Early this morning, the SWM team, Eric and Ilse piled into our van. Today and tomorrow we’re going to be visiting more patients near Lake Atitlan. Our base is in Santiago Atitlan at the Adisa center, where we met Andrea, Jesse, and Karen. Andrea is a physical therapist, Jesse is a recent graduate who’ll be working with Adisa for the next year, and Karen is studying to become a certified physical therapist. Today, we split up again. Three groups spread out over Santiago to visit patients, each with two or three team members and including one physical therapist. Riley, Emily, and Ilse visited three patients; Emory, Eric, Andrea and Thomas visited four; while Scott, Trey, Jesse, and Karen visited three families.
Several of the families we met were only Mayan speakers. In Santiago, the local language is Tz'utujil. The langauge itself is fascinating, it sounded completely different than any other language any of the team had heard. It uses a variety of clicks and guttural sounds, unlike any languages we speak and even different from the Mayan language common in Xenacoj, Kaqchikel.
After meeting together for dinner, we visited the center of Santiago. Tonight was the last night of the Feria, a celebration for the patron saint of the town. We Visited several street vendors and played foosball with some local boys. Eric and Riley proved to be a formidable duo, but Thomas and Manuel, a boy from Santiago, held their own. We met with Jesse at the concert in the main square before heading back to our hotel.