Saturday, September 27, 2008

I am a a cat!

Wow….I have a lot to tell you guys!!! So to start off with I got a kitty…YAY! I have been wanting one since I got here and finally found one I liked! Her whole name (the guys in my office told me she could not have just one name since she was Guatemalan)…so her name is Chula B’alam. B’alam is tiger in Kaqchikel and Chula is a term of endearment…she is sooo cute! Although she is super cute she is not so cute when she wakes me up at 5:30 am and won’t let me go back to sleep! It is nice to have someone to talk to instead of just sounding like a crazy person who talks to themselves all the time!

Last week was Independence Day here in Guatemala and it was such a great time. Two days before Independence Day I went with my sitemate and the school she works in to get the torch from another muni about 2 hours away. The torch…as the story goes (or how I was told and understood it)…was sent to all the towns across Guatemala so when people woke up on September 15 they would see the light of freedom. It is also tradition for people to line the street and throw water at the kids (and the gringa in this case). So I was soaking wet by the end of this event, but it was still a blast! The day before Independence Day all of the aldea schools come to San Martin to get the torch for their schools so the kids and I sat outside the house all afternoon throwing water on the other people running! It was one of those moments that you know really is only for kids but you cannot resist joining in and feeling like a 10 year old again! On Independence Day I got up really early and watched the four hour parade which my host brother and sisters participated in, which kind of was boring but fun was hanging out with my family! Later that afternoon I headed to the main plaza to watch more bands and the greased pole contest but we ended up just watching the Tigo guys play all of these funny games with the kids! Later we went and got street food for dinner and then had to walk the 10 minutes home in the rain…yay for not having to take a shower…haha kidding, kinda!!!

I have to say that Guatemalans have an extreme amount of pride in their country. Everyone participates in Independence Day activities, everyone watches the parades and everyone has the flag flying outside of their homes. I might get in trouble or offend people by saying this but here it goes…If we as Americans had half as much pride in our country we would be a much better country! When we were hanging out in plaza they took down the flag and played the almost five minute long national anthem. Everyone stopped, took of their hats, place their hand over their heart and sang, even small children, it was incredible! After the national anthem they then pledge allegiance to Guatemala until the day they die. It was a pretty incredible and moving experience.

So work is good, busy but great! We are moving along in the process of forming the co-op, tons of work and they are starting to listen to me and ask me for advice, soooooo cool!

Well that is all from me…hope all is well back in the States!

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