Day 1: More Pre-Trip Reflections and Traveling to Comalapa

Getting on the sky train at Miami Airport.

Our group with its crazy leader.

Ellie and Widly in the back of the van on the way to Comalapa from Guatemala City.

Angel relaxing in Hotel Comalapa Sol.

From the Journal of: Ellie

August 5, 2011

“It will feel real when I get on the plane.  I don’t really know what to expect…”

And that was how I was feeling before I stepped into this small little island, Guate.  First coming in on this island the odor stood out immediately.  Then I saw the crowded groups of family I to myself, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.”  Everywhere I looked there were colorful clothes, tan-skinned people, and smiles.  A whole bunch of them.  There were hugs, there were kisses.  There was love.  Driving to Comalapa was a beautiful car ride.  The weather wasn’t too hot nor too cold.  It was just right.  I say  beautiful because all I saw were these small little markets posted up on the sidewalks and it reminded me how much of a community they are here in Guatemala.  Then from left to right, dogs (stray dogs), horses, and my favorite…cows!  The amount of green I saw was inches away from melting my heart.  So much agriculture.  It was just so natural.  I loved it!  It was good not to see animals up in factories being worked up as machines.  There were no huge corporations or big businesses polluting the city.  It was all just so lovely to me.  I am now chilling out in our hotel.  The cool thing about the hotel is that is still feels like I’m part of the Guatemalan community.  Nothing fancy, just comfy and simple.  I can tell I’m going to love Guatemala!

From the Journal of: Jennifer

August 5, 2011            

#1

So we’re at the airport waiting to board the plane so early in the morning.  I’m exhausted, but everyone else seems to be energized… I don’t understand why.  I’m also hungry and can’t wait to eat something.  This trip is going to be amazing but there is one problem… I need to control my outbursts and that’s going to be the hardest thing to do.  Oh well, this trip is going to make up for it.

See you on the plane,

Jennifer

#2

We are in Miami and it is so awesome.  This has to be the 4th state I’ve been in.. I think.  Besides that, the plane ride is great.  Without the hysterical laughing I get when taking off but it is kinda funny.  We’re going to Guatemala and I’m not feeling as excited.  Must be the soda or all the walking.  OH well!!  On the plane and ready to go.  Let’s see how well round 2 goes.  Hope I win!

See you in Guatemala,

Jennifer

#3

GUATEMALA!  We are officially here and even though it doesn’t show, I’m excited.  The second plane ride was the same as the first… hysterical laughing, but I got over it.  This place made up for it.  The view here is beautiful and the people are all over the place.  Plus, I’ve never seen so many dogs, horses, or cows in one day.  This is awesome.  This place reminds me a little bit of Nigeria.  The smell, the houses, the cows… I almost feel at home.  There is one thing missing from this trip… PORKERS!!!  I really  miss that cute pig, but I’ll be fine.  The hotel is pretty cool too!  We get bunk beds and I got a top bunk!  Wow, three journals in one day.. this is epic!  Who would have thought that things would turn out like this.  If you really think about it, we are in Guatemala.  That’s a lot to take in, but I love it.

Until next time,

Jennifer

From the Journal of: Angel

August 5, 2011

7:42am, Boston

Not really sure what to write.  The feeling of traveling to another country hasn’t sunk in yet.  Not really sure what to expect but I’m ready for anything!!

5:12pm, Comalapa

The words used to describe the scenery and people in Guatemala City can’t find way to tongue.  The lifestyles of the people are so different from Boston’s lifestyle.  Upon departing from the airport a little girl walked up to me and asked for a gift?  I didn’t bring anything that was worthy to be called a gift but I noticed her looking at the pens sticking out of my bag so I offered it to her.  She accepted it and thanked me.  Moments later I saw her attempting to sell the very pens I gave her.  I wonder if that is truly the lifestyle of some of the people.  The ride into Comalapa was long but the sites were breathtaking.  Mountainsides, wild dogs, cows, horses, roosters.  We passed by a few schools on the way and was crazy to think that students travel miles on foot to and from school every day.  We take for granted the free school systems that we have as well as the transportation.  I’m willing to bet that if given the chance to switch lives with someone in the States, Guatemalan youth would greatly surpass the mass of students using their determination alone.

From the Journal of: Widly

8/5/11

Arriving to Guatemala

Right when we were about to land in Guatemala I opened my window on the airplane and looked out. The country was beautiful up in the air. I saw many valleys, volcanoes and hills. As I looked out the window, still it had not hit me that we have arrived into Guatemala.

*side note: the bathrooms in the airport were amazingly clean and smelled fresh. This was nothing compared with Boston. I was like OMG!

In Guatemala

I was excited and surprised. I was trying to soak up my surroundings. All I kept thinking was OMG! OMG! I’m in Guatemala; is this real?!? I kept shrieking inside saying Yippee! Yippee! OMG!

*On our way to our hotel I noticed that Guatemala City wasn’t any different from America. They had Chuck E. Cheese, Mickey D’s, BK, Shell Gas stations and a whole lot of the other companies that we were familiar with.

*What surprised me was seeing animals everywhere. From dogs to cows to horses and to bulls. When we left the city, we were on our way to the country, we kept seeing stray dogs everywere. The Guatemalan buses where very beautifully colored. Even the women’s attires were beautiful and conservative.

*What stuck out the most of all was seeing poverty all around heading to the country. There was garbage laying around the fields. The air was strongly polluted and smelly in certain areas. Women were carrying heavy luggage over their heads, walking miles at a time with their young ones. The structure of the houses looked broken down with advertisements and graffiti all over. There were stray dogs living in the street with no owners. Cars, pickup trucks and buses were flooded with pedestrians. After soaking all that up I was like WOW… The Guatemalans are less fortunate than we are in America, we don’t take advantage of what is freely given to us. And as I rode on the mini bus heading to the hotel, I thought to myself I am here to make a difference no matter how small or big it is the Guatemalans will greatly appreciate it.

At the hotel.

Yes, we are finally settled in!! Hungry as a horse, but still excited. The hotel was nothing like I expected, but it is still nice and the owners are very friendly and welcome – I can’t wait to start work tomorrow!!! Get Fresh Crew: we are finally here and we are making a difference by being part of a chain reaction helping those less fortunate than we are. This is a trip of a lifetime. I can already feel it!!! And I am super excited. Yippee!!

From the Journal of: Kadine

8/5/11

I actually can’t believe this is happening right now. I am so excitd to go to Guatemala with my fellow classmates. This is an opportunity of a life time and it’s a privilege to be here. I am shocked and disappointed that one of our classmates, Kimberly, couldn’t make it last minute because she sprained her foot. It sucks but we are going to call her almost every day to let her know we are thinking about her. Can’t wait to land in Guatemala!

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4 Responses to Day 1: More Pre-Trip Reflections and Traveling to Comalapa

  1. Hola familia! I can see y’all are having fun over there, and I enjoyed your journal entries/pictures. Hope everyone is making the most of the trip and soaking in each moment. Miss you all so much!
    Hasta luego ~ Claudina

  2. Rachel Mullins says:

    It sounds like this trip is off to a beautiful start and hearing about your journey reminds me deeply of my four months in Mexico. I am so impressed with Ellie’s awareness to the difference in lifestyle, which took me at least a month to begin to comprehend in my time abroad. I just wanted to let all of you know how excited I am for you and it sounds like you have already seen some of the major differences. I want to know more about this home you are staying at and how you think the lifestyle of the family there is both like yours at home and different. Love you all.
    Rachel

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