Wait, is this Vermont or Guatemala?

The outside of our compound

So, when I signed up for this experience I guess I forgot some of the key elements of school. Like structured days. And constantly putting new information in your head. And having your brain hurt because of the altitude. And not speaking the native language. Well, the last two don’t have as much to do with school, but they are fun little factors affecting this experience.

Stacy and I live in a house with Marina de Barrera. Her daughter, Patty, is actually my Spanish teacher. Small world. The house is about a 10 minute walk from Pop Wuj, and we walk to school in the morning, home for lunch, back to school in the afternoon and back home again for dinner. Marina is a pretty good cook. We’ve had pancakes and eggs and beans for breakfast, chicken and rice and vegetables for lunch and the dinners vary, generally consisting of rice, meat and beans. Every meal also comes with tamales and hot sauce, without fail.

The Guard Dogs

The climate is kind of like Vermont (or at least the way I think of the state). It’s chilly at night, like I wish I had a comforter, and I sleep in socks every night. The days can get nice and warm, t-shirt weather generally. Often times there will be an afternoon shower to add to the excitement.

School has been pretty interesting. All week we’ve had cultural competency lectures in the morning to kind of help us be aware of the cultural context of this country. Basically we have learned that it is important to throw our expectations out the window and simply help with the programs where we are needed. We can’t fix everything, and there are thousands of roadblocks along the way. I’m hoping to work in the stove program, if I do I’m sure I’ll explain it later.

Stacy has been cooking for the school all day. She volunteered on our first day to cook for the weekly Thursday night dinner. This week it’s for 50 people…she definitely didn’t know what she was getting into when she volunteered, but she’s been having fun with the experience. Hopefully we’ll enjoy the food as much as she enjoyed cooking it!

Inside the compound, view of bathroom/kitchen region.

Some grafiti on our street. Its an animal of legend.

Also, I got a phone! 011 502 4033 7013! llamame!


2 responses to “Wait, is this Vermont or Guatemala?

  1. Karen Chesebrough

    What a great experience! Please keep writing!

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