Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bowling, the international language

(Members of the RMU men's lacrosse team left Sunday for Guatemala, where they will be volunteering with an organization called Safe Passage that provides recreation, tutoring and other activities to underprivileged children.)

Hello, from Guatemala once again...

Today started out as another wonderful day in Guatemala. We began the day with an early morning trip into the city and we took some of the older kids from Safe Passage to the local mall to bowl. As on the other days, the group was tentative at first to interact with us, but we quickly broke down the wall and all enjoyed each other's company. The bowling alley was similar to an American bowling alley, except for the very loud techno music being played. The music was really great! Our group and the kids were dancing and fooling around after every bowl, and it really made for a great experience. We even learned a local dance called the "Waka Waka" and would perform the dance after every strike. Everyone got to the dance except Kyle, he was just terrible! The kids really enjoyed our attempt at their dance, and it was a fun way to interact.

After bowling we moved our group to the Safe Passage nursery to play and hangout with the younger kids. Interaction with the younger kids was another great experience, and again touching for everyone in the group. The language barrier was not nearly as bad as it has been in the past with these younger kids because all they wanted was your attention. The kids love nothing more than for the adults to chase them around, and piggyback them through the playground. Some of the younger kids were even learning how to speak English, which was interesting to see from our perspective. They, like us, were struggling with the English language.
Moving on with the day we stopped to get some food at a local stand. This is our third day eating here and it has been a delicious experience. The stores hand-prepare their food quite differently than in America and it shows in the taste. For example, the grill they used is actually an old car rim. We were tentative at first to eat the food, but after tasting the food all those thoughts went out the window. The group enjoyed grilled chicken, rice, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, and home made tortillas. Overall the food was great, and you really notice the freshness of all the food used.

To end the day out we went back over to the nursery to prepare food bags for the mothers of Safe Passage kids. These woman not only have kids in the program, but they themselves are also in the program. These bag are used as motivation for the mothers to keep coming to the Safe Passage programs. The bags contained rice, sugar, beans, pasta, cooking oil, and salt. AS a group we had to prepare 275 bags and Coach Davis challenged to do it in under an hour when it usually takes 3. We quickly devised an assembly line and went to work. 275 bags and 55 minutes later the task was complete. The work was tedious but it was another great time, as we sang songs throughout the hour. After the hour the entire room was full with food bags, and it was truly rewarding for all of us. To top of the day we grabbed 10 bean sacks and all of us had a good old-fashioned sack race in the rain. Coach Davis's frog hops and Robbies quickness lead their team to victory, but results don't matter therefore everyone was a winner!! It was a great way to end yet another amazing day in Guatemala!!

Talk with you soon!

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