Yesterday was another beautiful day here in Antigua! I must say I can't complain about the weather---even though it is rainy season, it usually rains later in the day when we are at Janet's for la cena (dinner).
Yesterday's activities included a visit to a project school for disadvantaged children( I mentioned it in an earlier post), needless to say my tough skin lasted the duration of our visit, however, to see such poverty and such desperation to win any game for "a prize" was disheartening. I wonder what we as tourists are doing by observing such a spectacle?
The visit started with our arrival and we had been asked the day before to prepare a game for a group of the children to play. Bittia (my teacher) liked my mathematics counting game, as it wasn't just a game but intellectual as well..counting by 2's, if you miss a number you are out. Another group did sack races, another did musical chairs. the winner of these games was given a ball for a prize! then the Pinata! As candy began pouring out the fight for candy began...I likened it later in the afternoon to the children having to fight for their lives everyday and here we are accentuating this in a "game".
There was blood! A young boy was kicked in the mouth, hopefully by accident, but one can't be sure. I had to help him stand and then first aid was given by his teacher.
Some of the children were "required" to come forward and give "thank you" speeches for the fun and games we had provided, I felt sick.
I decided my money was best spent giving directly to the school, so with my teacher this morning, we headed to the mercado (market) for school supplies. For about $25 I was able to get pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, paper, glue, and scissors to donate to the school.
The visit with Bittia to the market was an eye opener---it is HUGE and is like a rabbit warren with more allies and side hallways than people in Guatemala. We purchased the supplies and I got Janet a watermelon (sandria) and a papaya. The confusion and the calling out to sell one's wears was overwhelming, so when the time came to go to the quieter city streets I gladly jumped at the chance.
An interesting 2 days, experiences to ponder.
This afternoon we are off to San Juan del Obispo, to see this old town famous for chocolate, fruit wines and coffee.