by Cera Southerland
Our normal days in Chajul always begin with a morning walk to the Limitless Horizons Ixil office, but today we extended our walk to a high school on the outskirts of town for Chajul Field Day with a group of LHI scholars.
It was definitely more of a hike than a relaxed morning stroll, but we ended up at the intermediate school that sits on a beautiful, open plot of land with an outdoor basketball/soccer court, an indoor gym set up for both sports, a full-sized soccer field for the city league, and a great view of the town of Chajul.
As the students started to pile inside the gym, all we could see were smiles, and we knew that Field Day in Chajul was a big deal for the students. We split ourselves up into four groups for board games, dancing, caterpillar building, and face painting. Once the students were told the different stations, they all sprinted to each one excited to see what we had for them to do.
A big group of girls learned how to two-step and “wobble” thanks to the energetic and dance-inclined Jenna and her assistant Josh.
Students of all ages constantly ran through the face painting station getting hearts, stars, and flowers painted on their face by the oh-so-talented Julie, Sydney, and Alicia as well as myself. Some students even got such intricate paintings such as a volcano blowing smoke, a pirate, and a butterfly that covered one boy’s face.
When all the crafts and games were finished, we split the students up to play basketball and futbol! Many of the girl students displayed their fine basketball skills inside with Dr. Wingenbach, Caro, and Cristina. Needless to say, Doctor Wingenbach plays basketball like a girl!
The rest of the students, mainly the boys, went outside to play a couple rounds of futbol with the Youth Global Leadership girls from Philanthropiece, Jenna, Jake, and myself. You can tell how serious futbol is in Chajul by the skill level of the boys that played. Even 10-year-olds play better than me!!!
After hours of the students running circles around us, we had to say our goodbyes, but, before we left, we all gathered around Poleth and sang “Happy Birthday” to her for her 22nd birthday! WHOOP WHOOP!!
We then hiked back into town to the LHI office to enjoy yet another delicious meal cooked by Elma. That woman knows how to cook!!!
Once we were all refueled, we headed back to La Posada to relax for the afternoon before everyone left for the homestays. But the birthday festivities weren’t over yet!!
We surprised Poleth with a scrumptious chocolate and vanilla cake for her birthday and sang to her again. Seeing as we haven’t had dessert in weeks, we scarfed down the cake in a minute flat with only crumbs left on the platter!
This evening a few of us will leave for the homestays with host families here in Chajul! Until then, it’s relaxation and study time for us!
I’m looking forward to more hikes and the experiences that are ahead of us on this trip!