Third Day in Guatemala

Zuleika Lewis


October 7, 2009

Today is the third day since we landed in the calm and vibrant country of Guatemala. After staring the morning with a long shower not knowing if after we would have to carry water in buckets we could not wait to meet our families. The day went as usual with patient for a good breakfast in a local restaurant in Antigua while our bags were already heading the road to our new homes in  Santo Tomas, Milpas-Alta.

To energize after having a food coma from breakfast we played a game call Red Rover where we divided ourselves into two teams creating two horizontal chains parallel to one another. One team had to hold hands while calling the name from the opposite team to come running as hard as they could and break the chain. If that person got to break the chain they automatically belonged to that team. The team that had more people won and of course I was lucky enough to be part of that group. If you haven’t yet played Red Rover I recommend it.

After having energy dancing inside our bodies at a fast speed we sat in a circle to talk about what to expect before going with our families. Also we talked about our fears in general while with our families and during the next 7 months. A lot of us were excited and at the same time  nervious about fitting in the culture. I personally was a little dissapointed at the way the Guatemalan culture judges piercing. Specially in little towns people tend to associate piercing with gangs so that said I had to take my nose ring off. In the other hand I feel is totally worth it.

Minutes later the dissapointment feeling was follow by a really good vegetarian burrito that looked like a taco with a soup or caldo that tasted like onion.  Just an extra information line the food here in Guatemala is AAAMAZINGG!

In the afternoon Michael, Laura, Marguerite and Ian had the first “survival spanish lesson” with an individual teacher for each one while I had an official introduction to the Guatemalan slang. Quite funny I have to say.

Around 4:30pm we were already in the curvy roads to our new homes in Santo Tomas. It felt like a rollicoster more than a public bus. I meet a girl name Erika in the bus but the only thing I could hardly hear from her is that she likes to read. I spend about 10 minutes which is what took us to get to the bus stop going from side to side at a high speed. It was fun I have to admit but I definetely can improve on how to stay still. This is totally a ticket in the U.S.

When we got to the bus stop we had to wait for another bus. While waiting my eyes started to wonder. I saw a man climbing to the top of a bus with about 3 or 4 chairs waiting for him to be tight. A  street dog or chucho going inside a trash can and cars with loud spanish oldies. The bus arrived. As we started to go deeper into Santo Tomas my mind could not really process the why behind poverty and inequality. Although one thing that impress me was the acces to things that people have since every 5 minutes little shops with phones, construction materials, ice creams and street food would appear in my window while we pass.

The first feeling I felt once I got out of the bus was a sense of easeness. We walked each fellow to their new homes. All the families were really friendly and welcoming. The first one to be introduce into their new home was Ian, after Michael, Zuleika (myself), Laura and the last one Marguerite. Even when we are only about 2 to 5 minutes away from each other I felt that we did not wanted to leave from the comfort of our group yet.

My mom is really cool and a really good cook. I have a little brother who is 6 years old and loves to play games. I haven’t meet my dad yet he works with an NGO for the community but I am not sure yet what he does exactly.

My house is really nice. I have chickens and turkeys and a big field with corn and lettuce. I specially love the view of the mountains around the house. This my friends is my third day in Guatemala!!!! yaaay

Zuleika Lewis