domingo, 29 de enero de 2017

Day 8: reforestation (Kenny)

As the days go by, everyone is waking up later and closer to the time we have to be at breakfast. Upon our arrival at the mission, we find out that we will be having oatmeal and beans. Which is served almost every morning. After eating, we started to walk across town to toribio's house. Who is in charge of the re-forestation project in San Lucas. He taught us about the many indigenous trees in the region and the different uses for their wood. Next, he took us up to his house. In his backyard there is a Mayan worship sight where his grandfather took his dad as a kid. He did not know this until after buying the property. After lunch we rode in the back of a truck to the women's center. Here we learned how to wash clothes in pilas, make tortillas, balance buckets on our heads, and carry bundles of wood on our backs. While the rest of the group was finishing up, a few of us went to play soccer with the kids at the center. The field was very small and packed with people. We soon realized that the locals are much better at soccer than us and ended up losing to a bunch of little kids.

viernes, 27 de enero de 2017

Day 13: Last day of work (Andrew Moura)

January 17 was our last full day in San Lucas. Splitting up for our morning work, our group found itself divided building stoves and building a wooden house. My group, Sebastian G, Gabe, Reid, & Will, went to the wooden house project. 
At the house Sebastian and I were in charge of cutting wood. After a series of chicken chases and semi dangerous finger placements, we said goodbye to the family and the nearly completed wooden house surrounded by the now at peace chickens. 
In the evening we found ourselves back at Torbio'shouse for the Mayan ceremony that some in our group, myself included, had expressed an interest in. The ceremony was one of thanksgiving, performed by a Catholic Mayan priest, a not uncommon mix provided by the synthesis of Mayan and Catholic cultures. In fact the priest carried with him a bag embroidered "Jesus es dios".
The ceremony was performed on the minor altar, which resembled something of a fire pit. The major, ironically, was (surface wise) smaller, but was shaded by the large outcropping of rock that resembled the head of a turtle (in Mayan tradition the turtles represented protection). Later in the ceremony the priest would ask permission of the major altar to perform the ceremony. 
The preparation for the ceremony began with the tracing of a circle, using sugar, on the minor altar, representing the earth. Then the priest built up a layer of small, indented cakes made of a mixture of pine shavings and sap. A second layer, same material, this time looking like large gumdrops, was placed on top. Then the priest began placing a variety of candles on the circular mound, each with their own meaning. 

The candle meanings are as follows: 
Red: the essence (blood)
White:  full nourishment, purity
Green: hope and energy, the heart of the mountain, 
Black: weakness, shadow, the darkness we carry, need for healing 
Yellow: humanity, nourishment from the earth
Blue: the sky, prosperity, well being for all, happiness for all
Light blue: represents economy, the meeting of needs 
Pink: internal, intention 
Purple: triumph, reminder to think positive 

Light yellow: represent the dead, ancestors (this candle was added later, during the flame)

At four points the priest placed slabs of chocolate, and over two of them he placed bread, representing the sweetness of the produce of the earth. After another series of more prayers, the prelist lit the fire. While the fire burned, the priest said more prayers, counting (or appeared to, he spoke in the native language of Kaqchikel) out small pellets of the pine material in the aforementioned cakes, and then tossing them into the fire. All told the ceremony took about 2 and a half hours.

Day 12: Getting back to work (Dylan)

Dylan Callahan Day 12
Today was a bit of a downer, our entire job for today was to sift rocks out of a big pile of sand. We did that for around three hours. The other group brought bricks up from a hill to a stone house. They were all extremely tired to say the least.
After lunch we had a talk with Toribios brother and he explained how father greg helped him get a job with the mission. He talked about father Greg and how he was a very close friend of his father and that he gave his family lots of work. After the talk we ate dinner and then went back to the hotel, to relax. 

