Thursday, August 6, 2015

A visit to Maria's house

When I first decided to come to Guatemala, I never dreamed I would form some of the relationships that I have here. From new friendships to sisterly bonding, the experience has been amazing and I would not trade anything for it. One person in particular, my teacher and newfound sister, Maria, has been an inspiration and has done so much to make this trip special for me. 

Last Friday Maria took Demani and I to visit her house in Xecam (a village near Xela). This was the first time she had ever invited students before, and we were very honored. 

After riding a microbus and then a regular bus to get to the village, we took the scenic route to her house. It seemed like every single person we walked by knew Maria and greeted us. We stopped in a Tienda to get tostadas and cheese, chatted with the lady for minute, and continued on our walk. 

Once we arrived at her house, the first thing we had to do was see the cow (now officially named Demani) and the other animals in various pens around the rooms. 

Maria lives with one of her brothers, his wife, and her sobrino (nephew). Directly next door is another brother and his family.  They all share the animals. 

Speaking of animals... Other than Demani the cow, there are goats (personal favorite), sheep, dogs (one specifically named Odie after Garfield) and little kittens all around (one which Demani named Osito  which means baby bear in English). 
After meeting the animals, we tested our cooking skills by making fresh limeade, and Maria proved hers by surprising us with cooked chicken on tostadas that she had prepared early that morning. 

We hung out for a bit, but had to leave because camps were in the afternoon, so we said goodbye to the animals and ran to catch the bus. 

Maria has been a huge reason this trip has been so amazing for me, and this opportunity and experience at her house will be remembered for the rest of my life. 
(This post was written by Mackenzie, who along with her Hoops classmate Demani, was given the chance to visit their teacher Maria at her home. Thanks to both of them for all of their hard work and willingness to be open and learn). 

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