by Cera Southerland
For the first time in almost a week, we were able to sleep in this morning! ¡Es solo un hora, pero que magnifico esta!
Despite the minimal water pressure in the showers that kept us from being able to shower, we had a hearty breakfast of pancakes, watermelon, and pineapple (by far, my favorite fruit here)!
We returned to Batzul to teach the students the importance of their organic pesticides, vermiculture compost, and the different vegetables in their garden. We started off playing fruit basket turnover. After a couple minutes of trying to play and the kids giggling and smiling, the teacher re-explained the game in Quiché (their native language) for all the kids to fully understand. After that, they all got involved in the game and had a blast. We followed that up with a game of Pesticide Tag, which Daniel made up, and the kids loved it! All the kids that were pesticides protected the plant kids from the pests with such enthusiasm!
Being able to watch the students at these different schools enjoy such simple games and toys is a blessing and an experience that I wish everyone could get to see! We constantly have cute girls run up to you just wanting to hold your hands while you play any game!
We came prepared with activities for the kids to learn from so we could further educate them on the importance of their new vermiculture compost and organic pesticides, and their vegetables. We started off quizzing them on what goes into their vermiculture box and why each component was important. Then we had them make a mini compostura in a plastic cup so they could put the components in themselves.
Next, we went over the different vegetables they have in their garden and what they are called in English. It’s amazing how these kids answer questions in unison! We gave the kids a matching game so they could match the Spanish name and picture of each vegetable to the English word. The kids retained the English word so well and were thrilled when they matched the cards correctly!
We passed out zoo animal stickers to the kids as prizes or gifts for participating in class. I ended up with a monkey sticker and showed a few boys what monkeys do and the noise they make, oo-ing and aah-ing while I scratched my underarms. They giggled at the crazy gringa, but started to do the same thing back to me!
We finished up our time at Batzul simply playing with the kids and taking pictures with them. I sat with one little boy wearing plaid overalls and showed him different hand games and how to bump fists and make them explode. We repeated the same handshake over and over, and every time our fists hit he flashed the biggest smile with the cutest dimples a kid could have. I took pictures of him and showed them to him after; he seemed so intrigued to see himself on a camera and smiled every time.
Before we left, we got a picture with all the kids and teachers with our Aggie flag. We topped off our visit at Batzul with the Aggie War Hymn! They all loved it, and kids from the village gathered around the fence of the school while we sang. It was definitely a memorable way to end our time at the Batzul School!
We traveled back into Chajul to have lunch at a LHI employee’s house. Her mother, the best cook in Chajul according to Laura and Jake, cooked us the most amazing fried chicken and rice meal we’ve had all trip!!
We returned to La Posada for some classic Texas A&M class time and later some delicious chicken fajitas for dinner. It’s definitely nice to have a piece of Tex-Mex here in Guatemala every now and then!
We all spent our nights working on homework and relaxing with each other (if that’s even possible with those two together)! We are all truly bonding, like a family of our own here in Guatemala. It’s amazing how close you become with people that you didn’t even know before the trip started. With all the projects we’ve completed and people we’ve met, we are all growing closer together, and I’m excited to see where this trip takes us in the end as a group and individually.