Day 11: Lake (David)

Sunday January 15
David Pfeifer

Today we woke up extra early today to go to mass before breakfast in the church hall. This is because today we are going across the lake to Santiago where Father Stan was killed. We boarded a small boat that took us about 20 minutes to get to the city. Once there we got off the boat and immediately saw that this was a tourist town by all of the small shops lining the main road. Walking along the main road you could see the huge cathedral Father Stan resided in, but we went strait to the library where he was killed. Afterwards we were allowed to wander the town in search of thing we wanted to buy which there were a lot. 

Once we were done shopping we boarded the boat once again and set off to another town across the lake where we were go to have lunch. It was a traditional Guatemalan restaurant that was overlooking the lake that is so big you can nearly see the other side.  We finished eating and were told that we had time to do more shopping and believe it or not this town had the most shopping opportunities and shops than anywhere on the trip.  I bought a hammock, a table runner, and my best find a hackie sack the size of your head. After a long day of shopping and traveling we were all tires so we had dinner which was the usual rice and beans and we retired to our hostel for the night. 

lunes, 23 de enero de 2017

Day 9: new city(Sebastian G)

Day 9 Sebastián Garcia  

     It was another average day in San Lucas. We woke up at the same time and to the same breakfast. Today was different though. Instead of our first activity relating to work we instead went to San Lucas own deforestation. There we receive an interesting talk from Toribo leader of the deforestation project. He explained to us how the land is a gift from God and we should work to protect it. Creating the joke it's not Guatemala it's Guatebonita. He told us how he is working to teach the children the importance of taking care of the land. Giving him a bottle filled with trash. The children receive their own sapling to plant themselves. Finishing his talk Toribo took us to his house to show us a Mayan alter where we would later go to watch a Mayan ritual. 
     The next part of the day we headed to the women's center for our own life skills course. The women their taught us how to make tortillas, wash cloths in a pila, and balance a tub on the top of our heads. Each student tried this tasks to the best of their abilities. One student fell to his back while trying to balance the tub of cloths on his head. Luckily though he was to catch the tub before it spilled. Towards the end the women treated us all to some pie. 
     The day was coming to an end and the last activity of the day was a fun soccer game with the workers of the mission. Each saints men got a chance to show his skills in the field. Divided each team faced off with different opponents. In the beginning the saints men showed their power against the opposing teams. Yet towards the end the workers team showed their strength. Still in the end their were no winners or losers in was just another fun experience. 

Day 10: The Hike (Gabe)

Today was much more of a relaxing day the rest have been. Being the weekend, there was no major work that we had to do, so we took this opportunity to take a breather and catch up on shopping or journal entries. Breakfast was the same oatmeal and beans as previous days, and following this we went our own separate ways. After relaxing for most of the morning, we prepared ourselves for an afternoon hike up a small mountain. The hike a a little difficult, but it was still very fun and I am glad to have taken it, especially since the view at the top was phenomenal. After this rigorous hike, we went back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner.

Day 7: wood transporting (Alec)

Journal #7 

-wood transporting and orphanage cleaning 

    This day was quite regular.  We woke up at the same time, ate the same bland breakfast, and entered our work transportation trucks right on queue.  
    When all thirteen students had entered the two trucks, we made the short commute to a wood shop in town where we filled each truck with about thirty five two by six's and about twelve four by fours.  When we filled the trucks, we climbed back into the trucks and drove about thirty minutes to a gated village that was as a few towns away.  The drive there was amazing and the views that were to be seen were jaw-dropping.  Once we arrived to the village, we quickly unloaded the wood out of the trucks in their specific locations, and we left back to San Lucas because there was no more work to be done.  
    We returned to the mission and recognized it was lunch time so we ate another bland, nourishing meal and returned to work as soon as possible.  
    Following lunch, we split up into two groups.  One group transported wood like they had in the first part of the day.  This work enjoyable for me because we got the opportunity to view some of the open country while doing legitimate work.
    The other group went to "Casa Feliz", a mission owned orphanage that had not been used for many years.  I was not a part of the group that ventured there, but I heard great things of the size of the facility and of all of the things that were left behind and stand as a reminder of what "Casa Feliz" used to be.  
    Today's work was enjoyable.  I enjoyed transporting wood and talking with the local children of the village.