I´m in my favorite internet cafe with Hugo (who I keep wanting to call Travis) listening to some fairly current hip hop. I´d be back at home already but I´m trying to send some photos (at 36% uploaded currently) to my host mom´s husband in the states of her and her son. He was in a church show yesterday and I took some photos of them beforehand in the garden and at the church during his performance. He rocked an amazing ¨Locos por Cristo¨shirt that just begged to be documented. Also, he lost a front tooth recently which seemed to really add to his look.
I woke up early today (taking care to keep my eye out for the spider that´s been creeping in the bathroom lately – I always feel particularly vulnerable when on toilets) to catch a camioneta to Antigua to meet our language teacher. We met him in front of Pollo Campero (which was serving chicken sandwiches and fries by 8am) and spent some time watching a marching band play in the plaza, waiting for the rush hour traffic on the camionetas to Guatemala City subside.
Eventually we made our way onto a camioneta. As usual, it was jam packed and I was left with a seat on the aisle. I use the term seat loosely. These are old US school busses, so as the third person trying to cram on the bench it´s more accurate to say that I perched half a buttcheek on the seat and braced myself for a fun ride. At least my arms got a workout as we took the mountainous curves at breakneck speeds and I attempted to hold on.
We got off at the mall. Not for shopping (what would I even buy with my 30Q – $3.72?). To call a taxi. Because it´s too dangerous to use city transport. And too dangerous to just take any old taxi. And too dangerous to call for the right kind of taxi outside. Clearly, I won´t be spending too much time in the Capital.
We spent about 15 minutes outside of taxis to gaze at the Embassy and the hospital we´ll be sent to if we get really hurt and then went right back to the mall for lunch. Which presented an exciting set of choices, almost all of which exceeded our lunch allowance. I ended up with pizza from Dominos. Yes, I came all the way to Guatemala to eat pizza I don´t even eat in the states.
We puttered around the mall a while longer. We considered buying cinnabons. We talked about how we´re all going to go to Pastores to buy custom made cowboy boots. We told everyone about how during our site visit last weekend Justin managed to get the zipper of his backpack caught in some poor mayan woman´s hair. We explained my new nickname ¨KoalaButt¨. Then we got on the microbus back to Santa Lucia so we could grab a camioneta back to Antigua. So we could grab a camioneta back to our training site. I used to complain about my commute on Seattle busses. I feel pretty silly about that now.
And that brings me back to the internet cafe with my good friend Hugo. I´m going to have to send these another time because apparently that 36% was for one photo. And we´re only 52% into the second. And my group has a community analysis to work on that´s due tomorrow.
And that´s a little piece of my life here. I´m not slogging through swamps or living in a tent. I´m not using latrines or boiling water to drink (though I may very well end up doing the last two at some boint). Some parts are surprisingly familiar and easy (like the Justin Beiber playing). Some parts leave me lying on my bed, wishing my sister would get another calling card and just talk to me for hours. All parts leave me wondering what the upcoming months will bring.