Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the move...

Well it has been a while since I last updated but I have been quite busy! First I moved into my new house about two and a half weeks ago and LOVE it! It has given me a new start here in San Martin. I am living in a family compound but my house is separate from the family’s but the kids come over all the time to play cards and “talk” with me in my broken Spanish! I really enjoy having people around more and I feel more integrated into the “neighborhood” I will try to upload photos as soon as I can!

My organization moved offices last week and let’s just say it was an experience! I work with all men so they told me that they needed the feminine touch “toca feminine” to set up the office! I was really excited about this because the other office’s disorganization drove me up a wall. So I started to move things around where I wanted them and they almost had a heart attack that I was moving things on my own. They kept telling me “No, you don’t need to do that.” “No, you aren’t able to do that.” I did not know how to respond to this because, as most of you know, I am really bull headed and stubborn so my first reaction was to tell them “Hell, no I can do this.” But then I realized that it was just the Guatemalan thing, that kind of stuff is a man’s work. It is times like that, that I have to sit back and be the “Guatemalan” Mackenzie, which I can tell you is hard! But I do have to say the guys that I work with are awesome, they really make sure that I am ok, I have everything that I need and that I am happy!

So decorating is tough with Guatemalans because they like things very cut and dry. What I mean by this is that they put everything in a corner or lined up exactly with the wall! There is no angling of a table or having something away from the wall so my ideas were not really well received but they went with them, so I am anxious to see if it is still the same when I go to the office today!

I have started to work with two women’s groups, which has been awesome! I pretty much just bake bread with them but I am going to try to start tire gardens with them towards the end of May or early June! The food prices here have sky rocketed and most of these women were barely making ends meet before so now many of them are not able to afford vegetables! Malnutrition is the highest here in Guatemala even though we are not the poorest country here in Central America. I keep telling the women that instead of giving the kids a Q1 to buy Tortrix (the preferred snack here) they should give them a carrot or beets or what not because then they will not have the white splotches on their faces! Working here is a, sometimes, painfully slow process, but when things work out it is an amazing feeling!

This past weekend I was able to travel up to Uspantan, El Quiche, to help build school entirely of plastic bottles stuffed with trash! It is a really cool project. It is a great project to do in Guatemala because littering is second nature here and it helps clean up the town/village! For the school they needed thousands of bottles filled with trash to the point that you could walk on the bottles without sinking in! I am attaching pictures because it is difficult to explain!

That is about it from San Martin, but I will try to get better about updating this thing!

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