THE INTERNET HAS BEEN DOWN!!! AHHH! So I have a lot to tell you.
Monday: This history of Guatemala lesson actually ended up being really interesting and eye-opening. There was a lot of issues I had never heard of dealing with their corrupt government and acts of genocide (deliberate acts of destruction against a race, ethnic group, religion, etc... FYI :) ) against the Mayan people. It's even more interesting because I took a race and culture class about 2 years ago and we went over a TON of genocide examples and Guatemala wasn't mentioned once... and this was a 36 year long civil war! Anyways... it's even more awesome that I have been able to see a lot of the Mayan culture in real life - up close and personal - after hearing about all of the devastation these people have been through.
|Awesome graffiti near the house|
Monday afternoon we went walking around the town to check out local shops and markets. We were buying some extra supplies (games, crayons, etc) for work and the children. We ended up getting back in pretty late so we missed dinner and instead of just warming up left overs we decided it was finally time..... TO ORDER PIZZA. We have been seeing it everywhere and subconsciously smelling it at least once a day so it was way overdue. After the most complicated process of all time we finally got the confirmation phone call that it was on it's way.... and also asking us if we wanted brownies with our purchase..? Sketchy. So I ate my weight in pizza and me, Lili and Natalie watched Swingers on netflix in our room - it was so money (obnoxious movie reference). It's one of Vince Vaughn's first movies and it was funny to see his character so young. We kind of accidentally on purpose avoided hanging out with the new roommates just because none of us (well Lili and I) didn't feel like being social.
Moving on: Tuesday at work was hard. Tuesday and Thursdays are always hard because there is no one there that speaks English and most of the kids are gone for the whole day and/or in pain/resting. One of the babies in really bad conditions is gone and I'm really worried she may not have made it. She is the worst out of any of the children (about 6 months old) and has a really hard time breathing due to the wounds on her face. I ended up spending the day hanging out with Jose and playing some of the new board games I bought. He is way too smart for most of them, so I'm currently trying to find more difficult games to play. My cute little Isaias was still in isolation due to his infection so when he left to have things done to his leg I snuck in his room and filled it with balloons! :) I wasn't able to see his reaction because I had to leave before he returned but they told me this morning that he was so excited and I was happy to hear that!
Last night we ended up hitting up Happy Hour at the place down the street, Tacontendo. Clark joined us girls because I think he also wanted a break from the business of the house. There is 8 of them. 8 of them people! It's craziness. We tried their Pina Coladas and they were more than delicious.
TODAY: This morning I was super tired. Remember how I told you that there are unlimited amounts of stray dogs in this city? Well they have been going crazy lately. The ones in our neighborhood (aka right outside my window) are barking non-stop and it sounds angry. I'm beginning to worry that they may be planning an overtake of the city, probably led by the government haha. Just kidding. But there is enough of them so people probably should be worried.
Work was GREAT today! It seems to go back and forth on having easy days and hard days. It balances out though, which is nice. One of the main Doctor's told me today that the department had recommended to decorate the unit a little (which I agree). So she hands me the materials they gave her to do so.... It was like 6 balloons and some yarn. You kidding me? Thankfully we had gone to the market and I had bought tons of balloons or it may have been a huge fail. But I wanted to make this fun for them SO, I grabbed some medical tape and went with it. I got Brena to ask Jose if he would like to help me decorate each child's bed and he was more than happy to! Brena helped us too. :) Jose was really excited about being able to blow up the balloons by himself so I helped him do that and he was on a roll. I was worried it may not be good for him (and also that he was going to pass out from blowing up so many lol) but Brena said it was great for him to exercise his face muscles like that.
So we got to work and decided to try and make each bed a little different and we were also letting each child pick out which colors they wanted. If they wanted to, we also let them decorate each balloon! Of course we had to make Jose's bed awesome so let me show you our masterpiece...
The mothers were having a good time with this today because it was giving the kids a good break and helping them to get their mind off the pain. We have about 3 brand new children and they are still adjusting to living in the unit. It was fun to get to know them better today and see their personalities. Let me introduce you to some of them!! ---->
|Looking at her Mama :)|
This is Paola. I don't know her story yet, because I didn't want that to be the first conversation that me and her mother had. It seems like her burns are mainly on her legs and but you can't see much of the damage when you're just looking at her. She is so cute and her smile is adorable. I was glad to catch a little bit of one on camera. She was having fun drawing on the balloons and kept asking me for more lol. Her bed got pretty full because I have a hard time saying no. Whoops.
