Grade 10 Guatemala Trip Update – Day 1

Day 1: March 4, 2018
Apparently 5 a.m. is the same time all over the world but meeting at an airport at that time is just cruel. I imagine it feels the same wherever you may live but it sure felt early this morning. Thankfully the day itself went by uneventfully as we traveled.

This email is just to let you know that we have arrived safely. We are two hours ahead as I type – I think we will remain two hours ahead until we are home – but I no longer teach Math and I never taught Geography so being as I am extremely tired let’s go with meh…

Today was pretty much textbook. Both planes left on schedule and both landed early. Probably the most confusing part was at the airport when we found out we had to pay to check our bags – thank you parents for going with that without complaint – we will cover the return fee so worry not. We had a few hours between flights at the Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) Airport but everyone acted pretty Canadian and went with the flow.

The kids are being very nice and listening pretty well considering some of their excitement levels. The fun parts of the trip so far were the take-off in DFW and the landing in Guatemala City. I heard more than one student say "I don’t like this" – do older planes bounce more than newer planes? It was a fun-ride both up and down – and up and down during the up and down if you get my meaning.

Guatemala City was dark and the airport was very smooth although the Rabbi, who was packing…15 pounds of cheese – did have some serious explaining to do (Kosher cheese is not easy to find here). The other fun part was that when you hand in your custom form you push a button – red means you get checked and green means you pass through – totally random – but it made a little bit of a game of customs which does not happen too often.

When we emerged there were two modern vans and our tour guide, Marla, waiting for us. It was a five minute drive from the airport to Chabad where we picked up a snack – hummus, berekas – and Rabbi brought out some Pringles (though they did not survive the trip very well). I can see that driving in Guatemala City is not for the weak hearted – and this at night when the roads were not busy.

So the hotel is nice and kids are in rooms as we prepare for a 7:30 a.m. visit back to Chabad for some food – it is a five minute drive from the hotel. We also learned something funny here. We called down to the lobby to get extra water for everyone. It was going to cost about $3 USD per Litre bottle. So we went down to the front desk to ask about this price only to be told it was free since we were now asking at the front desk and not calling down for room service – then they sent us away and had the bottles delivered to our rooms. I think that translates with a smile in Spanish or English.

And with that it is Buenas Noches which if you do not know translates as Laila Tov

Until tomorrow… 

The group at the Dallas fort-Worth Airport.
King David High School, 5718 Willow Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 4S9 Canada

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