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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.

Settling In

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Well, it’s officially time to start settling in here at Harlaxton and fully embrace it as my new and temporary home (which is not difficult in the least). Studies are picking up and students are beginning to feel the burden of looming due dates. Of course, none of us want to sacrifice a travel opportunity because we put off our assignments until the last minute, so hopefully, we can all learn some useful study techniques.

International Bazaar

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Last Friday, November 21, the International Club put on the 28th Annual International Bazaar. Fellow Schroeder school ambassador Suhrob and I hosted the event. In total, the event raised $1,900 for UNICEF. It featured about 20 performances, food from so many parts of the world and booths representing the regions that U.E students come from. Great success! 

Tell me more about Machu Picchu

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As part of International Education week, I presented on Tuesday about my experiences  studying abroad last semester in Peru. I really enjoyed the presentation. On one hand I was able to share my experiences abroad with people who truly wanted to listen and I it also gave me the opportunity to reflect on some of the happiest days of my life. It put me in a great mood for the rest of the day. 

I House

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Every Wednesday on the second floor of Ridgeway, Ihouse happens. Students from countries all over the world present about thier cultures and lives. This past Wednesday Brazil presented. Some facts to share:

International Friends

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Last week was my birthday and much to my pleasant surprise, my friend Inna from Russia, gave me some lovely Russian dolls as a present. She told me that in Russia, you can buy dolls that look like former and present political leaders. These dolls represent a modern family, as traditional families in Russia had seven members. 

UE Celebrates International Education Week


Last week, UE celebrated International Education Week, which included student presentations about study abroad experiences, 30-minute language capsules, and my favorite--the International Bazaar.

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