I WROTE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ON SUNDAY NIGHT BUT COULDN'T GET TO INTERNET:
I feel like so much has happened yet nothing at all. On Saturday we all boarded some PC mini-buses and went out to our communities. I was the first of ten to be dropped off and was quite nervous to meet my familia nueva (new family). However Dona Ingrid and her new baby, Carmila, greeted me at the door of the boot shop they own. Don Cruz (ok I THINK that is his name but people keep calling him either Cruzando or Armando…I need to figure this out ASAP!) Don “Cruz” came home for lunch and we all ate. They are a very sweet and living young couple and I feel privileged to be part of their family as they grow. Also Don “Cruz”’s parents live in the same house and names soon to come on them! People seem to mumble their names every time I ask. Now that I’ve been here a few days I think it would be rude to ask so I will try to find a way to figure them out. O there is also a dog named Sultan who is a 4 month old hound dog that looks way too much like Shanti. The town I live in is technically Pueblo Nuevo but it is right down the road from San Luis Las Carretas which is where I’ll be every Monday through Saturday for language and culture class for the next 3 months. Sunday another PCT, Mary, and I walked through the VERY small town (called “aldea” here) to go watch the local soccer team play. The town is mostly on one main road so I won’t be getting lost too much. And walking alone I’ve only received one bit of harassment when an older man said “guapa” (beautiful) instead of hello but if that’s the worst of it I’ll take it!
The last two days I’ve been to Antigua and it is beautiful. PCTs are not allowed to go during the 3 month training unless you go with your host family and conveniently my host family usually goes and walks around every weekend! Saturday it rained in the afternoon so we just went to the church named La Iglesia de Santo Hermano Pedro. On Sunday we lucked out with the weather and walked around a lot of the main plaza and saw another big yellow Iglesia but I did not catch the name. This big Iglesia has catacombs beneath it! Umm….Awesome! I’m excited to go to Antigua some more and check out the bookstores and coffee shops I passed by. It’s also nice traveling a big town when I am with Guatemaltecas (Guatemalans) because they know so much and I feel very safe.
Tonight on the way home from Antigua we went to Ingrid’s parents’ house for dinner. My stomach was not feeling well all day from the malaria medicine I’m on so I tried with all my might to put the food in my stomach but it was not easy. Here it is considered very rude not to finish your meal. Since I just met the whole extended family I did not want to come off wrong so I just sucked it down. My cultural lesson for this blog (although really I have muchos) is what I learned at dinner tonight. I was talking to Ingrid’s sister after dinner and in my understanding and translation she said, “It’s funny because you Gringos always want to leave the US and are so excited to arrive in Guatemala but us Guatemaltecas are the opposite we don’t want to leave and are so happy here.” She continued on about family and such. I thought this sentiment was interesting and true, at least for the Peace Corps Volunteer population. They do not have much but they have their family and are content with their lives. I love my life in the States but I always wanted more and I thought PC would help me figure out what “more” was. Maybe at the end of this whole experience I’ll have realized that the thing I wanted most was my family which I’ve always had in the US. Maybe I should appreciate what I have and my family more. Just something for all to ponder…