Me siento mal.

This has been one of the longest weeks of my life. I don’t think I mean that in necessarily a bad way because I’ve been having some fun experiences, but it’s amazing that it’s only Thursday! As you can see, I did not post anything yesterday. I will most likely not update this ALL the time, especially once I get more settled and into a routine (Otherwise, you would basically be reading the same thing every day), but I am going to at least try to update twice a week. It’s hard sometimes to update because it takes up a lot of my day to write everything out and then I have to walk to the school to upload anything with the internet.

I also did not update yesterday because I was un poco sick. Two people in my house were throwing up the night before last. We don’t know why. We thought one girl was because she went out drinking, but she said it wasn’t the alcohol. The boy doesn’t know what happened to him. My stomach was rather uneasy all day. I blamed mine more on lack of sleep and dehydration! It’s very hard to do either of these things here because the water has to be filtered and because the street is so noisy. Can’t sleep with all the noise, can’t drink anything but what I carry with me and it’s often easy to forget to drink with how busy we are. Lesson quickly learned. I will be trying to drink much more every day now. I was not able to eat my breakfast yesterday (I think that was also partly because it was a sandwich like we eat for lunch and that wasn’t settling well in my Americanized belly), but I downed a lot of water and managed to go to work (swept and mopped again -_-). I felt a bit better, but after lunch, I felt kind of uneasy again. I decided to take a nap before my class, but when I awoke, I felt a bit worse. So I skipped my Spanish class and went ahead and took my first charcoal tablet (proud I’ve lasted this long without them) and napped some more. I slept for 2 hours straight! I felt a bit better then and had promised to go to salsa dancing class with the girls (The thing I was most looking forward to this week!) so I went to meet them at Máximo Nivel. I stopped on the way and got some Pedialyte (recommended to me over Gatorade) and chugged more water while I was there. I just watched them since I hadn’t been feeling well, which was unfortunate, but it was still fun. I will get to dance next week hopefully. Our cute little host mom came with us last night and sat and watched with me so I still enjoyed just sitting. It was a good chance to practice my Spanish. She is so helpful.

Isolina treats us like family and worries about us just like our own moms. I was late to meet the girls tonight and found her waiting there for me. Haha. She also noticed one of the girls had a hickey on her neck after going out last night and explained that it’s “muy mal” (very bad) to have those here because it looks bad, but also brands you as belonging to that guy so other guys can’t talk to you. We have a huge inside joke now about this guy because Isolina calls him “Dracula” and we all (including her) think it’s hilarious. She jokes with us, but she also just wants the girl to be careful. She felt better when she found out the guy was from the program rather than a Guatamalan guy. But she said that Madison (the girl that had the hickey) deserves someone who is cuter and treats her better. I can’t believe how much I am able to understand. We talked for almost the whole time at Salsa. It is still easier to understand than to speak Spanish though.

I forget where I am on meals now that I didn’t update yesterday. I think I owe you dinner from 2 nights ago, as well as all the meals from yesterday. On the 9th for dinner, we had “Guisquiyito” which I’m guessing must be related to the “Guisquil” we had a few nights ago, but this was more like a squash-like vegetable. We also had mashed potatoes with cilantro.

Guisquiyito and Mashed Potatoes

Guisquiyito and Mashed Potatoes

For breakfast yesterday, we had (well, I only had like 2 bites since I wasn’t feeling well) a bologna sub basically. Weird right? Breakfast? No me gusta. It was a good sandwich, but not for breakfast. Oh and we had a red juice called “Jamaica” (Ha-Mike-Uh) which is made from some kind of flower. It was okay. I preferred the pineapple juice.

This is a breakfast sandwich??

This is a breakfast sandwich??

Lunch was “Chilaquiles” and rice. Chilaquiles are Guisquil fried(?) in egg and cheese. And of course, tortillas. Always tortillas or bread.

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Dinner last night was… I forgot to ask what they call them here, but basically flat tacos with one ingredient on each. Some kind of tomato sauce on one, avocado on another, and refried beans on another. We had these the first night we were here too except one with spaghetti on it (the spaghetti tacos night) and one with beans.

Flat tacos?

Flat tacos?

