Friday, March 23, 2012

Guatemalan Bliss! ⋆★

Nothing better than a perfect day with wonderful company! 

 Sabana Grande
Yesterday was a totally awesome day. Once again I wasn't exactly sure what we were doing... I just knew we had the day off of work and we were going swimming. I was picturing a public pool... and boy was I wrong. One of the coolest things about this trip was that the entire CCS staff was coming along for the day! One of the cooks that has been working here for 9 years is leaving at the end of March so it was kind of like her going away party/present.

Lili and I didn't set an alarm that morning because we weren't really sure when we were suppose to be up and didn't really want to wake up earlier than we had to for no reason. Around 8:45 Julietta came into our room asking if we were ready and told us we were leaving at 9 so we jumped out of bed and rushed to get ready. Why did we do this? Have we not learned that "time" in Guatemala is never what they say it is? We didn't even end up leaving until closer to 10.
It was about a hour and a half drive to our destination and the drive was really scenic. We got some great views of the bigger Volcanoes and also of the giant sugar cane crops all around. Virginia told us that the sugar cane production in Guatemala is the 3rd largest in the world. Another random thing that happened was that we stopped in the middle of the drive and our driver put the car into neutral and we were so confused what was going on. Later we found out that in that specific area there is an incline up hill, but when you put it in neutral you still roll up hill. It was pretty crazy and better on the way home when we did it again because we actually knew what we were doing that time. I'm pretty sure it's an optical illusion due the hills surrounding you but hey it was still really awesome!

The place we spent the day at was called Sabana Grande. It was in the middle of no where and we had to take a long, bumpy dirt road to get back there. As soon as we pulled up I knew I had pictured the area all wrong.. but it was a great surprise! It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. There is a in-ground pull in the front with really awesome landscaping all around it and then as you walk back there are cabins you can stay in, a big area to hold events, picnic tables, places to grill and then it leads down to a really awesome swimming area in the river!! The river reminded me so much of The Frio River and it really made me miss my best friends in San Angelo, but also was kind nice to feel a little at home for a bit. :)

Our Spanish teacher Rosario!
The river was really cold at first but after a splash attack by Virginia I was forced to get completely wet and the water felt great for the rest of the time! Clark and Enrique (our guard) went on a hike so Virginia, Lili and I got to hang out just girls and swim. It was fun! After the river and then laying out by the pool for a bit we were starving and we had some of the best BBQ ever! They grilled steaks and chicken, baked potatoes, tons of the best guacamole ever, and of course beans and tortillas. We stuffed our faces and then got to relax for a bit. Juan Carlos' daughter Annika (kiki for short) decided Lili and I were her best friends that day. She took turns taking us by the hand and forcing us to go on adventures around the area with her. I have been getting use to little kids liking me on this trip because usually I'm just not really a "kids person". So I guess that's another positive about this experience. She is so cute and was making me laugh the whole time.... a very adventurous little girl.
Once we were done with the Adventures of Kiki, Lili and I decided to head out on our own little adventure. Apparently there is an hour hike around this beautiful area but we just kind of did the amateur version of that and walked around until we decided to turn back. Even though the whole trail was so pretty and super cool... we were having a problem with bugs flying in our eyes (at one point we had to stop so I could pull 3 tiny bugs out of Lili's eye and it was very disturbing) and also the fact that I was getting paranoid that I was going to see a giant snake. No one told me there were snakes... it just seemed like if I were snake I'd be hanging out around this trail somewhere.
Once we returned from our hike we realized that everyone was packing up and it was about time to leave. We hung out with the dogs for a bit that were roaming around acting very pathetic (as usual) and waited on Clark and Enrique to return. We got a group pic of my entire Guatemala Family and OF COURSE my eyes were closed. Awesome. But it's still an awesome picture. We were all pretty exhausted from the afternoon so Lili and I got comfortable, shared her headphones and jammed to the bands 'Fun' and 'The Format' (same people) the whole drive home. Good times!
CCS Family (Enrique, Virginia, Clark, Mari, Julietta, Sonia, Rosario, Don Fransico, Me, Lili, Juan Carlos and Annika.

