Here are a few more observations…
My main mode of transportation is old Indiana school buses. I take the Brownsburg, Crown Point and Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation buses on a daily basis. I think that I have found something to do when I get back, export old school buses to Guatemala. In addition to the daily yellow school buses I have to take “chicken bus” to get anywhere other than Santa Lucia. “Chicken Buses” are very colorfully decorated school buses that will take you any where you need to go. We all know that school buses are designed for 3 small children to a seat, well someone failed to mention that to the Guatemalans because they like to fit 3 large adults to one seat. Let me just say that I have become very intimate with several Guatemalans. For example, this past Sunday I, along with some other trainees, ventured to Antigua for the day. On the way home I was sitting with two oversided lovers with a little girl sitting on my lap and her mother straddling my legs. In about an area of one school bus seat there were four adults and one child! Another fascinating experience was my first trip to Antigua. When the bus left Magdalena all the seats were filled with three people and the aisle was almost full. Although the bus was bursting at the seams, we still picked up people, by the time we arrived in Antigua there were a good 120 people on the bus. Instead of thinking about money in terms of time, Guatemaltecos think about it in terms of people!
This past weekend I had my first experience with the drunks of Guatemala. My first experience was on the bus. I was sitting with this older gentleman and being nice was making small talk. Well small talk turned into a marriage proposal which I got out of by lying and telling him I had a boyfriend. My next experience was in Santo Tomas this past weekend. I had ventured down to meet some other trainees to watch as I described in my last post, people climb a greased tree. We had some time to kill, since we were on Guatemala time (Here in Guatemala if someone says it starts at 12 pm it will really start around 1 or 1:30 pm). Anyway, as we were enjoying our ice cream and cokes this drunk approaches us in fine form. As he gets closer it is apparent that his fly is down and he has decided not to wear any underwear. Oh yes this means that his “junk” was say Hey just like he was! The sad part of the story is he was not the only one not wearing underwear, there were a few more drunk who must believe it is easier not to wear underwear!
Guatemala is similar to the United States in the since that there are city people and non-city people. Today we had a trip to Guatemala City, the capital, with our Spanish classes. We had to visit the PC Headquarters, the hospital that the PC uses, and the bank. After all of this we had lunch at the mall! This mall was better than some in the States, a Zara, Bershka, Nine West, Nike, Apple, Tommy, and other big name stores! It also included a McDonald’s which provided a wonderful lunch (I don’t think I would ever say that in the States but man some hamburger sure tasted good)! After our wonderful lunch we went to the movie! We were all joking that our friends and family would ask what did you do this week, “Oh I ate at McDonald’s, did some shopping and went to a movie, sound like the Peace Corps to you?” The people I saw today were so much different than the people that live in the small towns throughout Guatemala. They are more liberal, dress just like us (maybe better) and are more progressive! It is amazing that there is such a difference, by that I mean, some people who live in the campo have and will never see a mall or a McDonald’s or anything like it!
I am really happy right now! I had this moment while I was riding the bus home on Monday where it just dawned on me how happy I am here! I know this was the right decision for me and right now I cannot imagine my life anywhere else! I might not love everything about my daily life but at the end of the day I go to sleep happy and fulfilled! (Although I cannot wait until I get a hot shower!)