In the words of Wiz Khalifa, "Work hard, play hard". I think I can safely say that we embrace this mantra as physical therapy students and as people. We have been working our hardest to provide the greatest benefit to the physical therapists, patients, and community members in Antigua and the surrounding areas, so hard that Jennell had to remove her glasses because they wouldn't stay on her face. Yet when given the opportunity to play, we go just as hard. It's a fantastic life balance.
Before heading to our first stop, we had breakfast at a traditional Guatemalan restaurant called Chichoy. Here they have the most amazing pies made by women in the community. This began after the civil war when many women were left widowed. In order to survive, these women tried to sell goods along the road, yet they were unsuccessful. Once this restaurant opened and they began making pies for it, it was extremely beneficial for them.
|Some of the most beautiful fruit we have ever seen.|
Today we got to experience Iximche, Mayan ruins approximately an hour west of Antigua. Here our amazing tour guide, Hugo, taught us about the Mayan civilization, the influence of the Spanish Conquerors, and the collapse of much of the civilization due to illness and genocide from the Spanish. It was a humbling experience to be able to witness a Shaman performing a ritual for a man and his family at one of the locations of the ruins. Many weddings, rituals, and performances of the Mayan people happen here.
|The group taking it all in.|
In the afternoon, the majority of us went zip-lining around Lake Atitlan. The views were amazing and the rush of zip-lining had everyone smiling and laughing. Hugo once again had us all laughing with his antics on the zip-line. If you are ever in Guatemala, look up his company "Wild Guatemala". You will not be disappointed.
|An obstacle course at the end of the zip-lining experience.|
We walked around Panajachel after we were done. This town has a large market and one of the best "chicken burgers" we had ever had. The people were very friendly and some of us scored some serious deals on items for ourselves and our family/friends.
We capped the night off with catered dinner back at the house with everyone present. We were able to debrief from the weekend and share our experiences. Another successful day in the books.
Ali Serrani, UNC DPT '18