I’m beginning to love the Chicken buses. I think they are so funny. Aside from the noxious gas they emit (which also doesn’t help in fighting queasiness down here), they are super funny. Emissions is definitely an issue down here. That’s EXTREMELY hard to get used to. I can hardly breath at the bus station and even around town sometimes because it smells so awful. But the rides are fun and the little bus helpers just crack me up. “¡¡¡¡GUATE GUATE GUATE!!!!” they yell for my bus because it goes to Guatemala City, which isn’t really funny, but with their cute little Spanish accents, it’s so fun for me to listen to. They’re also LOCO. They ride at the door of the bus with the door open, jump off while it’s still moving, and herd people inside as fast as possible. The more people that ride, the more money is profit for them. This is why they pack them so full. Yesterday, I was about to miss my bus, but you can literally just wave at them and they’ll stop real quick for you to hop on. It was SO packed on the way to work. I got a seat, but it continued to fill up- 3 people across each seat, with people packed through the isles all the way to the point where some people were riding on the stairs by the door and hanging out the door! The bus helper disappeared at one stop and was replaced by all the people standing in the doorway, but I suppose he grabbed the back of the bus like a garbage man because all of the sudden here he came walking up the isle from the back of the bus, collecting the bus fare. What is this?! This is Guatemala. Apparently these busses have been getting mugged lately ending with the driver getting shot because one girl said at some random stop, police got on and paraded the bus to make sure everything was okay and she was told that last week these muggings happened. CRAZY. But not to worry, I think that that is mostly happening at night and also when it arrives in Guatemala City. I ride in the mornings and I get off at a place called “San Lucas.” I also found out that Isolina’s friend was in an accident last night where one tumbled over. The whole bus was packed and they are all now in the hospital. NO BUENO. Traveling is so exciting, ¿verdad?

It’s definitely a lot to get used to. My body is still adjusting. I had diarrhea this morning so I guess whatever was bugging me yesterday finally hit. My housemate gave me immodium and I haven’t had any since, but I’ve felt like crap all day. I feel like I do when I get dehydrated (weak with a sort of uneasy stomach), but I actually don’t think I’m dehydrated now. Sorry for TMI (I told you I’d be honest on this blog so people can see everything you go through when traveling abroad) but my pee is clear and every time I down some more water or liquids, I have to pee in like 30 minutes to an hour. So I think it must just be from adjusting to the new food. In addition, we only get 3 meals a day and I haven’t really had much opportunity to get snacks yet and I am used to eating more often. My sweet host mom went out and bought me bananas and bread and yogurt to munch on, as I skipped breakfast again. I tried to sleep some more and I’ve been pretty weak all day, but my stomach fluctuates between feeling fine and feeling uneasy. I decided to go try lunch today because Isolina made chicken soup and says “es bueno para su estomago” (it’s good for your stomach) which I would agree. And I needed some protein.

Since I already signed up for that trip this weekend, I am thinking of skipping again tomorrow as well to make sure I have plenty of rest and recovery. We leave at 5:30 AM so I don’t need to be feeling the way I do now or I’ll be missing out. Prayers would be appreciated! I think I’ll be fine, as the guy that had thrown up and had diarrhea was feeling better later that day. He still isn’t feeling 100%, but I don’t think any of us have felt completely 100% since we got here. But I will tell you one thing- There is nothing that makes you want to go home more than stomach sickness. I’ve kind of been spoiled my whole life. I didn’t realize that growing up, but my mom has always had a little heart of gold. She always wanted to make sure we were okay, but sometimes her worries could take things a bit too far: we were always pampered and waited on even if we were just the slightest bit sick. Love you mom- Don’t start apologizing to me. I just think now that it would be better to have been toughened up more when growing up because now it would be easier to deal with being sick alone! But thank God I have a sweet little host mom who worries about me too. And thank God I didn’t throw up. Then I’d be a real baby.

My phone apparently has to be unlocked in Guatemala City. I just found out when I came to talk to Carlos today about why the internet won’t work, even though I’ve purchased the data. Verizon said it was already unlocked. No surprise that Verizon fails at life as usual. If I am feeling too bad tomorrow, I may not update. And if I end up going on the planned trip for the weekend, it may be Monday before you hear from me again since my data is not up and running yet, but hopefully I’ll feel better soon. It’d be nice to have my data running while I’m at Lake Atítlan.

¡Que tengas un buen día!

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