One week in and the whole Central America is having lots of fun, even with the seven hour van rides, blazing sun, pouring rain, giant tarantulas, and occaisionally dubious bathroom conditions.
We spent the first few days holed up at the lovely Finca Ixobel, where we stayed in cabins and went caving, whitewater tubing, hiking, and horseback riding, as well as lounging by the pond and partying it up (sin alcohol) at the bar with our US Army buddies, and a dredlocked Israeli. The caving was pretty extreme, and had us crawling on our stomaches through some tight fits at some points. All but Dan and Tod went tubing down the river, which was quite relaxing, despite the occaisional rapid and the two fairly brutal sunburns. The section of the river after lunch was a little bit rougher, so only four of us decided to continue, and as we were getting into our rafts, the guide told us not to worry about the bad smell at the pullout point, as it was just from the (non-tubing-related) dead body that had been pulled from the river the day before. Thankfully, no harm befell us as we were equipped with lifejackets as well as helmets.
The next day some of the group rode some difficult horses while myself, Tod, Jessa, and Dan of the infinite nicknames climbed El Piramide, a formidable looking pyramid shaped mountain. The way up was tough, but gravity did most of the work on the way down, with Jessa practicing her bounce.
On Sunday we left the Finca early in the morning for the town of Poptun, a ten minute or so walk away, to meet our host families for the week and to see the activities set up for Guatemalan Independence Day. After a few hours of small town Guatemala, we were already ready for a break, and headed back to Finca for a nice refreshing dip in the pond, and a nice nap in the hammocks, something which we have made a daily habit of. More or less everyone is happy with their host families, although many bemoan the fact that it is very hard to communicate with them.
We started our community project of digging a ditch today, hopefully all goes well with that as the week progresses (photo to hopefully be placed below sometime in the future).
Until next time, when someone else updates the blog, this is Amit, on behalf of the Central America group.