Monday, December 27, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From the bottom of my heart

(Students from my English class- My sitemates Hillary and Stephen make an appearance)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This is Mojito. Believe it or not, I did not name him. I adopted him on Sunday and one of the volunteers at the pound (probably the only pound in this country) had named him and it has stuck.

We had a rough first few days adjusting but he is doing much in going to the bathroom outside! I get the funniest looks from people as I walk him around town on a leash. Using a leash is unheard of in Guatemala but I am hoping to start a new collar/ leash trend in Uspantan. We shall see if it catches on...

Work-wise, December has been busy without the crazyness that was my November. Every other day some Christmas-related festivity is taking place so people are generally a bit less motivated to do much work. I am starting to get used to bombas and fireworks going off throughout the night.

Last night was the celebration of La Concepcion. As I was leaving my house to take Mojito for a walk a large procession carrying a shrine passed through the street with children running ahead to light bombas and firecrackers along the path. Safety first! A few nights ago was the tree lighting ceremony in the park- fully equipped with a firework display and live marimba band. The Muni was giving away ponche (warm fruit, cider-type drink) and tamales which is the traditional Christmas meal in Guatemala. It definitely feels like Christmas around here.

My promoter groups are going well and I have started my second medicinal plant garden in one of my communities, Poblaj. The English classes Hilary and I have been giving come to a close next week which I am looking forward to. The classes were fun and helped me get to know a lot of people but it will be nice to take a breather. Still not sure where I will be or what I will be doing for Christmas but I am looking forward to some days off before the start of the new year!

This week marks my 5th month in site and by the end of December I will have been in Guatemala for 8 months...crazy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today when I got to the hospital someone (assuming a patient) had tied their chicken to the trash can at the main entrance. It reminded of me of people tying their dogs to street poles in front of supermarkets. Except it was someone's chicken. Tied to a trash can. In front of a hospital. A place of health and sanitation.

More impressive is that someone walked their chicken to their doctor's appointment and then was so concerned about losing it that they tied it up.

On a completely different note: huge shot out to my mother who turns one fabulous year older today!...along with Ms. Britney Spears. Which basically makes them the same person.

Rio Dulce/ Livingston

Some pictures from my Carribean Thanksgiving vacation.

We travelled out to Rio Dulce for a night then took a boat up the river to where it opens up to the Carribean and stayed in a small town called Livingston. Thanksgiving weekend happens to coincide with the celebration of National Garifuna Day. The Garifuna people live in the eastern part of Guatemala and are of West African and Carribean descent. Livingston is kind of like the capital of the Garifuna people

Livingston definitely did not feel like the Guatemala I have known for the past 7 months. The Garifuna culture is beautiful- tons of music, dancing and food!

Rio Dulce:

Jungle. Actually where they filmed Jeorge of the Jungle. Brendan Fraser was here!


My sitemate, Hilary, and Jared, who lives in a neighboring municipality.

Livingston in the day:

Dancing in the street.

Cooking food in the street (with amazing hats!).

Livingston at night:

More music in the street.

More dancing in the street. This woman taught me how to shake.

Thanksgiving dinner: