Hi all! I arrived safely in Guatemala on Tuesday. We woke up around 3:30 am and left the hotel at 4:30am and then our plane left Atlanta around 10. The flight went well and we arrived safely. After taking a camioneta or ¨chicken bus¨to the Peace Corps Office I was promptly pulled out to have my Spanish level tested. I thought I did terrible considering the complete lack of sleep but I tested into the advanced group! The last few days has been full of meeting going over official policy and tips for safety. And yes it is true, it is very common to carry a machete here in Guate.
Aside from all the meetings I have met some really great people here. I am currently rooming with Audra from Indiana and we are living with Doña Julia and her 6 daughters. She said though for these days we are there she has 8 daughters. Everyone in Guatemala is so welcoming and says hello passing on the street. Last night Audra and I walked around town with three of the girls. I have also met many awesome other Peace Corps Trainees (PCT). It is the first time I do not have to justify why I joined the peace corps to anyone becasue they all get it!
Tomorrow I will move to my next host family in the small town of San Luis Las Carretas. I will live with Don Cruz and Doña Ingrid. They are 25 and 26 and have a one month old baby. I will be living by myself with the family which makes me a little nervous becasue I wish my speaking skills were better but I guess practice makes perfect! We are assigned groups of 5 people that will also live in the same community and we will have class together every day all day. We will practice our spanish as well as some technical skills. Our teacher lives in the town as well and his name is Chepe and he has been working with Peace Corps for 27 years so I know we are all in good hands.
Finally, I want to note how green and beautiful Guate is! I have seen a few volcanos already! AWESOME! This is everything I wanted and nothing I expected. I am actually on my way to becomming a Peace Corps Volunteer and I couldn´t be happier. I know I will face some tough days but I also know I will make it through. Thanks to all for your support and I´d love to hear from you. This is my mailing address for the next 3 months:
Kelly Knapp, PCT
Cuerpo de Paz
Apartado Postal 66
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, 03001
Guatemla, Centro América