We’re now in Sololá, which is a region near Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. On Monday and Tuesday, we worked with a women’s weaving cooperative called Lema that made beautiful products with natural dyes. We helped them with a marketing plan and business strategies. They taught us how to weave, and we “made” our own scarves (aka they were more like head wraps, and the teachers weaved about 3/4 of it). On Wednesday morning, we hiked up the “Mayan Nose,” which is a series of mountains that looks like a profile of a face. The hike was really, really steep but we made it to the top by singing “I’m a Survivor” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” We were also slightly demoralized as we came puffing up the hill and three 60-year-old Mayan women in flip flops came cruising down in front of us. But the hike was very much worth it, the view was amazing (although the bathroom at the top was “very Slumdog Millionaire” -Abby)
Today we did a bunch of different work. In the morning we went to some small villages where we are doing a campaign on Sunday and did publicity for it, which basically involved walking around and telling people about the campaign. Then we went to a really rural village called El Triunfo and worked with a group of women that have a weaving cooperation there called “Las Mujeres Del Triunfo.”
A lot of great things happened today, including:
-Jess almost peed her pants in excitement when she and Nick discovered that they could buy 300 “Cremas” aka Guatemalan Oreos, for $4 (they plotted to bring these cheap delicious cookies to the masses in the US and make millions).
-Dan, who had a vendetta against abbreviations, said his first “abbrev” (“Whats the guac sitch?”) This trip has been full of fun abbreviations, courtesy of Jess. Lolzerskates!
-We rode standing up in the bed of a pickup truck from village to village. Definitely my new favorite form of transportation.
-The boys of Team Oportunidad (Chris, Dan, Nick, Tim, and Devin) decided to form a singing quintet, and they specialize in singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in rap form and changing the words to whatever they feel like.
-We had to hike down to the house where we were meeting the El Triunfo women through farmland, and Abby and Jess each wiped out realllyyy hard on the path down. To add insult to injury, every time we turned around, there were at least 5 Guatemalan children staring/giggling at us from behind different trees.
-Jess got shat on by a bird while she was riding in the back of a pickup truck in the rain.
Tim made a special “star shaped” tortilla, much to the amusement of the Mayan women we were cooking lunch with.
-Abby was fervently praying for her life as we rode the chicken bus back down to Panajachel. The bus was probably going about 50 mph down a mountain, making hairpin turns, most of the time about 4 feet away from the edge of the cliff that led down to the lake.
-This actually happened last night, but we went out to eat in a restaurant, and I ordered a Diet Coke and the waiter went out to a tienda, bought me a Coke, and then served it to me. Chris ordered a Gallo (beer) and the waiter left and brought back a case of Gallo and served one to Chris. And this didn’t only apply to drinks (we thought, hey, maybe the fridge is broken). When the boys ordered a pizza, and the restaurant workers may or may not have called and ordered it from a pizza place down the street (the waiter walked past us with a pizza delivery box)... We left wondering if this restraunt actually sold anything...