Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last night :(

It has been a great week. I have learned a lot about El Remate and I feel we have taught them a lot about the blogosphere. One of the locals, Bruno, has made us feel completely welcomed here; he made a wooden plaque to show his appreciation for the SIFE team. This has been such a life changing experience not only to the team, but also to the community.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 5

Today and yesterday were major successes! Yesterday we had about 10 business owners come and learn all about what a blog is and how to create their own. Please look up their blogs! Today me and Joe continued to teach about blogging and we set up an additional 4 to the blogging world!

Still no computers

Well, it is Friday, and we still have no computers. Anne believes that tomorrow may be the day we receive them, so we still have our fingers crossed. It has definitely been a challenge living on Peten time!

We have helped a number of the villagers create google accounts, blogs for their businesses, and facebook profile pages for their businesses. They are very appreciative of the help, and are excited about the opportunity to help one another promote their businesses and the village as a whole.

We´ve made a great new friend, Gabrielle, and she has done an excellent job helping us with translation. She sells jewelry based upon the Mayan calendar, and has hooked us all up with pendants based upon our Mayan astronomical sign. That will be quite a nice keepsake for us.

The weather is not good, because there is a tropical depression brewing off the coast. Hopefully, it will get out of here before we leave on Monday! It may prevent us from taking the trip to Tikal on Sunday. It sure makes for some dreary days and early nights... but the sleep under the tin roof is fitful!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We're learning about flexibility

After a poor turnout yesterday, we are completely re-vamping our teaching plans. An enthusiastic discussion over breakfastthis morning helped us develop the consensus to get "back to the basics." Anne has really worked hard to promote the seminars, but we have decided that we set the bar too high... it's hard to talk about promoting a web site when they don't have one, or hard to talk about utilizing facebook for businesses if they don't even have Internet access.

Today, Jeff will be teaching blogging. We're going to provide one on one assistance to any business that wants to utilize a blog as their web space. We'll help them set up e-mail accounts (if they don't have them.) Then, we will show them how to set up a blogger account, create a blog, upload pictures, etc. The plan is to help these businesses individually, but also to create an El Remate community blog. Any that want can be contributors to the blog to individually promote their business and collectively promote their community.

It would really help if we had Internet connectivity. The flexibility we're having to learn is because Project Ix-Canaan's router went down yesterday! Anne has ordered a replacement from Guatemala City, it costs $500 (US) and will hopefully be here in the morning... along with the computers that should have already been here.

Blessed are the flexible... for they shall not be bent out of shape!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 3

We are sitting here on the dock next to the beautiful moon lit lake looking up at the stars! What a wonderful way to end the day. Its only about 8:00 pm and we are already about to go to bed. The days start early around 6:00 AM and end early.

Today we did our first seminar. Scott did an overview of what they taught last year. It went well it seemed like 100 percent is going to show back up tomorrow. Unfortunately the internet was down today at ix-canaan so we were unable to personal help them online. However, we did volunteer to come to their business and help them set up their accounts with emails, blogs, twitter, etc. We are pretty sure the internet will work tomorow so it will be a better day to do one on one with our clients.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yes, we have arrived in El Remate, Guatemala! It was a very long trip, 16.5 hours coming thru Belize City. We had a bit a bad news when we got to Hotel Gringo Perdido. The computers we shipped are still in Guatemala City...and may not be here until Thursday. So today we went to Yaxha and to the canopy tour. It was fantastic. I can tell I have been out of the gym though...I was huffing and puffing!! We are now headed back i¡to the hotel for the sunset and a good meal. Oh yeah, I´ve only taken 1600 photo so far. :)

Day 2

Wow! it was an amazing day. We woke up with the sun and had an amazing breakfast. Then we drove to Yaxha which is where some mayan ruins are, I will post some pictures and videos hopefully tomorrow. We walked many miles around and up some pyramids. After wards we went to do the canopy tours which were 12 zip lines combined thur out the jungle. We made some great friends also. Unfortunately the computers are stuck at customs. We had shiped 13 computers to install here at project ix canaan hopefully we will get the paper work resolved and be able to get those by the end of the week. Tomorrow we will be working here at project ix canaan with the local business owners.

In other news. The showers are awesome! I froze my tail off taking one this morning. I took about a five second shower. I learned my lesson from now on I will only be showering in the lake. The lake by the way is beautiful!! You can see the bottom and all the fish around. The food is beyond fantastic, and the views are undescribable.

If anyone has any ideas of what we can do after the sun goes down me and Joe need to hear them. Theres not much entertainment after sunset. Hope this week goes slow because we are enjoying every moment of it!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Leg One Complete

We have arrived in Orlando and have finally cleared security. It was a mess, so unlike any other airport I've ever flown through. Our flight to Miami leaves at 835 and I so need a nap. I will update this from Miami.
We just drove 3 hours to Orlando and am now getting ready to fly to Miami. Then to Belize then a four hour drive to El Remate Guatemala

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Malaria, Computers, Customs, Oh My

Hello all,
Today I started my anti-malaria drug regimen...and I feel a bit strange. This drug always makes me feel bad but I suppose it is better than malaria itself. I also found out today that the computers are still on the ground in Guatemala City, at the airport. There appears to have been a hold up at Customs. Ms. Anne, our contact in Guatemala, has been assured that the computers should clear Customs Monday and arrive at Ix-Canaan Tuesday morning. I had some trouble with our Customs Service shipping the computers out so I guess it only fair that we should some at the other end. Thank you for all your well wishes as we prepare to leave. I'm sure we'll have updates for you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The List

I knew from last year that my list got longer the nearer our departure date so I started preparing earlier...but it hasn't helped! My list of things to finish before we leave is now longer than it was last week. I have several projects going on that are nearing the completion stage and I want to make sure they stay on track during my absence.
We also have to think of things we may want to pull off the Web before we go because our internet access will probably be limited. We have a full schedule for this trip and we hope to impact many people and their businesses.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Count Down

The count down to departure day has begun. Once again we will head to El Remate, Guatemala to work with the good people there. This year we have a few new tasks one of which I am excited about: We are going to put in a computer lab in Ix-Canaan. After many weeks of work, updating, packing, then finding a way to ship, we have, as of today, 13 computers on the ground in Guatemala City. I want to thank Michael Oppel for the work he did on updating and adding software to the computers. I believe he spent almost 2 full weeks getting them into shape and without his commitment we probably wouldn't have made the deadline.The guys at the VSU Warehouse were also very helpful in getting the shipment off to Guatemala. They helped us pack and wrap so we would have the smallest and least costly configuration for shipping.

They did a great job!