Day 7 - Climb Volcano, Check.
Wow, there is a lot to relate since I wrote last. We have made plans, had them changed, made them again. Those plans included hanging out at the Manchen orphanage with the girls, climbing a volcano in the hopes of seeing some real live lava flow, and playing with the local villagers of Alotenango. Some of these plans were successfully completed, while others encountered major setbacks.
The girls of Manchen are the main purpose of our week long stint here in Antigua. But circumstances have arisen that have made our travel to the tiny, overpopulated, prison-of-sorts, impossible. The first day we arrived to play, hang out, and talk with these special girls, a very dramatic scene began to play out. (Though many of us gringos didn't seem to notice) That day, one girl was suddenly transferred to a different orphanage 4 hours away. She was a gangbanger before being brought to Manchen (probably scooped up by the police) and a rival gang became aware of her permanent whereabouts and made it known that there was a hit out on her. This particular girl was also a lesbian and had a girlfriend at the orphanage and ran with a few other girls who idolized her and her way of life. Unfortuantely, that life includes violence and revenge as well as empowerement. Her leaving brought tears and cries for justice from those she left behind. Those tears turned to rage and two days later, those same girls vandalized the courtyard, breaking glass and attempting to escape. Perhaps they were trying to be sent away as well, so they could all be together again. At any rate, while the orphanage is being put back together and the girls are placed on serious lock-down, we are not permited to visit. Hopefully, we will visit tomorrow, but there's no guarantee.