Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Earth Lodge Pics

Check out Amy's pics on Picassa from Earth Lodge!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

other things

This picture to the right...describes my everyday waking.

About gifts...I'm getting you all gifts from here, but I remember people requesting other items...please let me know if these are wrong, if you want to change them, or add to them:

Mom: wooden vases
Dylan: linen pants/guatemala shirts?
Darcy: rug?

Earth Lodge and the week prior to

Answers: Dylan, no I'm not scared of putting my mask on in front of them anymore
Mom, yes, it's important to my readership.

SO, during the inhalation of millions of particles of infectious tuberculosis this week, aka volunteering, Jill and I bought/brought 2 manicure sets! Of course most all of them had no idea what we were talking about when we said manicure so we had to explain that we were going to cut nails and give massages and paint their nails...only 1 of the patients, who is my age and normal, knew and got it done first. Everyone else was very hesitant until they saw her brightly painted hot pink nails...then more and more wanted them. Even Dona Sylvia wanted one...Dona Sylvia is the crazy lady I feed every day...who I found out has HIV, not TB, so that's great, not injecting her EVER. Painting her nails was a dumb idea though cause she instantly screwed it up so we took it off. She liked it though I think...I mean who, with skin so dry it looks like a cracked desert floor, wouldn't love lotion? I think we gave a total of 5 or 6. I quit my other job, the pediatric one, it was basically useless. I'd get there, wait an hour cause she was always late, then have to leave in an hour and a half and all I did was listen. Didn't learn really anything. So I dropped that to work at Rodolfo Robles one more day. We really want to learn to draw blood...not from HIV people of course. ALSO, I began working out. I went to the gym 2 times last week, in my hiking shoes, which is stupid. I didn't bring running shoes cause, I hate running, so I figured any working out I'd do, hiking shoes would suffice. But, now my left foot is fucked up and my left leg on the inside hurts like all hell, so I think I screwed something up in there. It's been since Thursday and it still hurts to walk. I didn't hike saturday cause it hurt too bad to walk. I didn't do anything special that I remember Thursday night to merit hurting myself. But it hurts. I thought maybe for a while maybe it was just weird knots but I don't know anymore. BUT, so I get on the treadmill, aka the thing I hate most in life, and think I'll just run like a mile to start out...got to a mile and I was like, lets do 1.5, then 2! So I ended up running 2 miles, speed walking a half, then running another half mile! I surprised the shit out of myself. The time in my life when I actually ran, freshman year, I ran 2 miles tops, and here I go after not working out for 3 months and run 2.5 miles! I'm so proud! So of course I had to force myself to do it again the next day, and did, it was way harder, but I did it...all in hiking shoes...pain! Tuesday I'll go buy some running shoes. I will force myself to continue running and increasing the distance! God running is boring.

Anyway so this weekend we weren't too excited about the planned trip, to Earth Lodge near Antigua because they told it was just for relaxing by the fire, in hammocks, and reading...we're like, hellooooo we just had a week off! But it turned out to be great. I seriously felt like I was at a Guatemalan Kerrville...with less people. Some Americans opened it up 4 years ago...most of us stayed in the dorm, with 8 bunk beds, but there were also cabins spread about on the hillside. It was beautiful...though I forgot my camera, but Amy had hers so pictures are pending. So we get to Antigua, and have to take a pick-up, as usual to get there. Then we get there and it seems like they dropped us off on some random dirt path surrounded by poor guatemalan shacks and a giant pila, which we renamed poola since it was as big as a pool. We got there at night too to make it weirder. So we walk down this slippery path for a few hundred meters and get to the lobby/hut/dining room/bar...one big room with a kitchen, table, bookshelf, self serve bar, couch...and super friendly staff of 4. They went on the honor system for drinks...had a whole bar set up and a sheet of paper where you write your name in and tally off the drinks you had, whether happy hour or regular, as well as water, hot shower, etc. Honor system kicks ass. The view was awesome, we were facing 2 giant volcanoes and could see Antigua settled at the base of them both. One of them is dead though, so no worries, the other though we saw erupt both nights, the second night way bigger, you could see it spewing from that far away. It was amazing. So saturday we just hung around, read my new book, cause i just finished reading We The Living, which by the way, I'm glad I'm named after Kira, she's awesome. She would die to live and love. So the new book is, well I don't remember, but it's funny. So while some of the crew went on a mini hike, I sat in a hammock and read and checked out the scenery. The food was great. You could have a cold shower for free or a hot shower for 5 min for 5Q, jill and I opted for the cold shower. There were 3 nice dogs, 3 kitties, a mule, millions of avocados, and the best swing ever. We swang a lot. Sleeping was alright, though I somehow chose the bed with the shittiest blanket ever so I froze the first night and apparently woke up saying, "Jill, Jill, I'm freezing," which she didn't hear but Amy did and didn't do anything to help me out! Agh rude! Saturday night we played some cards and drank some crown, then sat in the hammocks listenign to James play guitar and sing...we sang along sometimes too. It was a relaxing weekend but it was different, I felt more relaxed there, in my kerrvillish brain in the middle of nowhere guatemala on the side of a hill. It rained all day today, sunday. Bought a really cute YELLOW shirt today in Antigua, so cute, I love it and can't wait to wear it. Probably Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Por la primera vez

You all shouldn't get too spoiled for having 3 posts in one day!

Today while I was getting TB, aka working, I got to give an injection in a woman's ass! Not just into the IV, into the butt, it was grrrreat! This is going to help me get into PA school big time. Tomorrow we're giving the women manicures! I love it there, they missed me while I was on vacation. I will quarantine myself for the sake of having this experience.

In my head...at the moment

So, at this point in my life, there are so many roads I could travel down, I'm just standing at the intersection, looking around, wondering which one to take.

