The flight yesterday went well and we were all thankful to land safely in Guatemala City.

My first impression of Guatemala City was that it’s a very busy, active place with extreme contrasts of wealth and poverty. Right after getting off the plane, a little girl and her brother approached me at the airport. Holding her brother’s hand and looking up at me, she extended her palm. The way she looked at me hit me hard, and I couldn’t help but to reach into my pocket and give her a couple dollars.

Traffic in this busy city is very different than back home. The drivers make lots of sudden starts and stops, turn without warning and merge unexpectedly. I was glad to be a passenger and not driving!

At lunch (pictured) we met the three interpreters who will be traveling with us the entire trip: Minor, a teacher at a public university in Guatemala City; Dina, a full-time interpreter; and Jimmy, an electrical engineer. We had chicken and potatoes for dinner, pretty much the same food we eat back home, then settled in at our hotel. Accommodations were nice — a bit rustic, but comfortable.

We’re all looking forward to the trek up the mountain today. Our 10-person group, along with the translators, will be making the trip in four trucks and should arrive in Buena Vista by late-afternoon. I thought traffic in Guatemala City was pretty crazy, but I hear driving up these one-lane mountain roads is a whole different adventure. As of right now, it’s still undecided who’ll be taking the drivers’ seats — we may have to draw straws!

-Contributed by Great Lakes Energy lineworker, Adam B.