Later that night
Since it was Mari (the cook's) party she obviously didn't cook dinner for that night so we decided that we wanted to go out to eat for the night! Once we got home we were both showering off the day and I Brena chatted me asking me how my day was. We decided it would be fun to all meet up for Dinner and hang out for the night! The taxi ride was difficult as usual because we cannot communicate well with them. He was for sure there wasn't a TGIFridays in the area we told him to take us and once we got there there clearly was one... and he argued with us saying No that was "Friend's". We just agreed with him .... lol typical taxi ride. Brena brought her cousin and her best friend! It turned out to be a really fun dinner and I'm really glad we finally got to hang out outside of work, and that Lili and her finally met. It was funny because they both felt like they already knew each other because I talk about each of them to both of them. Sadly I didn't take any pictures to document this.

All together it was a fantastic day!! You've got to appreciate perfect days like that.

This morning
Alright so I went through the morning grind as usual and was on my way to work when I realized that the outside of the hospital was more crazy than it normally is. Once we got closer it became apparent that there was a giant protest going on and they were not allowing any cars to enter the area. So we had to turn around and Don Fransico ended up just taking me back home. I have no clue what the protest is about because I haven't been able to talk with anyone that speaks English today so I've just been hanging out really confused all day. I am really interested to hear what this is all about. I don't know if I have mentioned this but Roosevelt Hospital (where I work) provides all of their services for absolutely NO COST! I am still confused about how this is possible. Anyways, it was really weird and I will let you know once I find out what all this mess is about.
By the way: I am not happy about missing work because Brena messaged me and told me Jose was there today for a bit and it was also Carlos' birthday today. NOOOO! :( So once again I am upset for various reasons when it comes to work. Blah! But hey, I got to update my blog before the weekend so I guess that's a positive?

Protest Update: The protest is being held by some of the staff at the hospital (along with their family and friends) because they don't believe they are getting paid enough. I can only imagine since like I said... everything is free for the patients. And from what I've heard from Brena... the doctors/nurses don't get paid well at all. It isn't a profession that has a reputation for having a big salary (like it is in the U.S.) even though they have terrible hours and TONS of school. I'm not sure what this means for the healthcare here, but I was told it should be resolved over the weekend. Not the salary issue, but the blocking off so that we couldn't get in.

This weekend
Today immediately after lunch we are heading to the bus station and heading to Coban for the weekend. I don't know much about this place but I think I like it that way... I'm enjoying the surprise of my travels. Lili and I just told Clark to plan it all and we would join him haha. We are going a little more rugged than our last adventure around Guatemala. Public Bus for 4 hours vs. Private Van for 3 hours. Staying in a Hostel for about $6 a night vs. a Nice Hotel for $60 a night. I am really excited for this experience though and can't wait to tell you all about it!! I've got my camera and an open-mind packed and ready to go!

One last thing: Don Fransico (the driver) was wearing a shirt today with one of my absolute favorite quotes of all time (on the back) so I decided I should share it:
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our minds"

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 


  1. I think everything going on with the protest is so crazy. and why is Guatemala the prettiest place ever. i dont think you have taken an ugly picture of nature yet. I cannot believe that about lili's eyes. i hate when things get into my eyes especially with my contacts, i cant even imagine. Ok and tell me that the watermelon there doesnt remind you of Robbie's house and his mom cutting those ridiculously large pieces of watermelon, and not to mention they were UNENDING!!! and i dunno about that bridge abbey, that doesnt look very study and reminds me of the donkey kong game on the old school Nintendo. and Don Fransico is so precious! and i LOVE how you made the last 3 pictures! youre also so artsy with that stuff. miss you love you

    also, miranda wanted me to send her best regards.

  2. I love your blog!! I hope you guys are having a wonderful time.