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Midpoint Reflection: The Highs and Lows 7/16

Happy Day 16! We are officially more than halfway done with our time here in Guatemala. It’s safe to say that our group has had a rocky start: a missing bag, sicknesses, departures of two students, and COVID all come to my mind. The chain of unfortunate events have definitely taken a toll on the group and have halted the program at times.

But, as we begin the second half of our trip, I find myself (cautiously) optimistic. I think one of our new instructors, Elly, said it best when she told us that we are experiencing the world exactly as it is, in its raw form, rather than how it should be. While none of us wanted nor expected these bumps, it has only made us more appreciative of the activities we have and the lessons we learn. It can be easy to focus only on the negative, but this group has made a lot of special memories together as well. Some examples include: organizing a group run at Nuevo Horizonte when our activities were canceled, running to the store and buying a bounty of snacks every morning during breaks of our Spanish classes, and swimming at the dock at the Mon Ami Hotel.

On Day 14, as we drove back after our trek, I asked everyone on the bus to write their favorite memory of the first two weeks. It made me smile to see how everyone’s favorite memory was different, and was reminded of all the positive experiences we have had. Here are the responses:

Jessie: Being squashed in the back of the truck with everyone for the hour ride down the jungle

Sofia: Hanging out at Nuevo Horizonte, taking in how beautiful it is.

Dylan: After going on the run, we talked about TV shows. And the pancakes we ate.

Siska: Spending time with everyone at Nuevo Horizonte and my trip to the grocery store with Dylan and Sofia after the clinic.

Alexa: Going to Livingston and getting to explore the culture.

Jack: I really liked riding on the boat because it is just a lot of fun just looking around but that’s just me I like looking at things.

Dexter: Kayaking down the motionless river and jumping into the water.

Gracie: The group teaching Jack and Dylan how to dive off the dock at Mon Ami.

The first half of our trip has brought us closer as a group and we have met such amazing members of the community who have taught us so much. I’m excited to see where the next two weeks will take us 🙂