Sometimes its difficult to write about everything in my day that’s rather interesting, especially when I continuously find myself without much time in my day to sleep, let alone write or play :). So in a chaotic mess of verbosity, I’m going to list what I think are some interesting but very casual observations whilst here in Xela.
- my first housemother loves to sing to the songs on the radio. I’ve noticed a pattern or mimicry in some of the more popular Ladino songs … they have a tendency to incorporate either Whitney Houston’s many pop songs and / or specifically Dean Martin’s “My Way”.
- what truly makes a house a home, for me anyway here in Guatemala, is singing and laughter. Much of that where I first lived in Xela! Now here in my second home (where I am truly happy), there are a few students here and lots of interesting conversation (from what little I can understand. That makes for a wonderful environment to live in as well.
- Guatemala is a beautifully simple country filled with colourful Mayan costumes and an exquisite cultural appeal like no other I’ve witnessed; however, I am constantly taken aback by the pollution which is incredibly thick at times, the guilty party being fume-belching chicken buses/vehicles Garbage is strewn everywhere (very much reminiscent of India and other 3rd world countries I’ve visited) and a tragic environmental disaster in the making.
- I don’t think that I’ll be eating eggs, white rice or white bread after leaving Guatemala, ever again! I’ve never really liked avocados but I’m slowly acquiring a taste for that and guacamole. Interesting …. I’m absolutely loving the frijoles (completos) as this time (could be three meals a day if I had my way vs. the alternative) so I reserve my judgement as to how I’ll feel when leaving. 🙂 I do wish, however, that I could buy ‘Beano’ in this country … No such luck 😉
- I’m putting on weight, damn … It’s really hard to eat as many fresh vegetables and/or fruit as I’d like to, with the difficulties of sanitation and clean water. So the alternative is to eat mostly carbs, which has a tendency to pack on a punch. 😮 am hoping that my new routine of walking up & down the mountain (which leads to Los Vanos — the ‘natural’ volcanic sauna) for 30 minutes a day + my yoga will help?! I’ve moved to a new house and am hoping to receive a bit less carbs and more fresh produce??!
- sometimes I’m still scared (or rather nervous) with thunder and lightening (especially if caught unaware, outside or inside). It’s the rainy season now and it’s starting to rain a lot — so much dampness and noise …. And I tend to hibernate indoors where it’s dry like I do in the winter in Canada. But after a few minutes of listening to the thunder, my heart calms and I enjoy the sound of the pouring rain enraptured with the fight between the Gods (as Mayan mythology describes).
- even though I feel my Spanish is crawling along at a snail’s pace, I’ve still come a long way from not knowing much of anything in the language! However, I’m far from being understandably conversant and I still sound like a gringo 🙂
- I miss my loved ones more than I ever have when travelling from home … And this coming from a wayward traveller whose been travelling for the past 18+ years (with a 4 year intermission in between).
- I am blessed to have this opportunity to challenge myself even though there have been MANY moments where I’ve almost packed my bags and grabbed the next chicken bus to Guatemala City. I’m not out of the woods yet ….
- Las Ruinas in Zaculeu are incredibly impressive even though they’re small in comparison to the Mayan temple and city of Tikkal. Bigger isn’t always better ….
- digital cameras RULE … I can snap away to my hearts content and not have to worry about cost of development etc. it’s a cre8tive force that I value beyond words (read journal entry http://www.cre8tivevisions.com/journal/2005/feb.html#feb19_05 to understand fully what I mean!) or measure. Speaking of photos, I apologize profusely for not uploading any photos. It’s not that I haven’t taken any good ones, it’s just that I haven’t discovered the time yet to edit them? I’ve been using Photoshop to date and I’ve yet to find a fast, efficient editor to do the kind of ‘magic’ that I want to! Any suggestions for the MAC? I’d like to use Aperture (a professional photo editor for the MAC by Adobe), but that is muchos dinero and for now, Photoshop CS will have to do (still a wonderful tool … my favourite actually).
- I LOVE my new house, especially my room as it’s spacious and colourful and in a totally different atmosphere. My new housemother lives with her two brothers and they are very talkative. There are 3 other students (a couple from Montreal and a British guy who has now left the school and is heading home in a week) staying within the house, which expands upon the dinner conversation, or so I’ve found thus far on my 2nd day 🙂
I’m sure I’ll add to this list with each passing day, as every moment is a new journey of discovery. Shouldn’t it be, no matter where you are??!