Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I am here, San Martin Jilotepeque! I am in my first “apartment” really it is only two rooms with a bathroom. I moved in on Sunday, but moved in really isn’t the word since I didn’t have anything but clothes! I had to hit up the market for everything, plates, bowls, forks, food, a stove, etc.! I had to buy purified water which to buy your first one is expensive! I know that I probably got a “gringo” price for a lot of my things but when you don’t have anything you are willing to buy it at any price (supply and demand at its finest)!! Sunday night since I did not have any gas for my stove so I went to eat at a restaurant owned by another American! He married his wife and moved here and started this awesome restaurant/ homemade movie theater, where he shows whatever movies you want with a projector and a big screen, kinda like drive in theaters but no cars!

Everything went really smoothly moving in and all, expect for finding gas! It took me two days to finally get some. On Sunday I went to the electronic store to buy my stove and the guy there was really nice but I thought he was ripping me off by offering me the stove, the connector, the tube and the gas for Q 600 ($85), so I only bought the stove, the connector and the tube (Q395). Come to find out, it is expensive to buy your first cylinder of gas (Q 325) so I went back to the store to see if I could buy the gas for the extra Q 200. At first the guys were like no, sorry it will be Q 275! Of course me being me was not going to have that, if I could have bought it on Sunday for Q 200 more then I should be able to buy it now for that price! Well after a few minutes arguing and a call to the manager, they were going to sell it to me for Q 200! Victory for me and my Spanish! Well then they tried to give a cyclinder that only had like 5 lbs of gas (it holds 25 lbs.) and of course I was like, I don’t think so! I will not pay for this! So then I think they decided they did not want to deal with me any more and they gave me one that was significantly heavier although still not completely full, but hey I got a bargain!

My first day of work was yesterday (Monday)! Things went a lot better than they did on my site visit a week earlier! They had cleaned out an office for me and gave me a computer (like the first one my family owned when I was 11), but it works! They gave me a bunch of cost of productions that they had done with the farmers and told me to put them into Excel. At first I was thinking, I am not a secretary, but then as I went through and realized that the farmers did not really get what a cost of production was and that many of them were losing money, I realized my first job, to teach them about cost of production, to make sure they can all do it and to help them achieve a profit! I am a person who jumps to conclusions right away but my Peace Corps experience has been teaching that everything really does work out and that you have to just with whatever comes your way!

I went out to lunch with my two counterparts and a technico from San Joes Poaquil (where our other office is)! We went to a great comeador, carne asada (yummy) and I had a smoothie! Well instead of having a smoothie the men opted to split a liter of beer or so I thought! In the end, lunch ended up being 2 hours and 15 minutes long containing four carne asadas, one smoothie and four liters of beer (between three “Guatemalan” men, think shorter than me)! Let’s just say it was an interesting afternoon at the office, my counterparts were acting like “bolos” (A bolo is a drunk, normally sleeping on the sidewalk or somewhere in public)!
So I cannot believe that it is Thanksgiving already! I actually get to spend Thanksgiving with about 20 other volunteers in Guatemala City at the Ambassador’s house! I am pretty excited because I am sure it will be great food and I think since it is such an outrageous thing that it will make me miss my family a lot less (kind of tearing up just thinking about not being there)! We get to swim in the heated pool and play tennis if we want, kinda cool (actually I think it is really cool)! On that note, again I wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Judith Haden said...

Hey, great story.Keep up the good work. I was a PCV in Salvador YEARS ago, and always wished I were in Guatemala. I am thinking of coming to San Martin for the Fiestas in November. How long does it take to get there from Antigua in a car? Is there (this is probably wishful thinking) a reasonable hotel there?