Our day began bright and early at 6:15 in the morning. We all groggily headed to a delicious breakfast of pancakes and various fruits. We were all revived by this and the tone setters led us in some power poses. Then we all grabbed our water bottles because hydration is key and went out to the bus to be driven to the department (like a state) Chimaltenango. There we entered a village with heavy AIRES influences because they had been participating in the Aires program for a year so they finally got their much improved stove. This village of about four families even included the Pace Academy tree nursery. We split into groups and began work on our stoves. The cinder bock base was already built so we had to start on the top layers where the metal burners would lay.
The work started out slow due to language barriers and a little bit of awkwardness, but as the day went on we became more accustomed to each others’ rough Spanish and hand gestures. Dylan and I spread mortar and prepared the bricks for our leader, Josué, to lay them. We even had help from one of the kids of the family, Kendrick. Dylan and I became fast friends with our crew.We named our team “Briquipo” which was a play on words with “brick” and “equipo”, Spanish for team.
This is one of the dangerous, inefficient stoves that we are replacing today. Imagine cooking all of your meals on this!
Later on, we joined Giana to play with all the kids running around. We played Duck Duck Goose and their version of the game with a wolf instead of the duck and the wolf chased us. The kids were so adorable and they were all so happy to see us and despite the difference in language, we all had so much fun with each other. When we had to leave to eat lunch, they all hugged us good bye and looked sad to see us fun-loving foreigners leave.
Now it was time for lunch which was inexplicably delicious. Everything was homemade by one of the mothers and it tasted so fresh and refreshing after our hard days work. We ate chicken and rice and picante sauce. We were all so impressed by just how tasty the food was. Then we once again got on the bus and drove to the same school as the day before to continue our iconic saga of awkward friendships with kids we don’t speak the same language as. Yet despite all that, we managed to maintain some quality conversations with these cool kids. They performed traditional boy- girl dances on their stage in the gym. We all enjoyed these immensely because the dances gave even more insight into the culture. Many girls wanted to talk to us and were especially amazed by Dylan’s hair. One girl asked me to braid her hair like Dylan’s. It was very cute. Finally we had to say goodbye to our friends unfortunately. We then ate a yummy dinner and walked home. And now I’m here writing this.
-Sara Elizabeth Haydon the First
(pictures to be added later by our photographers of the day Dylan and Caroline)
One of our 6 finished stoves. These efficient stoves use less firewood, are safer, and will emit much less unhealthy smoke.
(note from Madame Hermosillo, Señor Moreno, and Dr. Boehner – the students were amazing today. We put in long hours today working in an unfamiliar place with a large language gap for many of us. Everyone was upbeat and fully engaged. We have been astounded by their maturity, sense of adventure, and kindness to each other and to everyone we encounter. The Guat Squad Rocks!!!)