Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ocean Pacific

 Today our Reflection and Processing time was led by Amanda, we discussed part 2 of  What Christians Believe.  After breakfast and Reflection time we had to get ready for our trip to the Ocean! We were planning to visit either a banana plantation or sugar cane plantation but were not able. The visits would have been part of our lesson for the course. We will discuss that industry in class tomorrow. We did see lots of sugar cane plantations on the way to the Ocean.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the beach. We had lunch at a very nice resort on the beach. We all  spent the afternoon enjoying the beauty of the  Ocean, playing in the sand and swimming in the Ocean as well as the different pools on the resort. The sand is black and so beautiful as a result of the volcanoes in the area. There are over 40 Volcanoes in Guatemala and 3 or 4 are currently active. We collected volcanic rocks out of the Ocean as souvenirs.  On our way back home we stopped and had dinner at Pollo Camperos which is Guatemala´s version of KFC. A fun filled day was had by all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our 3rd full day

     Today our morning Reflection and Processing time was led by Alandra, topic was What Christians Believe. Again, we had our reflection time outside before heading to the classroom. Dr. Hart and DR. Martinez held class on Population, Geography and Climate. Our class for Guatemala Study Abroad is Poverty & Development Seminar which covers our 379 Core on Peace and Justice. All of the guest speakers, classes and majority of field trips will help us with our course assignments.

 We were able to fit some shopping in at the Market place and then had lunch at a cafe before our scheduled visit to APROFAM (Association for Well being of Guatemalan Families) to learn about population issues. We toured the hospital and clinic and had a presentation with the director of  the Family Planning program.

Our evening ends with free time tonight. Everyone is currently hanging out in the common area working on our 3-5 page paper that is due Friday morning.

Getting down to Busines

On Tuesday, different from the first 2 days of  meals, we had an authentic Guatemalan breakfast. We enjoyed black beans, scrambled eggs, plantains, fruit and juice.  We held our morning Reflection and Processing time outside because it was so beautiful. We were led by Jordan, the scheduled topic was Nature and God. We also discussed last nights film.

Our guest speaker from Catholic Relief Services enlightened us on Guatemalan Governmental Policies & Development and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement). This information will help us with our course assignments. Our afternoon speakers were friends of Dr. Harts, small business owners, the Chacon family. We gained insight on the struggles of maintaining a small business, here in Guatemala.

We also visited the University and spent time on campus before returning home. We ended the evening viewing the documentary Precarious Peace.

The First 48

    Leaving Columbus at 6:15 a.m.EST on Sunday made for a VERY long, but exciting day. Our layover in Houston, Texas was our goodbye to the U.S.  We arrived in Guatemala before noon and were greeted by the CASAS staff. (Central American Study and Service). We had orientations about SEMILLA (the Seminary), the outer neighborhood, safety and other expectations. We went on a walking tour around the neighborhood and returned for another delicious meal. Everyone was exhausted that evening, as we are now 2 hours behind Columbus.

Monday morning Dr. Hart led our morning Reflection and Processing time with a discussion on Community Building. This was to help us prepare for our time together. We had a Colonial history lesson on Guatemala by Hector Castaneda, PhD. We also took a field trip downtown. We were separated into groups with at least 1 Spanish speaker each, and raced around for a fun filled Scavenger Hunt and reported back our informational findings. Also downtown we toured the National Palace, the market place and the Cathedral. We ended the evening with a viewing of ´The Mission¨