Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, February 7th, 2011 Tecun

Renny, Karen, and Andre


8:07am Work Day 1
mayan shrine in chicken area
In the van on our way to “Rancho de Teja” in San Fransisco el Alto Municipality or Region, in Chirrenox- community, for our first day of work!

my breakfast sandwhich with a side of
plantein and beans about $2CAD
 We got up at 6:30am, went to
breakfast at about 7:06. I had ordered what I thought was a breakfast sandwich the night before, but it was 2 pancakes with ham and egg between them. We also got to see a couple Mayan shrines at the restaurant. They were the families own personal shrines. The main one they light candles in and pray at every morning is located behind a tin sheet inside a chicken yard.
We drove by a statue of TECUN. Around 1540BC Tecun was the last Leader of The Mayans who fought against the Spaniards invasion.  He was killed by beheading.  He is known as the Hero of the Mayans here in Guatemala because he fought, not because he was defeated.

8:05 We’ve arrived!
3:48pm Gringo’s!
Day one es finito! Yo Poopedo! It’s hard to put into words how to describe today. It was easilly one the most amazing days of my life to date! I didn’t really hold any expectations for what this would be like. Which I’m greatful for not doing. Because no amount of assumptions or predictions could have matched what today was actually like. The Spanish I have picked up was sorta helpful, but mostly usedless as everyone in the villages speak mayan. But the children know Spanish because they attend school down the street. Younger kids in the morning, and older kids in the afternoon.
Calor means- very sexy I think haha. A mason (Don Juan Hernandez) next to me in the truck on the way back to the hostel taught me that. I called him Muey caliente because of his teeth which he received from Dr. Orser in Perth while living with tom and Rita.
The children in the village were so exceptionally special. I’m hoping mine and other womens presence on the project will inspire the young girls somewhat to think more equally about their rights.

Karen managed to open them up to the idea of having their photos taken. I had only gotten head shakes and hands up earlier.  But they loved seeing their pictures afterwords on the camera screen. As soon as I took the picture the children and parents would swarm me and Karen trying to see the pictures!  There was one boy who just loved getting his pictures taken. The same boy who was giggling and laughing as his madre, grandmother, and padre carried his grandfather down to their hut. He was passed out cold from Cusha (strong homemade liquor that if made wrong can turn to ethanol.) The fact the boy was laughing at it means it happens a lot probably… A lot of wives are widowed because the husbands drank cusha that was made wrong and died.

Building the stove today was such a great gift to do for these families. They came by constantly with such curiosity. They didn’t show emotions very often so I made it an effort to get a smirk out of them. The kids were easier to amuse. And they found us very amusing. I found it interesting how they didn’t smile in the pictures unless they were laughing before the picture was taken or at something or someone off camera. They found it funny when it took too long to take the picture, because I was adjusting shutters and ISO.  It shows their honesty and purity. They never fake their emotions for pictures.
Very refreshing as western culture is encircled on fake smiles and fake poses for photos. Never in the moment stuff haha. But once a camera is pointed on you it’s hard to be in the moment cuz you’re on the spot. Western Culture has a lot of influence on the younger Guatemalans in the Cities. They all have skinney jeans and belly shirts, hair all diiid, and headphones in.  When you walk by a hair salon it’s hilarious because theirs a white woman posing wither her sexy 90’s hair. A lot of white people in the advertising here. A lot of club wear at the stores here too.  

Me with the family and my work team of the first stove we build. te house was so
small the stove couldn't fit in the picture with us

I caught a shot amazingly enough of a
the end of one of the sets of fire crackers

After each stove was done some of the families set off firecrackers, which always scared the shit out of me because I didn't know they were donig it and each time I was walking at the front door. for one of the house I actually had to rush around the corner because I was being hit by particles from it haha. Good time tho!
As we left driving back to the hostel some kids shouted “Gringos!!” which means White people lol.
6:50pm Lunch time
Me, Phil, Meg and Karen volunteered to make lunch for tomorrow. So we went to the “Merced de Flores” to get some fruit and veggies. We got a watermelon and a pineapple, which was 17Q and some carrots (which taste so much sweeter than our carrots in Canada) and some fresh baked bread and buns for tuna sandwiches.  I also was successful at getting money out at an atm. 2000Q which is roughly $256.99CAD. We had trouble finding peanut butter at the grocery store and the previous day. But I saw some at Dinner last night at the “Blue Angel”. So we stopped there and got their last 2 jars for 15Q each. Still un-showered at this point because we had to rush to the market once we got back before it closed. So still smelly we went to the Gilsepies for dinner, which was Italian. I asked for “yo quero esso, pollo” and pointed at a picture. Which ment “, I want this exactly, chicken” haha. Easy enough! So I got a bun cut down the middle with cheese on both sides but only uno side had pollo on it. And I had a Gallo with it (light beer)45Q all together. I also to stare at a workout class at a gym across the street while I crammed cheese in my mouth. Me and some other trekker found this amusing.

Max, and Rita

The whole gang almost at Jammin Jimmy's. The bar was quite small.

After dinner we headed to this bar where some guy from Hamilton was going to be playing guitar. Jamming Jimmy he called himself. He played English covers. Was like being back home again. It was a really small bar and we were like the only ones there. Plus 2 girls he was traveling with. 2 for 1 Cervesa’s. I had one glass of this big bottle of beer tom got and was kind enough to let me pay with a Hug.
Showered and in my sleeping bag. It wasn’t even a cold shower! If you had like zero pressure the shower was hot haha. But I’m clean! Which is all that matters (I hadn’t thought of shower flip flops either..).
Going to attempt to type out some more journal entry’s on Karens laptop, sort thru pictures to get printed tomorrow after work for the villages we saw today
Hasta luego! (see ya lata)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Interesting times on the journey of life. I'll try to write up my "life" on JungleJimJourneys.blogspot
    Say hello to Karen and Margarita for me.