Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Guate, Weddings, SJP, and Hikes

Hello all. The last two weeks of training have been extremely busy with trips to the capital , 2 weddings, the indigenous kaqchikel town of San Jose Poaquil (near Tecpan), and a weekend filled with a hike, bbq, and rugby. My dad has warned me several times of my misspelled words, so I will do my beast. ;)
  • Guate. So we took a trip into the capital, according to the Peace Corps plan of taking a bus to a certain stop, calling a specific cab company, and taking the cab to our destination in Guate. The city buses, prohibited by PC, look like they are nearing imminent explosion. So we followed PCs plan into the city, checked out the PC center (thats where my packages get sent to. Ahhheeeemmm!); however, the center will be moved to Santa Lucia in January for safety reasons. We also checked out the Ministry of Agriculture Prices office to find out price history on certain ag products for our projects, we found the embassy in case of something horrible happening, and found the hospital where PC has us go for anything from high fever, stool samples, broken bones. One of the volunteers had a bad stomache ache, and the nurses had her go to the hospital. The called her parents back home to tell them she was in the hospital. Basically, don´t freak out if you get a call from the PCMO saying i´m in the hospital. I might just be pooping in a cup.
  • I went to two weddings last week. So, after seeing multiple weddings ion Magdalena(I´m not that popular. The host famlies here invite us) I noticed certain things. At both receptions, the music was extremely loud. I´m talking 6 ft speakers in front of the weeding party table at full volume. It is a very serious even with a handful of people smiling. A couple people dance, but not like weddings in the US. However, there is alot of good food and I feel lucky that I got to experience them.
  • San Jose Poaquil was where PC sent me for my Peace Corps Volunteer Visit. I visited another Ag Marketing volunteer, which was nice because she gave me her view on everything, we got to see their places, and ask a gazillion questions. On the second day, I got to go with the volunteer to a talk she was giving, along with some people from her NGO, to a room full of kaqchikel woman about secret voting to elect an executive board. It is a weird feeling sitting in a room of indigenous woman, in a foregin country, in a strange town, and feeling comfortable. Besides getting caught in a wicked downpour on the way there, and sleeping on a inflatible matress not build for 200 lbs of fighting fury, I had a really good time.
  • Last weekend we, trainees from Santo Tomas (where I am) and Magdalena, met up to go hiking up to an Ecological Park, created by a past PC volunteer, bbqéd, and caught the USA South Africa Rugby game in a bar in Antigua (about a 45 camioneta ride away)

The website is not letting me put any photos on the post for some reason, but check out the link on the right to check them out. Hope everybody is doing well. I love getting email updates, so please keep ém coming...

1 comment:

Geraldine said...

I so enjoy your updates, Michael! I loved the idea of you being comfortable with a room full of indigenous women - and your remark about the air mattress not being made for "two hundred pounds of fighting fury" had me grinning widely and proclaiming to the empty kitchen: "I do love that young man!" And indeed I do. And I'm proud of you. You have an aunt in Frederick, Maryland who is telling - hopefully reformed - hard core criminals in the prison, how amazing you are!
Much love, many hugs,