Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's official, I would not make a good Mayan woman.

Alright here we go again:
WORK: Wednesday at work was different than usual Wednesdays because Brena had a district meeting and wasn't there. So that was two days in a row that I was basically unable to communicate with anyone in the unit. It's getting better though... only because everyone is finally realizing that I absolutely don't know any Spanish. To give myself a little credit.... the kids usually understand my awful attempts at their language, so yay.

Isaias was in an extremely bad mood on Wednesday. I think I jinxed myself because I had just gone on and on last blog post about how awesome things have been going and I hope it continues. Nope, it was back to the same 'ol stuff. I actually watched him bite one of the mothers that was trying to help his Aunt clip his finger nails. Yes... he bit her! So that makes me a little nervous. I don't know how often he feels the need to bite someone and I don't want to find out.

Christofer was great with me again. He likes to show me his phone that is playing music and I'll do a really ridiculous dance for him and he laughs at me. Also like I said last time he is obsessed with my camera so he has been playing with it A LOT. He dropped it today and I was scared to look if the screen was cracked (those of you that know me well... that's totally my luck) but thankfully it was fine. So I've been trying to stay nearby when he's using it. I think he really gets a kick out of seeing if he made the face he wants to and he made me delete one that he wasn't smiling in. Pretty funny!
Carlos is still doing great!! His new favorite thing is to make videos on my camera and then watch them. This makes for some pretty embarrassing videos of me, but hey it's worth it! He cracks up laughing no matter what the video is. My camera is really coming in handy when other entertainment isn't pulling through. Go technology! But we also have fun old school style too. We made a "telescope" out of a toilet paper roll and some clay. Pretty impressive stuff, I know. OH YEAH!!! and recently he has also started giving me kisses on the cheek and wanting to hold my hand. I guess we are getting pretty serious. No but really, I am so thankful he has opened up so much because it's helping me get through Jose leaving me! And obviously I love to see him smile... and oh my gosh his big brown eyes are wonderful!
There is a new boy in the unit named Brayan that doesn't like me for some reason. I think it's going to be an interesting last few days of work trying to figure him out. He tricks me and acts like he wants to play with me and once I bring him a toy he chunks it at my face. I can't get angry, but it does bother me that his mother just watches him act that way and doesn't say anything. I know these kids are going through such a difficult times though so I think I'll just keep trying and see if he ever gives into me! Balloons didn't even work on him though.... who doesn't like balloons??

ANTIGUA FOR THE AFTERNOON: After work on Wednesday we went to Antigua (I love Antigua!!!) to visit a Coffee Plantation and a Mayan Music Museum. We got to see how all the different coffee's were made and the difference between each of the coffee's. Honestly it was really interesting and the tour guide had a funny sense of humor. It was a good time... and of course like everything else here... it was beautiful!
The different stages of the Coffee Plant

Pure cocoa
Coffee Flower - only lasts 3 days
We got try some of the coffee once we were done if we wanted but they would not let us put any creamer or sugar in it! They owner of the plantation had a saying...

"Coffee should be black as night, strong as passion, sweet as love and hot as hell".
The coffee was pretty good too :)

After that we walked right over to the Mayan Music museum which was really interesting. They had all of the different instruments that the Mayan people have used over the years and one of the woman was able to show us how to play almost all of them! Here is a video of her playing one of the oldest instruments, concha shells.
We also got to watch a extremely well made video of examples of each instrument being used in celebrations, precession's, etc from all over the world.

Our next stop in Antigua was to one of the local churches that is already preparing for Holy Week next week. Most people are already starting their vacations tomorrow. They have one of the Vigil's set up and a carpet below it made of painted saw dust, fruits, foods, etc. All natural. It was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen... And we will get to see them being made when we head to Antigua next week... yesss!
The pictures aren't as great as I would have wished but the lighting was very dim and because the church was extremely crowded with tons of people coming to view the Vigil. I can't wait to see more!!
Once we left the church we were able to catch one of the greatest sunsets I've ever seen right over the hills and by the Volcano in the streets of Antigua. Wow.
Awesome, right? Virginia took us out to eat after the day was winding down in Antigua because it was already so late.... and guess what? She took us to an Italian restaurant!! The food was amazing... they were playing 90's pop music... and we all got to spend some quality time together. Virginia gave us a little reality check that our trip was winding down and how much of an affect it's actually going to have on us. It was pretty sad to think that we only have a short time left here... but some of the best parts of the trip are still to come!

