Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 70+

I'm not on my normal computer, and I'm not sure what day it far as counting goes. We haven't had internet at the Hogar for two weeks now. (That's a long and ridiculous story. I'll tell you another time when I have more than Q12 in my pocket and am paying for every minute.) Anyway, Christmas was good and fun and special. It was great watching the fireworks explode all over Guatemala city as Christmas Eve turned into Christmas.

Just letting you all know that I'm alive and safe and have plenty of stories to tell. Blessings to all of you. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 56

I was going to post this on Saturday, but then I was too tired. Then I was going to post it on Sunday, but I was feeling a little nauseous. So, here it is on Monday.

Saturday night, Alba (our cook here) invited me and a couple boys to go to a fiesta (party/celebration) in the village with her. It was a traditional celebration, something about the Virgin. It included a shrine, a parade, fireworks, and food. I think it's a typical Latin American thing. Anyway, after a little hassle getting permission for the boys to go and then after changing boys a couple times, we set out for the party. When we got there, there were people dancing in a circle wearing costumes. It reminded me a lot of the dances of the older people at pow-wows, but the costumes these people were wearing were those of contemporary super heroes and cartoon characters. (This is some cultural thing I haven't yet figured out.)

After the dancing was finished, they set off some fireworks. They were literally lit about 20 feet from where I was standing...and that's only because the guy lighting them told us to move because he was going to light them right where we were standing! (eek!) And they were exploding right over our heads. Nice experience, really, but not one I want to repeat.

After we survived that, they started the parade. The shrine started in the church at 7 pm and the slow walk out the door began. We walked with it for just about 3 minutes. The boys wanted to do the whole thing, but Alba said "no." In all fairness, I didn't want to do the whole thing either. She said it would end at 3 am, but at 4 am the noise of the parade woke me up. 9 hours of walking in 40 degree weather isn't high on my agenda.

We went back to get some food. I had churrascos (a sort of meat served with tortillas and what appeared to be cole slaw) and chuchitos (sort of like a fact, I'm not sure what the difference was), and we also had hot punch. As far as I can gather, it's their version of warm apple cider. I'll take it. :-P

When we were done eating, the boys and I walked back to the Hogar. Juan Elias kept putting his arm around me every time a vehicle passed us. I am aware that as an American female, I'm a little bit of a target around here. However, as a single American female, it is worse. So, Juan was making sure that I was as protected as I could be. Erick and Jorge were mostly oblivious to our entire walk home, but they all enjoy our trip.

Anyway, the boys are bugging me to come to breakfast; so I'll get headed out for now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 54

(I've actually been mulling this post over for a few days; so some things may be lost.)

I have found that the Spanish I studied in high school and college is pretty much worthless. (No offense to any of you who might be reading this who taught me in those classes. You didn't know.) So, here is a Guatemalan Spanish lesson for all of you:

1. Agua
While "agua" still means "water," when someone offers you "agua," they might also be offering you coffee, soda pop, or juice. The word "bebida" (which means "drink") is not used and is on the verge of being archaic.

2. Chucho
For those of us who struggle with the dreaded "rr" or "rolled r," this word is a blessed relief. "Chucho" means "mutt dog," and in Guatemala, any dog I am likely to encounter will be of this variety. I am saved from using the dreaded "perro."

3. Novio
When I was originally taught this word, it meant "boyfriend." However, I was later taught that it meant something more like "fiance" and that the phrase "mi amigo" (my [male] friend) meant "boyfriend." The good news is that here in Guatemala, "novio" means boyfriend, and I don't have to tiptoe around talking about my friends.

(Okay, I'm positive I had about 5 of these. I guess I'll have to get back to all of you with the rest of these.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 51

I was sitting at breakfast today trying to remember when I last updated; so I decided it was time for an update. The last 5 days have either been so slow that it wasn't worth saying much or so busy that I haven't had time to say anything. I guess the big news as of late is my two Grandes English classes. For the most part, they haven't been showing up. Yesterday, Estuardo asked me for a list of who showed up that day. In 2 classes, a total of 5 grandes had shown up, but the two in the first class just left partway through. I did not give them permission to leave. So, when Estuardo asked for a list, I gave him the names of the three boys who had come to the later class and stayed until I gave them permission to leave. My second class of Medianos is a little rough too. I have one boy who can't read or write Spanish (let alone English). He's always disrupting class and asking if he can leave and whatever else he can think of to do to curb his boredom. Not really sure what to do with him, but wringing his neck is somewhat high on the list.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 46 (morning)

I meant to write yesterday as it would have been half of my first 90 days, but I obviously didn't. I'm booking plane tickets back for March 9 to March 23. I'll get in LATE on the 9th, and I leave EARLY on the 23. Doing anything on either of those two days is out of the question. (Sorry, but this is mostly due to when Spirit flies in and out of Guatemala City. Nothing I can do about it.)

By the way, I thought I'd be able to write snail mail more often, but in the last 46 days, I've seriously seen a post office only once. I've seen an ATM twice.

In other news, I'm hungry. I think I might even eat frijoles for breakfast if they're my only option...