Saturday, September 13, 2008
Monday is the 15th of September and the Independence of Guatemala. We had warned that the Institutos started preparing for this celebration weeks even months in advance but it really wasnt the case for my school. Yesterday I had to judge the students altares patrios. Think of an altar, just like the ones at Catholic Church with relics and all but now imagine it taking a very patriotic form. Each section (there are 6 at this one school) had to spend the entire morning and part of Thursday creating these altares. Towards the end of class on Thursday, all you saw was male students hauling huge rocks and concrete blocks up the stairs to take to their classrooms. Ill put up pictures soon so you guys can see how cool these things were. Some had lakes made out of blue plastic bags, rocks and a hose. Some had human relics, like Tucun Uman, wearing nothing but a shiny gold skirt. The winning altar had the students dressed up in traje tipico selling things like at the mercado. They fed us tortillas with frijol and queso, as well as some orange drink. Another section sang a patriotic song as soon as we walked in and had torches that they had made at home. Still another section, which earned 3rd place, was cooking corn (delicious, delicious corn, but without bitter butter; they put lime on it) and gave us this elote drink that a student had made. Overall, excellent. Not to compare our countries and youth, but I dont know if kids in the states would be able to pull it off. We arent as patriotic. Were we once? USA! USA! Ok, Ill stop. Also yesterday I accompanied the 3A students and the Social Studies teacher to an orphanage where I think I will soon be volunteering. The students took them viveres (rice, beans, pasta, sugar, etc) and used clothes. They played games with the kids, gave them prizes then served them cake. It was nice to see the students working with these little kids. Then we went to see the babies and my students just fell head over heels. I think they were missing the electronic babies they had to give back just a few weeks ago. It was sweet. Leaving I asked one of the ladies in charge if they accepted volunteers and she said of course we do. I think I will have to go hang out with the little ones (as Shamika calls them).