The new roommates, Joe and Debbie.
The Man - Don Fransico!
 So... yet again another GREAT adventure to Antigua. I cannot stress how cool that little town is. Excited to spend Holy Week there!!!!! Can you tell?
Oh my gosh and I almost forgot... check out the toilets at the nicer restaurants here in Guatemala. I've seen two of them now. Genius for those that have trouble balancing while trying to hover a sketchy toilet seat (like me).
Turn the handle before you use the toilet and a brand new, clean plastic wrap appears. Oh yeah. Haha! Sorry. I had to share.

WHOOPS: Work today was veryyyy interesting. It started out shaky because as soon as I walked in I stumbled upon Christian (the 15 year old boy that is majorly burned) without his legs wrapped and I was not prepared to see what I saw. He barely has any skin right now and not only did that take me back but he was embarrassed that I saw it and he became very upset. I was really shaken up by that and it took me a while to calm down. I feel really bad for him and wish there was something I could do to help. Please remember that the unit must be kept very warm due to the burn wounds and the windows aren't being opened recently... I think it may be because some of the children are sick? So it's hot and there is like zero air-flow! After that I had about an hour to calm down (even over the usual Thursday scream fest) and about that time the new little boy Brayan was having to take blood. The med student missed his vain and he freaked out and the blood went flying EVERYWHERE! This is where I think I hit my limit... it all finally caught up to me! I immediately felt myself getting light-headed and falling back into my chair. Yep, I fainted. The mothers were trying to get me water... from the sink (not happening)... and the nurses were basically trying to ignore me because they are lazy!! I really don't like them sometimes haha. But without going into huge details about the next hour... I ended up having to leave work early because I was still feeling extremely nauseous and shaky. I have given ya'll so much good about work, but the reality of my job here is that a lot of the time it is a very difficult place to be and I see a lot of things I never really thought I would have to see. It has opened my eyes more than I ever imagined.... but has also reminded me that I will never be able to actually work in a hospital :). So anyways, I came home... the cook made me some soup and I took a shower and a nap and felt perfectly fine after all of that. I think I was just overwhelmed from everything going on around me.

Lovin' the Mayan Culture: This afternoon we got to go to the Mayan Popol Vuh museum up at one of the private Universities! I have been wanting to go see one of the Universities here so bad. Unfortunately the museum wasn't really in the heart of the University so I didn't get to see it at all. The guide we had had been at the museum for about 15 years and literally knew everything about the collection. This was truly one of the coolest things I have ever seen. The ancient Mayan culture blows my mind! The museum was set up in chronological order so we saw the artifacts from the oldest documented to the newest. Sorry though.... we couldn't take pics! After the tour we were able to make our own pottery the way the Mayans did. Let me just say.... from everything we've done on this trip... I make a crappy Mayan woman.
Finished project... Haha I tried.
So I'm really glad that we got the chance to visit that museum. I really enjoyed it. It's nice that CCS plans and pays for these types of things for us. I love this program!

Mucho Traffico: On the way home we hit a ton of traffic.... it's been like that recently. I think it has a lot to do with the protesters that are in town and also the random precession's that have been happening. But honestly, I never know. But thankfully we documented a little bit of it so you can see kind of what we go through here in Guatemala City.
Whelp: Tomorrow I am the only person that has to go to work. Everyone else's placements already have off for the Holiday but because the hospital doesn't exactly take off... I'll be at work in the morning. I think everyone may be going to check out a Jazz band tonight in Zone 10 but I'm not the biggest Jazz fan and I'm exhausted.... and DON'T want to be tired or feeling bad at work tomorrow so I'm staying in. Blah. But at least I'm trying to responsible?
Well that was a ridiculously long update, sorry about that. I got a little carried away but I guess a lot has happened. I'm excited that tomorrow is Friday and I think Lili and I may be trying to head the to black beaches for the weekend. I guess Lili is going to figure that out during her morning off tomorrow. If you made it this far in the blog... you are officially dubbed a loyal reader.

And last but not least here is a video of the wonderful Carlos...

BTW this is what I do when I'm not doing anything else here: You're welcome.

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