Riding High in the Land of Eternal Spring

Today started out at 5:30 in the morning when Sophie came around to each student’s room to inform everyone about the upcoming sunrise. As we all stood around wondering where the sun would rise from, somebody pointed out the large mass of clouds, which was blocking the sun. Overall it was a good start to the day because we had some group bonding and a refreshing awaking that came from Guatemala’s atmosphere.

After an amazing Guatemalan breakfast served from the hands of the great staff at the El Palacio de Dona Beatriz, we took a scenic bus ride with the legendary driver Reneé to the orphanage. At the orphanage we worked on taking apart a play structure, then setting up the ground in preparation for a cement layer. I feel that the most challenging part of this process is going to be the reassembling of the play structure.


After lunch, we had a loose schedule due to the fact that there is a 30 person mission group also at the orphanage. As you probably guessed by now, they all wore matching green shirts. We have a great respect towards them because of the fact that they are dedicated to helping the kids. Additionally, each member of the group brought 100 pounds of donations with them. That’s roughly 30000 pounds of donations total. It’s all about the kids who need hope, inspiration, knowledge, and love to become great people. The main pastime is soccer on a really cool mini court. We have intense scrimmages with kids from 8 to 17 and the skill level for most of the older kids is easily varsity at Proctor. I was impressed with the younger kids because they could easily hold their own against the bigger kids with passing and skill. Also, while one kid did a rainbow over me and scored, I was thinking about how these kids had soccer as more than a sport, but a way to forget about the unfairness of life, and the total equality of soccer.

After the trip to the orphanage, we arrived back at the hotel. Most of us went out for a walk to a bakery and a cafe, where the desserts were top notch. Dinner at the hotel was next, and then a group meeting lead by Sophie Nasvik. Overall we learned a lot and are excited to learn more tomorrow.

Luke Weber

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4 Responses to Riding High in the Land of Eternal Spring

  1. Karin Clough says:

    Sounds like a great soccer experience! Glad to hear all is well. We’ll miss you at Sofia’s graduation tonight.

  2. Jen Fletcher says:

    Great job, Luke! I enjoyed hearing your observations on the “total equality of soccer.” If you haven’t read the book called FINDING THE GAME: 3 YEARS, 25 COUNTRIES, AND THE SEARCH FOR PICK UP SOCCER by Gwendolyn Oxhenham (a former star player at Duke University), you should check out the book when you get back to learn more about soccer as a universal language. I think there might be a documentary film about her travels as well. At any rate, your blog made me think of her work, which I heard about on an NPR interview a few years ago. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  3. Michelle Rylander says:

    Thanks Luke! I enjoyed reading your post.

  4. Jon Tilton says:

    Great blog Luke! I hope you continue having a great time on your service trip!

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