Coming from the U.S., I never had any idea that Valentine’s Day could be so important. But when all of your students love each other so much [even if they do punch each other in the face regularly], you really have no choice but to treat the day like a national holiday.
Acting thusly, we cancelled classes (a not-uncommon thing in our school), and took a long walk to Yit Job’, a beautiful, flat piece of terrain about two hours on foot from the school. Upon arriving, disorganized—but quite enjoyable—games were played by all for several hours. Food was cooked. Presents were exchanged. All of this with relatively little order, mind you, which we’re going to have to fix in the future, along with the trash problem: after a grand day, all of the students—and all of the Guatemalan teachers—left after only cleaning up about 10% of the vast amount of trash that never found its way to any sort of receptacle. True, it is a cultural thing, but it’s one that everyone I’ve talked to here agrees needs to be changed. We’ll see what we can do in the short time we’re here.
After cleaning up some more trash after everyone else had left, I headed back, but not before getting lost for at least 15 minutes trying to find the trail. A bit scary, but a bit exhilarating at the same time. Although I can’t say that I had much trouble once I found the path: the constant trail of orange peels, mango debris, trash, and pica pica—glitter and confetti that we all threw on each other as rather aggressive signs of affection—showed the way remarkably well.
http://uva.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2081495&l=b9bac&id=1522023 [Día del Cariño]