Day one: arrival
We had an early start to Wednesday since our flight left at 7 am. We flew Mexicana air and had no problems or delays. We arrived in Guatemala City around 2:15 local time (it’s two hours behind Montreal time).
Valli, one of our key organizers, finally met Steve, the Director of Development for the Asturias Academy, with whom she’s been corresponding for the last year. Yay!
After our tour van chauffeur managed to pack all our luggage on top of the van and strapped it down, we were off to Antigua.
Once there, we wandered over to the central square and had a picnic. Steve arranged with a local Xela woman for our lunches: she made us fried chicken, potatoes, vegetables, rice and tortillas. Nice to have “homecooked” meals.
Then we strolled through Antigua, looking at some interesting spots and ruins before heading back to the hostel (where we are now chilling with nachos and beer).
It’s been great having Steve around to answer questions and fill us in on Guatemala. It sounds like the Academy has some good ideas on how they want to use a library but they have no idea how to implement them or where to get started. They know the Third Grade teacher will be the librarian as well but they also hope to have someone serve as “reading promoter” – a person who creates activities, resources and programming to create interest in reading for fun.
One neat thing he mentioned was the school’s reading club. It was a couple students in third and fourth grade that decided they wanted to create the club. The kids are still in charge, keeping track of its members and what they’re reading. It’s great to see kids take such interest in reading; now we just need to get the remaining 90% of students reading too!