Well, I’m obviously not cut out for the blog world–leaving a month between posts when I was in Guatemala was one thing, but five and a half?! Man…
Anyway, as many of the minute details of my September and October experiences have faded over the almost half a year since they occurred, this post will be brief.
But, before I say anything more, everyone MUST check out the San Mateo promotional video (narrated by Julian Bond, of UVa History Dept. fame)…enjoy!
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6HD7jpNlaE] [San Mateo promo video]
Now, around the beginning of September, and just after the arrival of Paul Hiatt, school ground to a halt as everyone prepared for feria, the town’s annual carnival-esque celebration. San Mateo’s feria also falls right after Guatemala’s September 15 independence day, so needless to say there were over 10 days of festivities.
The pictures of the parades and revelry, along with the usual descriptions, can be seen here:
Feria got into full swing after the big parade with all of the schools; however, Angie, Jessica, Pablo, and I needed to escape for a while, so we headed to Xela for a few days, which, while it was disastrous for our rice-and-beans-tempered constitutions, was a great trip. Much chocolate was purchased.
After our trip the school year started winding down–the last few weeks of classes, the last few projects, final exams, and that was it! Then the truly spectacular part: graduation.
Keep in mind that the graduation of the sexto students was the first high-school graduation the town had witnessed in its entire multi-thousand-year history. The occasion was all that we could have hoped for–it didn’t rain (too hard), hundreds of Mateanos came to witness it, and townspeople, students, and teachers alike were acutely aware of what a great thing they were experiencing. For photographic evidence of the powerful, joyous, and tearful event, see here:
I left San Mateo two days after the graduation, so needless to say the days surrounding the event are a blur of partying, packing, and running all over town saying goodbye to all of the wonderful people I had come to know and love. For photos from those last days, as well as our trip to Xela and my and Pablo’s quick spin around Guatemala City before I left on November 4, see here:
[http://uva.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2163403&l=52bca&id=1522023] [Last days, Xela]
Pablo and I left San Mateo on October 31st. We spent two nights in Huehue studying for our respective physics and psychology GRE’s, and then made our way to Guatemala City to take the blasted things on November 4th. Once that was over, we toured around bit and molested our insides further with Italian food. And then Pablo went to Antigua. And I went to the airport. And then I went home.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my time in Guatemala. Incredible.