Saturday, January 20, 2007

Some crazy stuff that happened before I landed back in SF tuesday night:


Volcanoes erupting.

Meeting the radical guatemalan libertarian and the neoliberal capitalist guatemalan-american the first weekend. . . and then running into them both again my last weekend. Our last conversation was kicked off wtih something like: "you guys just lost the best secretary of state you ever had." ay yai yai.

Fireworks, an every day occurence, actually getting so out of hand that they took the power out on Christmas eve just before I could watch the dad in The Christmas Story put the leg lamp in the living room window. Yes, even in central america they play The Christmas Story for 24 hours.

Swimming in a volcanic lake on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Calling my teacher something nasty when trying to conjugate the verb poder. (okay, that wasn't really that crazy. Situations like that were a dime a dozeen. . . like when my friend said she was diarrhea instead of saying that she has diarrhea).

Losing a a 32-year old teacher at the school who died while having an operation to have more kids. She was the sister of another teacher and everyone's friend. The funeral went from funeral home to cathedral to cemetery. Em and I rode down from the mountain school (hour and a half each way) in the back of a pick up with 17 other people. . . oh and 9 of those people were norwegian. You can imagine the spectacle. Gueras del pick-up.

Falling in love with the incredible people I met - de Neuva York, Irelanda, y Engleterra.

Meeting the person that ranked all the language schools in Guatemala and finding out the PLQ is the best school of all language schools in Guatemala. . . though I already kind of knew this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The countdown is on until I return and it seems a little sacreligious to be on a computer at all. I feel like I'm biding time until I can be in my home, around my friends, and closer to my family, but at the same time I'm not ready to leave. This has been a pretty hard week in a lot of ways, especially with learning spanish. I don't know if it's because I've hit saturation or if it's because I keep learning obscure things that I never use in conversation but I've definitely become quieter. The weather turned a bit cloudy so the couple hours of sunshine that we've been blessed with everyday that alleviate the constant chill are missing.

But oh, how easy it is to love Xela. It's something I didn't understand really when I got here. There seemed like plenty of other prettier and warmer places in Guatemala but after 3 weeks, it's become the most familiar place to me. It's hard to imagine a city with huge signs and stores with racks and racks of things, sidewalks made for people to walk on without tripping, roads with more than one lane, paying more than $2 for almost anything, and being a place where people don't say "good morning," "good afternoon," and "good evening" to everyone they see. Here comes the romanticizing phase.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hola chicas y chicos. This past week I left my temporary home of Quetzaltenango for La Escuela de la Montana (I can't believe there is no n with a tilda on this keyboard). Anyway, living in rual Guate was a different world. Houses with no floors and everything cooked on wood ovens. Oh the fresh homemade tortillas!!! Oddly, there are still lots of sound systems in this otherwise tranquilo environment and they are either blaring reggaeton, or the sermon of an evangelical church. . . these churches are everywhere, the services go all night and they are always broadcasted. que bueno.

I also have become accustomed to this kind of travel and am happy to say that not only does it change the way I think about transportation planning, but riding chicken buses has proven to be 100% safer than my first bus ride in Guate on a "first class" bus. On that fateful bus ride (8 hours), the 18 year old driving it seemed to be working out some anger and by the time they dropped us in Xela, he had busted an axel or something.

off to study for my last week of school.

Monday, January 01, 2007