Okay so this is Dulce. She has been mostly crying since she's been around so it was absolutely great to finally see her smiling!! She was cracking up at me while I would blow her balloons up and I luckily caught a picture of it. Most of her burns are under her clothing but she has a little on the other side of her face. She is super precious and her mother is as well. I really like all of the new Mom's. I seriously don't know how they do it. I'm surrounding with amazing, strong women all day long.
This is Angel. He is having a hard time adjusting to the hospital, but he is getting better. His burns are on his face (obviously) and he is constantly having to do exercises and it hurts him a lot. His Dad was doing a great job of keeping him smiling and doing the exercises. He has been a little shy with me but I his mom was telling me today he thinks I'm pretty so I just smile at him a lot and draw him pictures! I bought him his own little blocks to have for himself and he has been using them a lot. He has already opened up so much since Monday so I'm sure I will have great stories about his progress coming soon.
This is my little cutie, Carlos! He has been around since I started working here. He has his happy days and his sad days, but thankfully today was one of his super happy days! He has one of the cutest smiles and his laugh is so funny. After we decorated his bed he immediately wanting to take them off the wall and play with all of them. So he was just playing in the string of balloons and having a great time. I doesn't use his hands much because they aren't moving around to easily but I helped him color the his balloons today and he loved it. I took a video and I really want to show ya'll, but you will have to wait until I cut it up because it's too long to post on the blog. I'll figure it out soon though because it's super cute. Also, I love Carlos' mom. She is a little younger than the other Mom's and she is literally always smiling. Once again, I have no idea how they do it!
|After he pulled it off the wall to play with it|
|He was making noises with his mouth on the balloon|
So once we finished decorating everyone's beds we took a break and rewarded ourselves with some card games. I took Holly's advice and tried to teach Jose war. After I let him shuffle and everything we went to start the game and the first card we turned over were both King's. WAR! So we put down three cards and then went to turn over the next set and they were the same again! So he's already confused... and it happens TWO MORE TIMES! Seriously. So now he thinks I'm messing with him, but I have never seen this happen! So he was laughing and Brena and I were both amazed and we ended up just starting over and trying again.
Picture proof this craziness actually happened. So we play a successful game of War, which may be his new favorite game. I was kicking his butt at first and he kept saying that it didn't matter because he was going to win all of the cards back anyway. He is so confident and I think it's hilarious. He also kept saying (when I would win a big hand) that we just letting me win so my feelings wouldn't get hurt. And I'm just like yeah, yeah whatever.... until he actually has this amazing comeback and beats me. I swear I can't win anything against him.
So overall it was a great day of work and I really enjoyed watching all the children get excited about the decorations and the all the balloons. Here is Jose and I making a "funny face", and one with his mother!
Cultural Activity: Today for our afternoon culture craze we headed out to the local Mayan ruins. They have just started excavating not too long ago so it's very new. The entire city consists of tons of Mayan ruins but they have closed off this section for specific digging. The ruins were cool and we got a mini-tour of the area and information on all of it. This area was pretty and I really enjoyed it.
|Caught Virgina being silly :)|
|Clark being so Clark.|
|My new collection of bracelets... haha!|
|Some of the Archeologists|
After our little local Mayan adventure we headed home for a surprise... We ended up having a Guatemalan style birthday celebration for the Dad, like I said earlier. They had a pinata, music, firecrackers, cake, and some freaking awesome food. I didn't get a chance to do to the pinata because my birthday wasn't close and they were going in order by closest birthdays. It's okay though because Lili represented TEXAS by beating the crap out of it. It was pretty hilarious.
|The big group (for one week) all together!|
So now we are getting ready to go eat, yet again, with Natalie's family that is from Guatemala City. We are going over to their house and I am pretty excited to hang out with them. So I'm glad I had some free time after this afternoon to update my blog. We haven't had good internet connection due to the large amounts of people all using the same Wi-Fi but I will try and do what I can! Speaking of the internet being down yesterday - Happy late Birthday Nathan Hill!! :)
✔ Dinner Update: Natalie's family is an amazing group of people! They cooked us a wonderful, huge dinner and welcomed us into their home. They were so excited to have us and it was great to get to experience a family dinner with a genuine Guatemalan family. Love them all, and thankful Natalie invited us along!!
Last Minute Random Guatemala Facts with Abbey -
People here are extremely down with the P.D.A. - for all you folks that don't know what that means... it's a Public Display of Affection. If I had a dollar every time I saw someone getting it in a park....I'd be rich. I'm not kidding. They are making out everywhere. I can't help but look and I feel weird, but that doesn't stop them. Anyways just some extra Guatemalan information haha. You're welcome.