Phew. I didn’t think I’d be this tired so soon into my trip. Lots of walking, lots of brain exercise, and it’s hard to sleep. Last night, I forced myself to go to bed early instead of talk to my housemates because I was tired. I was in bed by 10:00 and I’m not sure when I fell asleep, but I awoke around 11:15 and our whole house was already asleep! (Or maybe it was actually 1:15 and I was too groggy to see straight). We are all exhausted. (I’m sorry if you find grammar errors or etc. in my posts. I’ve barely had any time to catch up on emails and everything, let alone re-read what I’ve written since I have to walk to the school every time I want internet. Hopefully I will have more time once I get my SIM card and can use data on my phone).
Last night for dinner we had “acelga” which is some kind of green. We couldn’t tell if it was kale or chard or what. It had some tomatoes and onions in it as well. It’s a little too dark to see in the picture; I’m sorry. We also had “pan frances” (french bread, but they were just bread rolls) and “pan tostado” and “champurrada.” Pan tostado and champurrada were more like some sort of cookie. I LOVED those, no surprise. We also had “Sopa de Asparragos” and if you can’t figure out what that is, then please don’t ever try to learn Spanish 😛 (It’s Asparagus soup). Just kidding. Even people that don’t think think they could learn Spanish can learn. One of our housemates, Audria, isn’t taking classes and doesn’t know any Spanish but she is even learning a few words and we hear her get better every day. She’s hilarious.
At dinner, Audria was telling us this awful story about a friend of hers that didn’t listen to the seatbelt sign on the airplane. He got up to use the restroom anyways and the plane hit a big bump and caused him to hit his head in get a concussion. This was all while he was using the restroom so he ended up with poop all over him knocked out on the plane. Well, the funny part is, the family is trying to get us more involved in speaking with them so they told Audria to tell them the story in Spanish. Watching someone who knows practically NO Spanish act out a story about someone pooping is probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. The homestay mom and dad almost fell of their chairs with laughter, which caused the rest of us to fall into a riot of laughing. We haven’t seen them laugh that hard yet. They think Audria is so funny.
It is a lot of fun trying to communicate with the host family. They are very smart and are very helpful in correcting our grammar and figuring out what we are trying to say. It is much more difficult at the projects. At breakfast, we had eggs and refried black beans, as well as some leftover bread and champurrada from last night. I had coffee today, no cream. I always ask my host mom to tell me what something is in Spanish if I don’t know it, but I knew breakfast today. It’s a lot harder to communicate at the projects.
Rosa, the lady in charge at the place where I went today, is okay at getting things across, but the other ladies and the girls don’t usually get what I’m trying to say and don’t help me correct myself. Rosa doesn’t really correct either, but at least we can somewhat communicate what needs to be done. This place is located in San Lucas. It’s supposed to be 20 minutes away, but I think it takes about 45 minutes with all the bus stops and with walking to and from the bus. That guy was late today so he didn’t show up to meet me so I found and rode the Chicken bus alone for my first day! I also went to get Quetzales (the currency) alone last night and managed. I still need someone who knows more Spanish to help me with buying a SIM card.
For lunch today, which I just finished before going to my room to write this post in Microsoft Word (I upload when I go to Máximo’s office, where the internet is), we had salad with lime juice and salt and we had fried fish and tortillas. We also had AMAZING pineapple juice (I don’t even like fish or pineapple juice. Ella cocina muy bien.) Our host family is really fantastic. They are always making sure we are as comfortable as possible. She asks if we like things before she makes them and says if we don’t like it she will fix something else. So far, I have had no problems though. She catches on quickly to what everyone likes and dislikes and how much we like to eat. She also will fix us food at any time if we need a meal earlier or later than it’s usually served. Muy simpática.
And now, I am going to try to take a siesta before I go to my class at 4:00. I’m so exhausted STILL! Woke up at 6:30 AM. My back is sore. My wrists are sore. I had to sweep and mop the facility today (Damn it, more housekeeping?! Nooooo.) and then I helped them cut vegetables for lunch and their knives are missing the wooden pieces to the handle, so you are grabbing this thin metal and trying to cut with it at a table that’s too short! It hurts rather quickly. I was told by the other volunteer to try to switch out of there if possible because it’s too far for me to travel every day for this long (It would end up costing me over $40 a month for transportation to and from). I feel bad though because the girls are nice and Rosa seems to already love me. But I didn’t exactly quit cleaning to come clean more! Oh well. Esta bien. Esta bien. No me importa. Estoy aquí para ayudarlen. (It’s okay. It’s not important. I’m here to help them).
I thought if I didn’t catch up on rest, I have the weekend to do it, but my housemates convinced me to join them on an adventure since all of them are going. Carlos warned that I will get caught up in doing a lot with the short term volunteers and do too much and then be bored later when I can’t spend more money, but since my WHOLE house is going and I like them a lot, I thought I’d just go for it. This weekend is a trip to Lake Atitlan. 4 villages on a boat tour, followed by a stay in Panajachel on Saturday. Sunday is a trip to the Chichicastenango Market (The biggest market in Guatemala). Bye bye dinero. Hello FUN! All these places have been recommended by family or friends so I guess I’m going to go ahead and go for it. I’ll settle in more later when these girls aren’t here anymore. Can’t wait to see Atitlan. It looks AWESOME.
Hasta manana. ¡Feliz sueños!