Last Day in the Guate

Finals wrapped up about two hours ago.  I’ll hop on a buss for the city (Guatemala City) in another two hours and then I’ll fly home tomorrow morning.  I’m rather shocked that my first four and a half months are over.  I feel like I’ve learn a lot and am very ready for a break.  I’ll be in Colorado for most of my Christmas break, save for a weekend in Tulsa for the Rice wedding, so if you want to hang let me know.  But before I fly out I wanted to write my last blog of the semester.  I’ve tried several different styles with this thing, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it.  This is a list of the 10 most important things I’v learned while living in Guate, so have fun reading!

Never say you’ll race a 6th grade student and then loose.

Always dance at your students christmas parties.  Always.
Tacky Christmas Sweaters are to be worn at Tacky Christmas Sweater Parties with friends and not out in public.
Always hike with friends.  Never hike alone.

Never be afraid to jump, the waters not that cold.
When the Teacher asks you to dress up for a presentation, you should do it.
If you can grow a stache do it, if you can’t, do it.
If you see a funeral procession walking towards the cemetery join in and have some fun!
Catholics enjoy processions and you should too.
Don’t ever go anywhere expecting to remain the same.

Walking and my driving addiction

Hello, my name is Brendan Scott and it has been four months and eleven days since I last drove a car.  Or as my students might say, “drived a car.”  Before I left for Guatemala I didn’t know I was addicted to the open road; the high speed freedom of 70 mph and a full tank of gas.  But I quit that high octane ride, cold turkey, for a much slower means of transportation.   Walking.  

Besides the morning ride on the micro (pronounced meek row) bus, which takes me to school.  I walk everywhere.  First I walk to the bus stop.  Then I walk to the middle school building, which involves a nice flight of steps down a beautiful hill.  Then I walk around my classes, while helping my students learn that it’s drove and not drived or loan me, not borrow me.  I’m also trying to teach them that I wont let them barrow tissue paper, because I sure don’t want it back after they blow their noses in it.  But the thing I hear the most while I’m walking around my class room is a simple question.  My students constantly ask, “Can I go to the bathroom.”  Frankly I don’t know if they can or not.  I’m not their doctor, so I don’t know their medical history.  I can’t tell what they can or cannot do.  But if they really need to go I tell the they may go to the bathroom.  It is fun having the power of permission.  After school I ride the bus to the gym.  At the gym I lift weights and run.  Then I take a nice twenty to thirty minute walk home.  On the walk home I pass three pinata shops, two other gyms, two hot dog stands, a beer factory, a park with a big star of David in the middle, and several hundred Guatemalans speeding by in their cars.  

Seeing a car gives me the shakes.  I want to drive rather badly.  I know the benefits of walking everywhere.  I feel healthier and I’ve probably saved a ton on gas, which is good because my stipend definitely couldn’t cover how much I was spending on gas before I left.  I was so addicted to driving I was traveling from Denver to Boulder almost three times a week. That drive had nothing to do with wanting to see my friends.  Now I walk everywhere and I’ve started having dreams about driving.  I guess the old saying of you never know what you’ve got until its gone is true for me and my car.  I’ll be back in Colorado in a week and I think the first thing that I want to do is drive.  Maybe then I’ll miss my daily walk home from the gym and all of the crazy drivers that swerve to try to hit me.  But for now I am longing for home, not to stay their permanently, but to be able to drive around for a little bit and recharge my battery.


Happy Thanksgiving!!  This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and so I really didn’t expect to eat well.  I also expected to be a slight bit lonesome, but as these pictures will show you I was neither friendless or foodless over Thanksgiving.

These are the friends I got to share my thanksgiving meal with.  The Parents at the school provided a huge Thanksgiving meal for everyone, almost 300 people, and the food was
This was the massive amount of food the parents provided for the teachers.  What a great way to celebrate an American holiday in Guatemala.  I also had a large dinner on Thursday over at my friend’s house.  Both times I left thinking that I never needed to eat again.  That’s a Feast.
And finally this was how I spent my Thanksgiving day.  I hiked up La Muela (The Muller) with some friends.  It was a beautiful hike and I had a great time.  Thanksgiving to me is about friends, family and food.  I usually spend my Thanksgiving eating and eating and watching football and eating some more.  All done with and around my family.  This year I didn’t have the opportunity to be around my family, but as you guys can see I  was blessed with a few friends to spend my Thanksgiving break with, and sometimes friends are as good as a family.  I want to close with a question.  What is Thanksgiving to you?