Today we started off our day by eating some pancakes and eggs for breakfast in the Biblioteca. We had a little bit of down time after that so the people who forgot to put on nice clothes to wear for later could run back and do that. Then we all met up at the office so we could head down to the lake together to take a boat to Santiago. The boat ride was amazing! There was so many cool things to see. When we were getting closer someone pointed out that they call one of the mountains “The Sleeping Giant”. The top of the mountain was shaped like a human face profile so you could see the bump of the nose and the eyes. Personally, I thought that was super cool. Once we got to Santiago, we had to immediately start heading to mass. To get to mass we had to walk through the entire market. It was so crazy! There were people left and right. It was hard to try to cut through the crowd with a huge group.

     We finally made it through the crowd and got to the church. It was a very small but very cool little chapel. The chapel was made in dedication to Father Stan. Father Stan was a priest during the civil war there. During this civil war pretty much if you helped the poor you were considered political and put on a death list. Father Stan realizing this knew that he was on that death list. So, he moved back to Oklahoma so he could get away from the fighting. But after being there for a while he realized that he just left his people back in Guatemala. He was the Shepard and they were his sheep. He then realized he shouldn’t have run away because “The Shepherd doesn’t run at the first sign of danger”. He then made up his mind to come back to Guatemala. Even after his family reminded him that if he goes back, he will be killed. He still has his heart set on going back. He didn’t want to leave his people. He returned to Guatemala to help his people, and like predicted was shot. He got shot in that very chapel we were in for the mass. They even have the bullet mark on the floor. It was truly inspiring doing mass there knowing that someone who laid down his life to help others lived, breathed, and died in that very room. It was truly an amazing mass. I would absolutely put it in my top 3.

      After the mass we headed over to our reservation at a cool restaurant in Santiago called ‘El Pescador’. After we all ordered we went up to the roof of the building to take some group photos. When we came back down, they started handing out the food. We were all eating our food and we couldn’t stop talking about how delicious the food tasted. After that we all split into groups and decided to hit the town. My mom, my sister and I went walking together. My mom was looking for a nice collectable spoon for her friend. So, we went into a small collectables shop and she found exactly what she wanted. While we were there Samantha also got a cute little recorder. The man also gave us 2 wood carved pens as souvenirs for free! Once my mom found what she wanted we moved to my sister and me. My sister was looking for a cute backpack to hold her stuff and we walked past this one shop that she ended up liking almost all the backpacks; it took her forever to decide. After she got that it was then my turn. I was looking for a cool baseball cap that says Guatemala on it. I found a ton but not quiet the right ones. But then finally when we were almost back to the dock already, I found the perfect hats. I ended up getting 2 of them. A black hat, and a dark blue hat. I was super happy that I found what I wanted. It was then time to get on the boat for the ride back to the hotel.

      Once we got back, we had over 2 hours of downtime so quiet a few of us went to the 3rd floor to play some card games as a group. After our downtime we went over to the Biblioteca to have super. Team 2 was on dishes, so we had to prepare set out the food for everyone and do the dishes. We had some chicken and rice for dinner, with some fruit to the side. After dinner we went back to the hotel to do our reflection for the day. We talked all about our highs, lows, and about our different experiences during mass and market day. Once we got done with our reflection the teens, Michelle, and Deacon Nathan went out for ice-cream. After ice-cream we came back to the hotel and played another game of Catchphrase. It’s a group favorite. Michelle and Father Tony get super competitive. It’s one of the most exhilarating things we do. Everyone is constantly on their on their feet yelling answers back and forth. At times the device gets tossed around like a hot potato. After our very crazy game of Catchphrase we call it a night. Because we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow!

-Haley K.