Maggie Volume II

Alzar School | 04.01.09

It is necessary to start this blog by saying that Mayan is the first girl in Jalcomulco to be able to roll a kayak. She is rolling in the pool right now with Sean, and I am excited for her. So many awesome things have been going on, I don’t even know where to begin. I think it’s safe to say that New Year’s Eve was one that I will never forget. At midnight, scare-crow like figures were burned and grapes were eaten for good luck in the new year. It’s hard to describe exactly what it was like, but regardless of the fact that I was kind of out of the loop, the feelings of celebration and community were definatley there. People smiling, strangers hugging, a scare-crow clowing up in flames..what better way to celebrate a new year. The only downfall was the loud music that vibrated our hotel all night… ha!

New Year’s Day that will remain with me forever. We loaded up TONS of school supplies on the back of a mule, packed our bags, and hiked to the estemely rural town of Xopilapa. Mayan, Marisol, Becca, Ellie, Kristin, Sean, Jessica, myself, ate the oh-so-lovable Beto (the mule-steerer) hiked for about nine miles as Pebbles tagged along. It was brutal but the burning in my calves and thighs was so worth it. The long hike and the scenery that we saw really helped me to see how lucky I am to be a part of this world. I can’t explain exactly how I felt during the hike, but it was the perfect mixture of delirium, gratefulness, and excitement for what was to come.
We finally reached Xopilapa and after Marisol spoke to the children and townspeople, we handed out all of the school supplies. Kristin and Sean pretty much left it up to the five of us to decide how to hand it out, and I have to say that we did pretty awesome! The smiles on the faces of those children are imprinted into my heart.

After a night of awkwardly sleeping (or not sleeping) next to snoring Beto, we began our journey back to Jalcomulco. We were all kind of tired, thanks to the choir of roosters/dogs/cats/Beto’s snoring that had been going on all night, but we attacked the trail with a since of fulfillment. We had to climb ladders that were placed along the mountain trail, and the views that we got to see (plateaus, a mountain with a snowy top, messages written on the stone) made them well worth it. When we got back the hotel, we were so tired, but finished off the day by doing some grocery shopping in the city. We had one task: groceries for five dinners, under a $100 budget. We did it, but it wasn’t easy- so many different kinds of soup! After that, I proceeded to get lost in a Wal-Mart’s toyville with Sean…it was like Santa’s workshop exploded (complete with kids running around like crazy). It looked so fun. Definitely not like the New Orleans Wal-Mart. Today, we paddled the Rio Actopan. It was beautiful! The waves were huge. I get so annoyed with myself when my boat flips or I get turned around…but I try to remember…its NOT that big of a deal. Life goes on. Keep trying to do better. I remember the love and hospitality of the people of Xopilapa, and through I tower over them and speak a different language like some Martian, they’ve helped me realize that life isn’t always about being the “greatest” or absolutely perfect. So, that being said, maybe I’ll roll better tomorrow. And maybe I won’t. I’m just so grateful to be here.