domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Oh! Darling

After a good month, I have an overwhelming amount of things to blog about.  Although I have a pretty good excuse for about every weekend in April, I have no more except that my list is a bit daunting.  Just the big things are…

-          Holy Week and Easter

-          Our get away to earth lodge

-          Kermes

-          Guatemala sign language class

-          Coffee and music museum

-          All my friends (parasites, lice, and immigration..)

And what about all the stuff in between? Like my class or workshop or section of boys or my Harry Potter adventure?!?

Well, I decided to do the only reasonable thing.  I’m going to Haiku-it up (but not for everything).
Holy Week
Semana Santa
Big parade with the whole town
Jesus is risen

Play outside all day
soccer games, I mean fútbol
sand volleyball too

Three hundred children
Paint three hundred Easter eggs

Can we find them all?

And after Holy week everyone was wiped.  We worked the next week in our normal positions and then after that almost all the volunteers took a weekend get away to this place called Earth Lodge.  It’s near Antigua and up in the mountainous area.  It was great to relax and go hiking and play cards.

 Kermes? What is that?
Volunteers plan all of it

It’s my turn to lead

 Find prizes to win
Buy 40 pounds of jello

Little hard on my back

 Its summer and hot
Water games is where it’s at

Splish splish splash thanks Em

 Everyone is soaked
Could use more waterballoons

But still big success

So, I just started this really awesome Guatemalan sign language class.  It’s once a week at a school for the deaf in a nearby town called Jocotenango.  The guy who teaches it seems really awesome and we went over soo much information in one hour.  I’m really excited because, well for one I really enjoy it, and for two the majority of the kids I work with are non-verbal and teaching them some basic sign and using it with them daily especially in my class would be fantastic.  I’d love for them to be able to communicate better and, well, to pick up some manners like please and thank you.

Time to wash my sheets

And use horrible shampoo

Can’t escape the lice

 Belly feels too full
Something is not quite right

Parasites inside

 I will give them names

To help me cope with their stay

Can be my small friends

Yesterday, Shawn, Charlotte, and I went to this really neat coffee farm with a museum. We learned all about coffee and how it’s grown and made. I’m inspired to get a coffee tree or two someday – although only to supplement what I drink… A grown coffee tree makes one pound of coffee a year or 44 cups. Whoa, I wonder how many coffee trees are supporting my habit…

Immigration Adventure
 Need to get passport
Three buses several hours

Finally arrive

 Not many people
“Thank you for understanding”

The sign says “we’re closed”

 Feeling disbelief
Will have to come back again

Now for the third time

Also we went to a Mayan music museum.  We learned a lot about different Mayan instruments and materials they used like turtle shells, horse jaws, and special wood from a tree called hormigo.  It was super interesting, especially how cultures are always mixing up and creating different unique versions.  For example the marimba, which is kind of like the xylophone, is the most important and well known musical instrument in Guatemala.  However it probably doesn’t originate in any way from the Mayans, but a better guess is from the African slaves the Spaniards brought over.  Huh.

 Well – I hope I covered the last month pretty well though missing a lot.   I'm in the second half of the 5th book with Harry.  Its still going and the tension is still building.
Hope all is well friends and family!

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012

Eight days a week

This week the time to renew our visas snuck up on us, reminding us of the constant theme of how time flies.  The trip to the immigration office in the capital went smoothly and I enjoyed seeing some of the city as the only other time I've been there was at the airport.  Knowing that we've got it all done is a nice feeling :)
Other than that, we had a normal week of school and the workshop in the afternoons.  I think  lot of the kids (and maybe teachers...) were getting a bit antsy as all the excitement of Holy Week is coming up, and for many vacation.  I'm also pretty excited to see what spending Easter will be like here and it was fun incorporating Easter with the workshop.  One day we made crosses out of popsicle sticks, yarn, and paint.  My kiddos were pretty exciting about wearing them and we got to talk about Jesus for bit too. 

And this weekend, me and Charlotte ventured to the volcano Pacaya.  It was really great to go for a hike, be in nature, and learn a bit about volcanoes.  It was a pretty cloudy afternoon, so we actually weren't really able to see anything.  However, this didn't really ruin our time and the fog actually looked really mysterious and peaceful.  I liked it.

and, we got to roast marshmellows from the natural saunas, that is, originating from lava!


sooo semana santa... big week,  also known as holy week, starts our adventures as tios and tias with our sections and all the festivities that go with Easter.  I think a lot of volunteers are excited and nervous and happy for a change of pace.
There's no debate that the absolute hardest job is being a caregiver or a tio/tia for a section.  You are always with the kids - to make sure they do their chores, to talk, to make sure there not getting into too much trouble, and to build relationships with them.  This last part is the greatest fruit that comes from this exhausting position, having the closest and most meaningful relationships.

Although my section is Santiago, a group of 12-14 year old boys, I will be spending semana santa with the section of kids with special needs.  I'm really happy with this because I love these kids and it'll be really interesting to take part in all the Easter activities with them.  We're going to have services for the last supper and Good Friday and Sunday Easter morning and also a huge Easter egg hunt.   It'll definitely be an interesting and out of the ordinary week. 

I will probably be too busy and too exhausted to blog next week, so I hope everyone has a great Easter!