Tuesday, June 24-- This morning reminded me of getting ready for school at home- eating a quick breakfast, grabbing what I need for the day, & hustling out of the door. (Manuel fixed pancakes and a ham'n'cheese quesadilla. He bought fruit, granola, and cantaloupe juice too which was also good!)
Today we met our group again at the Na'atik Center before heading out to visit a public elementary school in a rural Maya town. There are three teachers who run the entire school of about 65 students. Parents volunteer once a month to clean and take care of the school. We asked each other questions about our educational system. The 'reform' for their country's new system is patterned after the US's system which we find interesting since we have many of the same challenges already. I was especially touched by a letter from a student that translated to: I am grateful for your visit and I hope you have a journey of happiness.
We ate lunch at a Maya home. The served us chicken soup, horchata and sandia (fresh fruit juices). We met a lady who is working to promote the Maya culture, encourage women to create their business, and writing books in Maya & Spanish. Her mother shared a tale with us she learned from her mother through storytelling.
People spent a few hours of 'free time' doing various activities before the fiesta such as taking naps, visiting a cultural institute, seeing a center that is 'off the grid', or going shopping.
The fiesta was fun with food, conversation, and dancing. Maya guests presented traditional Maya dances and invited us to join in. It was nice to meet the people my travel mates had talked about.
It's our last night with our host family and the last night rooming with Daphne. Just like the owl I've heard outside of my window each day, she's a hoot!! It's very late (1:40am) so it's time to go sleep!!!