We made it out of Arlington and to Guatemala without any difficulties (I didn´t even lose anyone´s passport!). We were greeted by a few of the PC Guatemala Staff, loaded onto our first ¨chicken bus¨ (decorated former US school busses – pictures to come) and driven to Santa Lucia Milpas Altas, a short way outside of the capital where training began.
So far it´s been a blur. In the last 24 hours we´ve met our first of three host families (one for the first three days, one for the remainder of training, one at site for the first three months), taken language tests, been scared out of our minds by the prospect of volcanoes, been given our first of many vaccinations, had our pictures taken (which shall haunt me for the next two years, I fear), had a machete waved at us by the Safety and Security Coordinator and been told that 80% of us will get diarrhea. And I even managed to buy a sweet purse from a local woman.
So far, I´m feeling pretty good about things. I´m in a little internet cafe and will soon head back to my host family to play with their little bog Bolito (little ball) and eat fried plantains. Tomorrow brings language placements, my first dose of malaria medication and more tortillas!
(Side note: there´s a marching band playing nearby and church bells going off nextdoor, so apologies if my thoughts are a little rattled. It´s a bit noisy…)