Friday, June 19, 2009

the last bit

Ok, here's the last few days of Guatemala.

The clouds are so much better there!
We spent one of our last days in Tikal. We went early in the morning, which was good because it was super hot and humid by the time we left. Tikal is so cool!! It will be totally jungly and then a huge temple will come out of nowhere. This is the view from the tallest temple. You can see Mexico from the top and its where they filmed the 4th Star Wars. Just picture ewoks here.
Our guide in Tikal took us on some questionable jungle shortcuts. Being in a jungle makes me really small because everything is so huge, like this tree!
This is the grand plaza, and boy, was it grand!
The cool thing about Tikal was that there weren't that many tourists, so we pretty much had our run of the place.
On one of our long driving days, we took a stop at the Castilla San Felipe. It used to guard from pirates on the Rio Dulce. Who knew there were castles in Guatemala?
The reason for our trip to the Peten was to visit 4 indigenous villages to evaluate projects done by Choice Humanitarian. These villages are the poorest in Guatemala and are incredibly remote, but so beautiful. The people spoke Quiche, so we could barely communicate with them. There was a marimba band and firecrackers welcoming us to each village, and everyone would be waiting for us and the village leaders gave thank you speaches. It was great to meet the people, but made me feel guilty for bringing out all this fanfare when we hadn't even done anything for these people.
The kids loved getting their picture taken and then looking at it, so I took a ton of pictures this day.
All of the kids suddenly surrounded us at one village. We couldn't really move and we couldn't really communicate with them, so we just took pictures to show them and gave them high-fives, which apparently is a universally fun thing.
I think this is the cutest child I saw in all of Guatemala. Just eating some grass and watching soccer.
Maria was so cute. We loved rolling down the hill together!
The people were definitley my favorite part of Guatemala! They are the kindest and most humble people I have ever met.

well, thats the trip. and now I'm getting ready to get back on a plane and head home to Washington!!

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