Ali Stackhouse is a sophomore at Winchester High School. She spent her February spring break with STW and 17 classmates in Guatemala.
Traveling to Guatemala over February vacation this year was one of the best experiences of my life! I loved every minute of it and went into Guatemalan withdrawals when we got back to Boston. It was such a memorable experience that I will cherish forever. Every day there was unforgettable.
My favorite thing we did while working in the community was playing and interacting with the kids, whether it was taking pictures with them, high-fiving each other for what seemed like hours, or participating in intense tickle fights. Almost every child that attended the school would come out during their break and we would take pictures with them or they would pose and wait for someone to pull out a camera and take a picture with them. After the picture was taken everyone in the general area would run over to you and look at the picture and laugh. It was so funny to watch everyone’s reaction when they saw the picture because they would all laugh at the funny faces they made. Also, if you were taking a picture with other people in it, most of the other kids that were outside at the time would run over and get in it. The first few days, when we were in the community to get comfortable with the kids, we would high five them.
After they got comfortable with us, the high fives became more intense. At first they would be gentle and everyone would come around and it would be a high five circle which was very fun. Then the boys would come and have competitions of who could hit the hand the hardest. They would wind up to high five you. After one or two high fives you would have to take a break. Finally, the last few days in the community were the funniest. This is when the tickle fights started to break out.When everyone got out for recess while you were still working they would come up behind you and tickle you from the sides. Everywhere you turned there would be a child waiting to tickle you. I must say it was very hard to win these fights because they would gang up on you and attack from every angle. It were a good workout, though, trying to run away from the ticklers. This trip was an amazing experience for me and I loved every minute of it. Interacting with the kids that will be attending the school we helped to fund and complete was one of my favorite things; just seeing how grateful they were is indescribable.