Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Phone Frustrations and Street Shopping

monday, february 10 This morning was COLD in my room, outside, everywhere except under my wool covers. There is no heat here, obviously.  The showers are heated electrically at the shower head which appears deadly at first glance.  Less is more - little water means warmer water coming through.  Believe me, it's still pretty cold.  I washed my hair and jumped from the shower, opting for a "spit bath."  Abuelita came shortly afterwards to remind me that desayuno (breakfast) was being served.

Rosario operates a small eating establishment next door.  For breakfast, I was the only customer at that hour.  There was evidence of previous customer, however.  I was served an egg, fried plantains, and tortillas - a typical Guatemalan breakfast. Once consumed,  I skittered off for the school with one tortilla in my bag.

boy playing soccer during lunch
There was general orientation at the school followed by some free moments. My classes are in the afternoon so I  took the opportunity to hike over to a phone store only to realize that few places accept credit cards and even fewer Mastercard.  This discovery necessitated walking back to El Banco Industrial to change a twenty into Q150 - the cost of my phone.  Unfortunately, the computer staged a revolt and would not load my minutes.  By this time I was tardy getting back to the school for discussion of this week's activities which include a trip to Mayan ruin, a trip to a volcanic hot springs, salsa dancing, and a community meal.  Check on the ruins and meal. 

As I left for almuerzo (lunch) with Rosario at her restaurant, I noticed an indigenous woman selling bolsas (bags) and other items right there across the street from the school.  She had her wares spread on a sheet on the tiny sidewalk.  My back and shoulders were complaining from carrying my huge backpack, so a purse seemed like a grand idea.  Because I was a student, she discounted the purse to Q60 or less than $10.  After the purchase, she enticed me to purchase various bufandas (scarves), even demonstrating how they were worn.  I resisted the temptation so early in my trip, knowing that I would have other opportunities.  
my new purse

Lunch was this soup with everything in it: cabbage, kale?, another vegetable that I could not identify, rice, a small potato, a monstrous carrot and a bit of beef, served with tortillas and some red fruit juice.  

My classes started in earnest this afternoon with my maestra, Alisa.  Alisa seems about my age.  She hypothesized that Rosario, she and I were linked because of our faith.  They are Evangelical Christians.  The first half of our session, I felt old, stupid and hopeless.  What was I doing here when almost all the other students were in their 20's? The second half, seemed more promising.  There were exercises, conjugations, and much laughter - both at mistakes and shared jokes.  

I've had my simple dinner and need to concentrate on my tarea (homework). Christian music drifts into my room from the kitchen where Yesica is doing her homework. Tomorrow morning, I go to the ruins! Buenos noches. God continues to bless me.

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