Monday, January 21, 2008

You never know what you are gonna get...

Everyday here is so unpredictable! For example, I have been trying to go to my post office for the last two weeks! I would pass by about three times a week, always in the morning because I knew for sure it was not open in the afternoon, and it was never open. I was thinking to myself that people must never get their mail or mail things to other people because how do they do it! This week I told myself I would go by everyday until it was open and if it was not open at all this week I was going to find out what was going on from the Municipal! Well to my luck it was open, finally! I introduced myself to the guy that works there and told him I needed to find out what my address was so that I could have my mail sent here. This conversation led to another about what I was doing here, what Peace Corps was, what was my state like in the US, did I like living here, and what did I think of the Mayan culture, random, don’t ask! I proceeded to tell him that I was learning Kaqchikel, the indigenous language spoken here and that I wanted to learn more about the history and culture. He then pointed to a Mayan statue that he had on the counter and told me about it and then gave it to me as a gift! I tried to insist that he did not need to do that but then it was forcefully put in my hands and I had not choice but to take it with me! I am continually surprised by the generosity and giving nature of most of the Guatemalans that I encounter, never would this have happened in the States!

Like I said before I started Kaqchikel classes this week! Wow, that is about the only word to describe my experience! The language is beautiful when spoken correctly, which means not by me! For many of the words you have to use your throat, a lot, but it is also kind of fun learning a language that is so unique. It is also difficult because they do not have a lot of the words that they have in Spanish and the verbs do not have one nice, simple conjugation but instead each one is different! All the guys in my office speak Kaqchikel and are so excited that I am learning it, finally! It also surprised a lot of the groups I work with that I would want to learn it because many of the adults my age do not know it and refuse to speak it if they do know it! It has helped my site mate’s community because now people who never spoke it or did know it are learning it because if the gringo is learning it I should learn it to!

More coffee picking continued last week. I helped pick coffee three more time and I am telling you all that I have never been so tired in my life! I do not know how they do it. If they are women, they get up make the fire, breakfast and dress the kids for school, pick coffee all morning, make lunch, take the coffee to be processed, go to the school to make the snacks for the kids, come home, clean, make dinner and put the kids to bed and somewhere in between do laundry and other things around the house! I am just tired picking coffee for an hour, there is no way I could do everything that they do, they are superwomen!

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