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XPhase

The mission: do something
The method: we do stuff

It was x phase, a stressful time when the students plan a day and deal with all of the trials and tribulations of dragons like the hellish “tentative itinerary.” We had decided upon attending the San Antonio festival in Santiago, a town directly across the lake from us in San Juan. Cara and Rose had gone then Alex woke up this morning with swear words coming out of her mouth saying she wants to be like papa day and chartered a boat that would pick us up in San Juan at 9 in the morning, for a clean 25 quetzales a person each way. They will have you note that all bargaining was done in Spanish. X phase started smoothly, only a few, Emma and Alexa, students were late. We got on the lancha and started off to Santiago. 45 minutes later on the docks we realized we had an issue, what were we doing here? Quickly Laila recalled what she had read on line “take note of the outfits people are wearing! Ask where the money goes!” We walked up, up, up through the town, through incredibly crowded covered markets. Sedi was almost pick pocketed, we dragged ourselves until we finally reached the main church. Tired and frazzled we finally we able to have free time. Suddenly, good news came in the form of a message from the hospital, a rare occurrence. Our dearest Kat, bed ridden and newly appendix-less was able to see us, before departing to her home in Connecticut with her parents. Our number had dwindled to 11.

The mission: see Kat in the hospital, across the lake and in the mountains
The method: Laila and rose had to plan some serious boat rides

We told the group the plans had changed and we needed to go see Kat, now. Everyone was onboard, so back through the market we went. Frantically searching for a boat that would take us to Pana, and figuring out how to get a car to solola, where Kat was. Magically, our boat driver appeared in the market place, like the angel he seemed to be, he gave us a ride to Pana, where he would wait for us for two hours. We had reached Pana, with no way to Solola. We flagged down a truck who would call us a truck to our destination. We were only waiting 5 minutes before the truck came. We were ahead of schedule. On the road to Solola we were laughing and chatting about how well x-phase seemed to be going so well. But our hearts were heavy, we were going to have to say goodbye to one of our own, one of the pack. We reached Solola with an hour to spend time in the fluorescent light filled hospital giving our love and best wishes to Kat. After an hour, Laila and rose set out to find a pickup that would take us back to Pana. After a few near car accidents, they found one. The pickup ride back was sadder after saying goodbye to our dearest Kat. we were back on the boat exactly on schedule. When we made it back to Santiago we explored the alleys of the city and ate our weight in sweets. Then, as many of us were on the dangerously broken carnival rides, it began to rain. Laughing, we ran to the church to wait until the parade began. Slowly, the music swelled and the parade began, floats of Jesus, we think, and Saint Anthony were carried through the people by men dancing in the typical clothing of the town, much different from any other town we’d been to. Full of lines and embroidered birds, flowers and plants, it was fascinating to see. It ended, and we realized how tired we were. Slowly we dragged ourselves to the dock, and after a heated argument with our boat driver about the price, we settled for 100 quetzales more than we had originally said, but we were satisfied. We had finished x-phase. We had done it, and we could finally go to sleep. Lake Atitlan beckoned us back to San Juan, back to our beds. We hold these moments so close, trying not to let it slip though our fingers.