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Highlights from the first week

The past few days we have been getting comfortable in a beautiful community on the shore of Lake Atitlan. Here we have been learning tons about what our trip will entail, as well as bonding as a group, starting to practice our Spanish, and playing fun games.

After our first night in Antigua we spent a day traveling to the lake. On the way we stopped at Iximche. an acient Mayan town with ruins (some partly reconstructed, some not) and a museum. It was so cool to wander through fields where people were playing and hanging out in a place that was used as a community space, as well as a space to learn about rich and important history.

Much of orientation has been going over important information that will help us prepare for the adventures ahead. There have been a lot of moments too between activities, where we have been able to talk and get to know each other, as well as simply experience the beautiful place we are in. The other morning we left our house at 5am to hike a mountain! It was so cool! One of my personal favorite moments of orientation was one afternoon in which EVERYONE had laundry to do. We all gathered around the big stone sink outside and took turns scrubbing our clothes while we joked around and talked about music. Many of us were drying off too, after swimming in the lake (which is really awesome, much warmer than the Oregon coast). The sun was shining and there was also a slight breeze, and laying there in the grass I felt very content, starting to feel comfortable in my very new surroundings.

Today we took a boat across the lake to a town called San Antonio, where beautiful white and brightly colored buildings stretch up from the lake shore up the mountainside. I am so excited for the next few days here!

-Mila

PS! A message to my fam… A few of us are having difficulties accessing email (including me) and are currently working on it! So until that is sorted out, know that we are safe and having tons of fun. Lots of love!