After hiking for about an hour, we arrived at the top of the hill, where we stopped and took in the beauty for a bit. Then we hiked down the backside of the hill, into Acul, through the aldea, and to Hacienda a Mil Amores, a beautiful country ranch that is known for its amazing cheese. Lunch was fabulous! Hiking a steep hill after a lunch like that would have been impossible, so we took a micro back to Chajul.
Farewell - When we arrived in Chajul, the other LHI staff and many of the scholarship students were gathering at the office for a farewell gathering for us. One girl recited a poem she had written about the significance of the Guatemalan flag colors: blue on each side representing the oceans on either side of the country, and white in the middle representing peace…both the writing and the presentation were beautiful. Eight of them performed a traditional dance.
Several people stood up said in different ways, how much they appreciated us being there and working with them, and that they hoped we would return some day. Several of us stood up and said some thanks, and some significant other little ramblings – Susanna gave them some words of wisdom about how hopeful things were in Chajul because they were working so hard, and would eventually share their knowledge and experience with their community…I think was the general gist of it. One by one, kids stood up and presented each of us with a traditional Chajul-style purse that either their mother or they themselves made. Rosa, one of the girls who cooked breakfast for us in the mornings, presented me with mine, and she actually made it! I love it! It will be my favorite souvenir from here!
We finished with” leche de aroz con chocolate” (hot chocolate rice milk) and Chiky cookies (store bought little butter cookies with chocolate on one side) – YUM!
Last Supper – Shortly after we returned to our posada and began preparing dinner, the power went out. So we fixed, ate, and cleaned up a yummy meal of chicken and macaroni & cheese that mostly Frank and Susanna prepared, all in the dark. We all teased Katie and Jake that they had sabotaged our power so we’d get to use our headlamps. We also packed in the dark.