Hey everyone! ☺
Wake up call: It's about 8:45 am here in Guatemala City. Believe it or not I have been up since about 7:30 this morning even though we didn't have to be up at any particular time. ABBEY UP EARLY FOR NO REASON? I know, I know sounds crazy but let's just say the sounds of the street outside our window (church bells, the occasional marching band, little kids playing in the street, car alarms, airplanes that are apparently flying 5 feet above our house, birds, etc) aren't exactly the most soothing of noises. But honestly it feels great to be up early and I got pretty good sleep last night! Lili and I already had breakfast with coffee and OJ, attempted a puzzle that turned out to be half kittens/half gorillas, and showered.
The blurr of the airport: Yesterday was absolutely nuts! But the good kind of nuts... like the honey roasted ones. We had packing emergencies at 2am (realizing our bags were well over the 50lb limit) and had to figure that out before we had to leave at 3am for the airport. At the airport we were basically Zombies. Somehow even in our Zombie stage we managed to meet a really nice lady on the plane that was sitting next to Lili named Iliana. She has two children that go to A&M (Whoop!) and she was also heading to Guatemala City from Dallas. She got our emails and even offered to show us around the city or let us stay at her family's place in Antigua if we wanted. So basically I am already getting a good vibe from the Central American culture!
Lucky for us: After a little more Zombie action and arriving in Miami we finally ran into our roomie for the next 2 weeks, Natalie. I don't think a person gets much sweeter than this girl. We are extremely lucky to have her and we are all getting along perfectly! I'm a little scared for her though because I think we may influence her to break out of her shell a little more than she probably expected to, haha. She is 30 year old nurse from Long Island, but she seems just the same age as us! Anyways - I'm extremely pleased with my rooming situation (me, Lili and Natalie). We have 3 bunk beds, but we all get our own. And after unpacking last night all of our stuff fits great in the closet/drawers. Woohoo!
Casa de Guatemala: This living situation is not what I expected, it's better. Not because it's extremely nice or anything but because it is beautiful and different than anything I've ever seen. Everything is so open to the outdoors. Most of the hang out/sitting areas are located outside in the garden area. During the day all the doors and windows to every room/area are always open! It's so bright and it really puts you in a good mood! Also there is a little balcony/roof right outside where our room is and there is GREAT sun out there during the day and places to sit/lay out/relax. It's amazing and knowing Lili and I we will probably spend a good amount of time out there.
Too good to be true?: Okay so with all this amazing-ness going on.... there has to be some sort of down side, right? Well if I wasn't a high maintenance crazy about air conditioning and fans then there wouldn't be (so far)! None of the houses around here have air conditioning because the weather is so perfect. Warm and sunny during the day and cools off at night. BUT STILL I am a little weird about not having an air conditioner and/or a fan. I slept okay last night but I also hadn't slept in 48 hours so it was bound to happen. It's something I obviously have to and will get use t0. But you better believe I will be on the lookout at the market/grocery store for a cheap fan!
Also on the not-so-bright side.... I am sick! What the heck?! I have a stuffy nose, sore itchy throat and bad congestion. I am taking a TON of airborne and I'm stocked up on medicine. So hopefully I'll get that under control.
Who we live with: Everyone in the house is awesome. We have basically a house mom and her name is Virgina. She actually lives next door, but she is in charge of pretty much everything. She speaks English which is really nice and she seems like an awesome lady! There is the house guard named Enrique and the cook named Julietta. Neither of them speak ANY English but I can tell we will definitely be learning a lot from them. The other house mates right now are a 22 year old from Toronto named Matt and a 55-60 something regular named Vince. He has been to this Guatemala placement 5 times already! He has been our savior because he knows everything there is to know about this area. Last night after dinner we all went out to explore the Saturday night-life of Guatemala City! Vince showed us all his favorite restaurants and places to go. Our area that we are living is mainly residential so it's a pretty good walk to MOST of the places to eat/hang out. There are also tons of parks all around our house.
There was a couple from Hawaii (age 25) that we got to meet/hang out with last night also. They actually left this morning so I was kinda upset about that because they were so awesome. Today we are getting our next roommate that will be with us for the rest of our trip and his name is Clark (age 27). I think my favorite thing about this whole experience so far is getting to meet so many different people from all over. Conversation was extremely interesting all night last night. SO CHEERS TO THAT!
They all said that Lili and I did not have Texas accents but we are definitely already making a reputation as the "Texas girls". They do make fun of us for saying "ya'll", though. Matt and Vince said the girls before us were extremely boring and they were expecting the same out of the next group. We already proved them wrong about that last night and the couple from Hawaii was laughing and telling them "these girls are going to keep you guys on your toes". I completely agree with that statement... and so did they haha.
What's to come: Tomorrow morning is our first day of work and we are all getting pretty anxious about that. The most exciting thing we have learned since we arrived though is that they plan "field trips" for us each week. This week (on Wednesday) we are going to a local winery!! And also after work each day they have either tours, activities, cooking lessons, etc for us. Seriously I am so pumped you have no idea.
Pictures of the house, our area, and us will be coming later. I avoided the camera yesterday due to the fact that not only was I acting like a Zombie, I resembled one. We weren't sure how safe it was to carry around a camera, or if where we could use them yesterday. After roaming around a bit we have realized this place (especially our area) isn't bad at all. Don't worry - we still have our pink pepper spray ready to go if needed.
✿It's time to take advantage of our morning off before
Clark arrives and we have our orientation, adios! ✿
✔ Sunday Update:
Sunday's here are super cool. A block away from us on 6th street (how ironic) it's basically a community fun day. They have all the streets blocked off and people are everywhere riding bikes, kids playing, jogging, walking their dogs, etc. They had little shops on the side and lots of food for sale. Also, on the first Sunday of every month they have pet adoptions so obviously we had to stop by that. Our next mission is to convince everyone here that we need a house dog (or if I had things my way a house kitten).
At the end of 6th street we ran into a local "amusement park" type thing, which is basically a little carnival. We decided to try out the bumper cars (duh) and to our surprise they were extremely un-safe. Lili came at me as fast as she could as soon as it started and it literally felt as if I had just got into a car accident. IT WAS AWESOME! I don't think the other girls riding were expecting us to be going that crazy. We were the only two trying to/actually bumping into people....... Oh well lol.
Anyways here's some pictures from earlier.
^ My favorite picture of the day