With one last cup of glorious coffee in hand, we loaded/ piled/ strapped up the van to make the drive to Guatemala City for our flight home.
I wish that the van had been a good ol’ fashioned station wagon so we could’ve sat backwards to look out the back window during the ride. Beautiful, untouched mountains, fathers and children carrying home firewood, crops growing on vertical hills (how they manage to do that I’ll never understand), the list goes on. I have to say, Guatemalans are some of the strongest people I’ve ever seen, mentally and physically. Driving through the country one more time brought on a mix of emotions– excited for hot showers and clean water, but a few tears welled up thinking about leaving the country and the people (shhh, don’t tell anyone).
Well, now that the sappy stuff is out of the way–
We got to the airport in Guatemala City, checked our bags and ate our lunch before waiting a few hours for our flight to Miami. We managed to fill our time buying last minute airport souvenirs (sorry Mom and Dad), drinking more coffee because why not and taking advantage of the wifi to make a few Instagram posts.
Once we got through customs in Miami, boarded our flight home to Raleigh along with two other groups from the iMedia program. After getting all of our luggage, we loaded up the bus to head back to Elon.
Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Altitude: 9,000-10,000 ft.
Group morale: Off the charts
Friday morning we got up before the sun in the hopes that we would see a volcano erupt. What? Yeah, you read that right, we kind of felt the same way.
After only a few minutes up the trail we could see Xela from above, even though it was covered in the usual morning fog. We made it up the mountain in about two hours and about five minutes after our arrival Santa Maria erupted. Santa Maria erupts about 20 times a day, but you never know when it will happen so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I don’t think any of us had seen something so crazy, powerful, beautiful and awesome (or as similar to how our heads have felt). And then as if the view of Guatemala from the top of the mountain wasn’t enough, she erupted again. Okay, that’s it, I’m done talking about how awesome the volcano was.
Get on our level (10,000 ft.).
My teammates have already covered the basics of Josh Davis’ presentation, so I won’t reiterate the key points and tell you something you’ve already learned. Instead, I’ll write about something that stood out to me personally.
Davis spoke about going the extra mile to get the footage that your team needs because one shot can end up making a huge difference in the final video. While I am not on the video crew for our trip, this point stuck with me. I think it is important to understand and appreciate the work of everyone on your team in order to work well with them. This appreciation gives you the patience and trust with your group members if they think something is pivotal and worth the extra work– whether it’s re-shooting, re-designing, re-writing, interviewing one more person, etc. Trusting the efforts of all your teammates will lead to a successful project.