But just barely. Sorry for the huge delay in blogs, it’s been crazy!
My parents arrived last Tuesday and I met them in Antigua way early Wednesday morning in a totally Guatemalan fashion. I spent $30 American to NOT have to take a shuttle or cab and just have a quick, easy, safe, private ride waiting to take me to Antigua when I arrived at the airport at the crack of dawn. Of course this ride doesn’t show, so I am on the phone with the shuttle company and they are going to “remedy” the situation. Instead, a rusty- toxic emitting cab shows up that can barely make it up the mountain roads, even the chicken busses were passing us (brightly painted school busses, you need to see one to believe them)! Needless to say I get there, but hey its Guatemala.
We spent 3 nights in Antigua and went to Lake Atitlan for a day. Antigua is beautiful, very catered to tourists and completely hidden behind walls. In Guatemala, the façade of every building is hidden behind a protective wall, in order to experience Antigua specifically, but Guatemala in general, you need to look behind the wall and through every doorway.
Highlight at Lake Atitlan- I found HUMMUS. Actually I found an Israeli restaurant (shocking!) and they had hummus and it was amazing and blissful and pretty much completed my life.
Actually, Lake Atitlan is gorgeous and the towns are charming in a very untraditional way. They are a true blend of tourist and authentic culture. Lots of textile markets and if you walk far enough you can find the food too, selling fruit, bread, tortilla, vegetables, rice and beans.
We ended our trip by flying up to Tikal and walking though the Mayan ruins, which are truly incredible, especially if you consider that they built structures up to 70 meters without the use of metals, the wheel, or animal power. I loved climbing on the ruins, being able to touch them and interact with the structures. It makes the experience so personal, and I crossed one more thing of my bucket list!
Ok so that’s the cliff notes and gets us back to Monday, when my parents came to the orphanage. There is a room here full of computers and so I tasked my Dad with taking a look and organizing a little. We basically discovered that nothing works and if it turns on (which was only 4 of about 20) the hard-drive has been wiped so clean there isn’t even an operating system. But we wouldn’t know much anyway because all the computer accessories (ie. mouse and keyboard) are so dated they don’t fit into the USB port computers. Basically, it’s a total mess and personally, I think they should get rid of it all and start fresh with 5 or 6 compatible computers.
It would be amazing if we could get the kids access to a program of computer literacy. For the future, and even now, computer skills matter more than anything else when it comes to careers. Even just using a computer can compensate for weaknesses in other areas. Even I am able to conceal the fact that I can’t sepll, (well mostly).
Really good week! But it’s amazing how when you go away, your work doesn’t. Which is why life was CRAZY yesterday. We were down a teacher in the classroom unexpectedly, and of course today was Wednesday, which is my alone day anyway. So, I decided to make today numbers day! I made individualized packets for each of the kids depending on their level and they had number games in them, like find the numbers and color, connect the dots and price the objects. Of course these packets were drawn by hand, because the copier is a rarity. Then in the afternoon we did a scavenger hunt. I put numbers all around the outside and they had to run from 1-10 in order. At 10 were lollypops. I also made BINGO cards but we ran out of time- maybe tomorrow?
Then last night I also attended a Guatemalan bridal shower. It was a surprise for one of the teachers/parents who is getting married and leaving Casa B next month. The women were so sweet, they made cards with important messages about marriage, someone did testimonial and we did the traditional game of taping money to the bride. Usually I loathe those kinds of events, but this was simple, nice and truly from the heart and there were no corny games and the food was delicious. I can’t even describe this pastry, but it was made in caramelized fig juice with fresh figs on top and inside a crape like wrap with the thickness of a pancake. Hey, that’s actually not a bad description!
Ok that’s enough, and I’m at present day. Where I have my first second to write and procrastinate translating my English lesson plan into Spanish for tomorrow. So there it is, I’m alive and back and I can’t believe I only have one more month. Time has flown- pardon my cliché.