan people, and the other expeditioners. It was truly amazing, and I cannot wait to join another expedition sometime very soon!
If you want to learn more about SHe, check out their website: http://www.singularhumanitarian.org/ or like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/singularhumanitarian/
|Take the cattle druck 10-30 minutes to your village for the day|
|Work on whatever team you're on that day for 5-8 hours|
|Come back to home base and play with kids. Bubbles, soccer...|
|.... cats cradle, Frisbee...|
|Eat delicious meals. Thank you, Marta and the kitchen crew!|
|Hike to the showers and bathrooms. We actually were lucky enough to have toilets,|
which I think was a first for the expedition. Thank you, Santi and Jorge!!
So lets get down to what was really going on. Singular Humanitarian Experience (SHe) is a group of LDS singles that does humanitarian trips abroad. They've been going to Guatemala for quite a few years now, but this was the very first time in this specific area, the Polochic Valley. There were about 50 of us in the group, and we were split into four teams: Medical, Business, Education, and Construction. Before we arrived, I volunteered as co-leader of the Education team.
On the education team we spent the the first two days with 24 teachers and school directors, teaching a series of workshops we had prepared. I taught about how to successfully introduce and model procedures so that everyone in your class can do them right. They really liked that, and it set a good tone for the week. We were also excited to learn from them--many of them teach two grades at the same time in the same classroom. Wow. The last two days of the week were classroom observations. We got to visit some of the schools in the Polochic Valley, play with the kids, and exchange ideas. I loved it.
I made a point of working at least half a day with each of the other teams, to see what everyone else is doing and experience the maximum possible. That same desire drove me to wake up early one morning so I could spend an hour helping prepare breakfast. That is one of my favorite memories of the expedition, cooking in the kitchen, butchering tomatoes, onions, and the Spanish language. :)
|As I taught, John would translate into Spanish. |
That's Khiah, my education co-lead, always fashionable. :)
|Me and School Director/Teacher Edin Salva|
|Juan Jose shows us how he uses an abacus to teach place value|
|No idea what I'm explaining here, but I sure have managed to captivate|
audience. :) I sure love being a teacher and I sure love kids.
|Pretty sure I was mostly lost on cross multiplying fractions.|
|After lunch on our way to the Polochic Valley|
|The most amazing bus ride I've ever been on|
|Our welcome from the village|
|We played with the kids almost everyday|
|This is our view riding out to the villages. So Jurassic Park. I kept expecting|
a brontosaurus to raise its head above the trees. Absolutely beautiful.
I arrived a day before the expedition was scheduled to start, so I went with some other expeditioners to the old capital of Guatemala, Antigua. It's full of beautiful buildings, including churches, and lots and lots of touristy things.
The city is built in a beautiful valley with gorgeous tropical hills, including a large volcano. I kept seeing hostels around, and you get could a bed and breakfast for 45 quetzales, or about $7. I could totally spend a week there and just go hiking every day. It was a nice introduction to Guatemala.