We arrived in Guatemala City on October 2. A staff member from Long Way Home, the local NGO we have spent the last week volunteering at, came to pick us up. We enjoyed a beautiful view of Guatemala on our ride from Guatemala City to Comalapa. On the drive we saw a man dressed in clown gear juggling machetes as well as another man jumping onto and hanging off the back of a moving chicken bus going about 40 MPH. Needless to say that this was only the beginning of our wonderful adventure here so far.
On Sunday, October 4, we had a scavenger hunt to acquaint ourselves with the town. It was our very first experience with the colorful market, as well as our first time practicing our spanish and bartering skills. This exciting downtime gave us some time to immerse ourselves in Comalapa before beginning our work week at Long Way Home where we were plastering, painting, stomping, and shoveling, oh my! One member of the group (Andy) even cut off her hair to donate to Long Way Home, where they use human hair in their plaster. Now a piece of her will always be in Guatemala.
That was only Tuesday. Our action packed week also included delicious food prepared by a wonderful woman named Antonia, a culture night with authentic Guatemalan music and a limbo-off that Ryan lost, a beautiful hike up the mountains of Comalapa, a tortilla making demonstration, numerous impromtu dance parties, and meeting so many interesting and friendly people. Oscar, the famous Guatemalan painter; Fleciano, the man whom we are staying with; Roberto, Oscar´s son who gave us a tour and history lesson of Comalapa; Robin, the volunteer coordinator of Longway Home, as well as so many more beautiful humans.
Before we head to Xela, we have a bonfire and barbecue waiting for us, as well as so many more adventures. Sure, we may be a long way from home, but Longway Home has welcomed into their arms and settled any homesickness that has arisen. We learned so many lessons of gratitude, compassion, and patience in our time in Comalapa and cannot wait to see what else the future has in store for us. We love you Guatemala!
Adios y besos,