To begin our Mexican adventure, we had eleven hours on the plane ahead of us. We checked in and breezed though security without any troubles before stopping for lunch at ‘Giraffe’ and hitting the shops. Despite a delayed flight due to weather, we were well fed and watered and had plenty of in flight entertainment to keep us amused. We had some amazing views over Greenland and Canada.
Our first full day in Mexcio city began by meeting our tour guide, Abby Durán. We visited the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (Anthropology Museum) where we learnt about the importance of the Aztec calendar. In the afternoon, we visited Catedral Metropolitana, the largest and oldest Catedral in Latin America, and climbed the 100 steps to the bell tower and crossed the roof. On the way back to our hotel we saw where the opening scenes of James Bond Spectre were filmed!
First up we had a whistle stop tour of the Ticalli shop (Girl Guide and Scout Hostel) and had our photo taken with Lady Olave Baden Powell.
We then drove to the Basilica de Guatalupe where we could clearly see the effects of Mexico city being on water as the buildings were beginning to lean to one side. From there we went to the Sun and Moon pyramids and we stopped off for a buffet of Mexican delights en route. Pig brains anyone? We sampled our first Mariachi band before visiting a craft shop where those over 18 sampled two types of local tequila (No hangovers observed).
Next stop: steps, steps and you guessed it; more steps. We scaled the Sun pyramid and observed the amazing views before doing the same 800 metres away up the Moon pyramid in Teotihuanán.
Enroute to Our Cabaña, we visitied Xochimilco (Floating Gardens) where we boarded a colourful ‘trajinera’ (gondola). As we cruised the canals we were joined by local sellers and some of us bought beautiful silver and fabrics. We were then joined by a Mariachi band who serenaded us on board. Once our feet were back on dry land, we boarded the bus to Our Cabaña and on our first evening we had a history lesson and learnt about the Chief Guide’s Door.
Today was our first full day at Our Cabaña. We spent the morning developing guiding friendships which began with colours followed by some lively team building games. The afternoon was spent in a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ fashion, deciphering different codes brought about by completing various challenges during our Mexican wide game. Our volunteers (Izzy and Katie) provided the evening entertainment. Bonus rounds required strong stomachs- I’m a Guide(r) get me out of here!
In the morning, we traveled to Tepotzlán and visited a monastery. We also went shopping around the craft markets and enjoyed some ice cream before returning to Our Cabaña where we completed WAGGGS Surf Smart badge (We all love a new badge!). In true guiding tradition, we ended the day with a campfire and s’mores.
The service project involved forty visting children from a local orphanage. It was our job to entertain them for an hour and a half and we played games and make paper aeroplanes with them. They then spent an hour in the Our Cabaña pool, we used the pool noodles to give the children a water ride. The sound of laughter was contagious. We then shared a lunch of spaghetti bolognaise with bread. For us this has been the most rewarding part of the trip as we have met one part of our guide promise- serving our community.
Today. we visited El Rollo Aquatic Park, the largest water park in Latin America. The leaders were brave and matched us slide for slide despite not liking water rides. There was lots of screaming and laughter along the way; even our group mascot took a dip!
We have a further fun filled and busy five days before we head home and back to school next Monday.