July 20th - August 9th, 1998
I had signed up to go on our tour through Rutahsa Adventures. After communicating with Dr. Richard Finch, Professor of Geology at Tennessee Technological University who leads the tour, I decided to go. Originally, Jeroen contacted Finch to get copyright on a few photos at his Volcán Pacaya webpage. After finding out more about the ThinkQuest contest, Finch agreed to let us use his pictures, but let us know that we could go see the volcanoes in person. So I signed up for the trip.
On Monday, July 20th, I hopped on an airplane at 7:25 am in Seattle, Washington and headed down to Dallas, Texas. After tha layover for a couple hours I got on another plane going to Guatemala City, Guatemala, my final destination. From Seattle to Dallas I wasn't in the plane more than ten minutes before I got a chance to test out my new camera. I gazed out the window and saw three volcanoes, Rianier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood. Quickly, I snapped a couple of photos. I was off to a good start.
I arrived in Guatemala City, Guatemala a day ahead of everyone else. The next day I met Dr. Finch and the other 9 college students and 7 adults at the Pan Am Hotel in Zone 1 of Guatemala City when they arrived. It was a little strange meeting the group who I would be living with for the next 3 weeks within a foreign country. We got along amazingly well inspite the fact that I had never met any of them in person before. But by the end of the trip most were ready to go home or at least get out of the bus.
People had joined the trip for a variety of reasons. Many people had geology backgrounds or had signed up on the trip to receive geology credit from Tennessee Technological University. The trip was full of geological experiences, as well as cultural, ecological, and historical. I focussed mainly on the volcanoes and the other geological aspects. Here is a list of some of them: