Jul 162015

I can’t believe four weeks have passed so quickly! I am finishing my last week of working at Yellowhouse. Today, I gave my presentation to the Maximo Staff about my experience as was required for my program. They commended my presentation (phew!), and I feel like everything is coming to a close. My week of travelling is coming up though and I’m excited to finally go to Lago Atitlan!

This week, several experiences worth remembering…

On Monday night, I got to meet Julissa, a friend of Nery, and her family. They took me out to dinner at Comedor San Jose (I think was the name…) and I tried a chuchito – kind of like a tamale but filled with meat and tomato sauce, topped with avocado. I really liked it – even better than a tamale! They were curious about my impressions of Guatemala. Julissa asked, “What is the Guatemalan culture like to you?” which I struggled with a little. I’ve been here a while, but it’s hard to describe a culture. I said that it didn’t seem like there was much national pride which they agreed with. Guatemala has certainly had its struggles.

Tuesday, I was sitting in the park after Spanish class and 2 young Guatemalan boys in their school uniforms approached me and asked if they could interview me. They recorded it to show at school. It was a very simple interview: Hi, how are you, what’s your name, do you like Antigua, etc. I didn’t get the feeling they understood my answers… After they finished, two older boys came by to do the same interview. One held the camera with a paper underneath it with the words on it while the other interviewed me. I teased them saying that the younger boys didn’t need the cheat sheet! Teenagers are funny…

Afterwards, I went on a Street Food Tour. Turns out the guide is from Texas! It was funny I had already tried most of what we ate, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. At least I know I’ve gotten a good taste of Guatemalan Food! So it started with another chuchito, then a sweet milky candy, Canillitas de Leche, followed by a pupusa de queso (masa filled with cheese topped with avocado and cabbage relish, fried on a griddle), then a bowl of pepian (the chicken stew I had in monterrico), and finally, a pineapple smoothie. The place where we ate pepian was an experience… you walk into this tiny tienda (store) and pass the counter to go to the back. It’s dimly lit with tiny windows over the kitchen counter which was visible from where we were. I could see dishes stacked up in the sink. To the left of the sink sat a parrot. He was quiet for a while, but made a few squaks over the course of our time there. On the other side of our table was a large wooden shelf storing various items. I only remember the bunches of garlic cloves…

Wednesday, it rained. I mean like really rained. It started suddenly and hard, falling at a slant because of the wind. Within 30 or so, the street was completely flooded. Stores put wooden planks in the doorways to stop waves of water from passing vehicles from coming into the buildings. I watched a dog shyly step through. I’m told that the drain system is not cleaned, and it doesn’t work very well. That’s obvious now. Luckily, I got to enjoy the excitement from within the office and by the time I returned home, the water had subsided, and I didn’t have to forge any rivers.

Thursday, today, was my presentation, and while it went well, the setup was a bit stressful. I showed up to download my powerpoint from Google Drive before heading to my Spanish class. I ended up running around between computers and Maximo locations (there are two offices) trying to find internet that was working and internet that was fast enough to download my powerpoint. The internet is SO unreliable here. All turned out well though :) What’s a presentation without a little stress?

(New pictures on facebook!)


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