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One day of spring


Spring hit - for one day - here in Evansville on Monday.  73 degrees and sunshine brought students out of dorms and winter jackets for a glorious relief from the snow before break, and making for an easy transition back from spring break.  What does spring time look like here at UE?

Feeding programs and Tuk Tuks

On Tuesday, we learned more about the feeding program that Mission Guatemala sponsors to provide nutritious lunches for students in local schools. We had the opportunity to observe firsthand how the program operates in two of the schools: Nueva Esperanza and Panimatcalam. We went with the Mission Guatemala staff to the market where they buy all of the food that goes into the meals, then went to the schools where local mothers were at work preparing the food. After observing the feeding program, we were greeted by the kids at the school. They ran up and greeted us, immediately grabbing our hands and pulling us to the playground. We played soccer and “Pato, Pato, Ganso” (or duck, duck, goose). At Panimatcalam, the mothers showed us how to make the tortillas that would later be fed to the kids. They were so grateful to Mission Guatemala for providing them with this program that the kids love so much. On Tuesday afternoon, we went into downtown Panajachel. We took the obligatory group photo overlooking Lake Atitlán with volcanoes in the background. Then our group split up to explore the city’s shops, museum, and gorgeous views. The shops resembled the markets we had seen on Monday. However, it was not as big and the people were not as pushy with selling items. The shops were bright and colorful. There were permanent selling stations with garage door style doors that closed off the shops in the evening. While some people walked through the streets of Panajachel, others went to the museum. The museum was two separate displays. One was set up traditionally with many artifacts behind glass with descriptive plaques and a topographical map of the Lake Atitlán area. The Mayan artifacts were found in Lake Atitlán at the site of an ancient Mayan city, which is now under water. The second portion of the museum was in a basement and was set up to feel like you were at the underwater site complete with an image of a scuba diver on the ceiling and other underwater images of the original site. Wednesday night we went to Jose Pingüinos for a cultural dinner. The owner, Miguel, told us stories about Mayan history and culture, explaining their traditional instruments and dress. He had his daughter demonstrate how she put on her headdress, and we sat in awe as she wrapped a twenty meter long belt around her head in less than two minutes. Students and faculty got to practice making tortillas and playing different instruments throughout the evening. We were served a traditional wedding dish for dinner with chicken, rice, and vegetables. Most people tried the traditional drink of horchata, which was a sweet, rice milk drink. After the cultural dinner experience, we all loaded into Tuk Tuks for an adventurous ride back to the River House. We experienced a very fast and rough ride on the way back, including Tuk Tuk races and “flying” over speed bumps. Written by: Kaytlin Eastes, Linda Hocking-Schweickart, and Nicolette Juncker

Trying Times


On Wednesday we visited the displaced community of Chutinamit. We had the opportunity to receive a tour of the village by one of their community leaders, Tomás. About 5 years ago mudslides caused by Hurricane Agatha destroyed their village. For four and a half years the twenty-one families of this community lived in tents on a hilltop. These tents were composed of tarps held up simply by ropes and sticks. Many cooked with fires on the dirt floor and slept on those same “floors” with no pads or bedding. Unfortunately, the Guatemalan government did not provide much assistance for the community. Instead, the government spent the money to build a beautiful soccer field about one hundred yards away from the community living in tents for four and a half years. The contradictory sight is heartbreaking.

Cheering for the Right (Wrong?) Team

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"Go Lions!" 

The Start of 2015 MLS Season

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The 2015 MLS season started on Sunday and Sporting KC opened the season at home against the New York Red Bulls. I worked in the press box and found it quite tough not to cheer the team on when something good happened-but such are the rules of the press box. We tied the game 1-1 and played for more than 20 minutes of the game with 10 men and still had the better chances. I enjoyed the game so much that really did not seem like work. In fact, a lot of what I do does not seem like work because I enjoy it so much. 

“For yourself? For your boyfriend? For your husband? For your enemy?”

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Walking through the San Andres market you hear so many languages, see so many vibrant colors, and are immersed into the fun-loving culture of Guatemalans. Make-shift booths lined the narrow streets of the small city where countless Guatemalans were selling their beautifully crafted handmade goods. The options of goods to purchase were endless. There were handbags, backpacks, woven blankets, scarves, trinkets, hammocks and so much more. Walking throughout the market vendors were quick to approach you to buy their products, similarly to a car salesman in the USA. Often, they would use humor with their sales pitch. For example, a person would say “Buy this for yourself? For your boyfriend? For your husband? For your enemy?” After evoking a chuckle from the customer you better provide a firm answer, whether it is a “yes” or a “no.” “Maybe” is not an option. If you say “maybe,” then you will be followed down the street until your “maybe” becomes a “yes.” If you are ready to purchase an item, be ready to barter with the vendor. In a way, bartering is a game to the vendors. It is obvious they enjoy the process, but at the same time it is important to remember this is their method of obtaining their income. 

Guatemala: First Impressions

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Once we arrived at the Guatemalan airport, we were surprised to see no big difference between here and small American airports. The main difference seemed to be that the majority of the people going through the airport were part of mission groups clearly identifiable by their matching brightly colored t-shirts. We met our rides outside and piled into two passenger vans. They tied our luggage to the top and made our way toward Panajachel, where we would be staying for the next week.

Our plays are the best plays

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Performances at UE are always a pleasure to watch, from the actors to the costume designs to the sets. Every time, I leave Shanklin Theatre in awe at my fellow students' skills, and it's really no wonder that UET is one of the best programs in the country. As a senior, I am sad to say goodbye to the four plays a year I've become so accustomed to, but I hope to catch as many as I can, no matter where life takes me.

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March Madness

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With Spring just around the corner and time flying faster than ever, Harlaxton students are clinging to each day and hoping it slows down. We have had so many incredible travels and an equal amount of good times while at the manor. The last week has given us the opportunity to travel to Southwell and see a workhouse and to explore Harlaxton and learn about much of the building's history. It was amazing to see the areas of Harlaxton that we had never been able to see before. There's so much to learn here and we will have only scratched the surface after we leave here. Our lives are changing from our experiences, relationships, and the knowledge we are gaining each day at our new home! 


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Spring break is right around the corner and yet we are about to get covered in snow again later on today! I am very excited for this to happen because our campus only gets prettier when it is covered in snow. I can't wait to be able to walk to class as the snowflakes hit my face on their way down and hopefully I will even be able to go out with my friends and have a snowball fight or build a snowman. Who knows, perhaps we might even get a snowday and all of the students will get to rest, study and play in the snow throughout the day! I will attach a picture of the last snow day here on campus below and like always be sure to check my related music video which today happens to be Snow by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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