I didn't really think about this until I saw Emilee in Belize. It was so sad to hear her and Michelle talk so much about their great apartment in downtown denver, the rockies games, getting excited for the snow to come, fall is beautiful right now, and they are just livin the 20s life. Then, I think about what my life will be like when I get back. I have my family of course, but for friends, the only ones I care to see are Darcy, Polky, Tim, and Travis, and now I have Amy too. Well, great news, Darcy is moving to Colorado, probably to the mountains, and so is fucking Amy! Therefore, I have no girlfriends at all and all I am going to do is miss them cause they're all in CO having the time of their lives together and I'll just be hearing all about it. Laura will be in Houston, teaching. The reasons for me being back in Texas are financial, for my family, and to attempt to get into PA school here cause it's cheap and close to family. Though at one point I had made a decision to stay in CO cause that is really where I'd like to live and go to PA school, and while I still have residency, I could at least try once to get in. What happened to that plan? I had no money to store my life in CO until I got back from here. So let's see, the first time I apply to PA school, the soonest I would go is in 2 years, so I have 2 years to take classes, work, live. Where do I do that, I might not get in-state tuition anymore at UT or ACC, so to save money, why not take them in CO, but there I have to work more and take less classes, cause I'll have to actually be an adult and pay for rent and all that comes with life. But, will I be happy living in Austin, without many friends, obviously I can make friends in class and I plan on joining a league vball team so that will definatley help but, 2 year at least, then another 3 after that if I get in. I guess I don't care where I go to PA school, but I want to spend my time where I will be happiest and most productive until then. Then there's this other side of me that's like, what the fuck is the rush, why not take the classes slow so I do well, work as a medical assistant for a couple years before I even apply cause that will really help me get in, live where I want, and take things as they come? Why is it I feel like I have to take 4 classes next spring, and work full time, get good grades, take the GRE? Only because I'm in a hurry to get into PA school and make $$$$ Honestly I doubt I get into PA school the first time and probably the second time too, my GPA isn't competitive, I haven't done shit for volunteering and I've only really shadowed one doctor, and the PA once. I have nothing they want, yet. Of course I want to be close to my family cause I've been gone so long, WHY CAN'T YOU ALL JUST GO TO CO! Part of me is used to being away though. Part of me also really misses Austin and swimming and the heat. Part of me knows I was unhappy for a long time in CO due to men and that I needed to get out for a while, but was that just Boulder? Should I sell everything I own and go get my dive master and move to Australia and lead dives and swim with sharks and live in a hut with a thatched roof?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Belize

I got bored writing that blog last night, so here I am, going to try to finish it. And yes mom, that is what a Garifuna is!

Well the only problem with San Pedro is that if you don't stay in town, you have to take the island ferry, which costs $26 roundtrip...that's like 175Q! So expensive in Belize, more than USA, and we had to stop ourselves from calculating from dollars to quetzales cause it was just way too much money. So we only went to town twice, once to buy groceries which we though would last us, which they didn't, and the last night to go to the Belizean Beer Bash for their independence. That night I had serious contact issues so I was miserable and we went home at midnight...lame, I know for the last night and nothing to do but travel the next day, but I couldn't hang, I might as well have taken my contacts out and gone blind cause my eyes were closed the whole time anyway. But it was cool walking around and listening to music and drinking Belikin for $2 each. During the week we cooked dinner and breakfast a few times to save money, had a great dinner with wine and dessert at the restaurant for Em's birthday, and had the whole staff sing happy birthday to her, drank a bit that night for her bday. One night we had bought a bottle of vodka, drank it, decided we weren't drunk enough, tried to go to the bar but it was closed, so we tried to break into the bar, got caught by the security guard so returned home to our condo and decided to put balloons in our stomachs and do pregnant yoga! It was hilarious! Em and Michelle somehow knew the same exact routine so that was great, then they lead Jill and I...it was fun. One night, the only night we really partied, we took a bunch of shots of nasty belizean rum before going to the bar, then went to the bar and had shots and drinks and it was just us girls and the bartender cause, well, the resort was filled with old folks and the young couples were out in town. Then, they came back! We broke out the karaoke, sang our hearts out, even if someone else picked a song to sing by themselves, us assholes just kept singing every song, I don't think they minded, it was pretty funny. THEN, the damn security guard said the bar needed to close, so we invited everyone back to 10A, our condo, to parlay it up! They came, we took more shot of nasty rum, and danced on the bar and played music, it was a great night. That night at the bar, Michelle somehow found that she has a hidden entertainment talent cause she got on the mike and was like, "Give it up for Costa Maya resort," and like went on with speeches the whole time that sounded like she was a professional host, it was AWESOME! So anyway, one of the places in Belize to snorkle is called Mexico Rocks, which just happened to be right outside our resort, so one day we took our kayaks out there with the activity guide, Teddy, and he took us snorkeling for free! It was great, saw a couple sharks, squid, fish obviously...I scared a squid and made it ink...ahhahaha, I laughed in my snorkle. The first day that Jill and I were there we went snorkeling just right off the dock and saw great fish and a fucking baracuda...that thing was scary. I was swimming in the darker water cause I was under the dark, adn all of a sudden I see the end of a giant fish...peered around to see what the hell it was, and saw it's huge ass teeth, so scary! I got out of there. Just after that a huge stingray came for a visit too. Belize has so many conch shells. Everytime I've been snorkling/diving I've wanted to find my own conch...in Belize, they're everywhere, even on the menu at restaurants.

Let me tell you about the best day ever.
Us girls wanted to go on a snorkle/dive trip together so we signed up for Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley. Hol Chan Michelle and I got to dive, just to about 31 feet but it was amazing. We saw stingrays, sharks, clouds of little fish that when a big fish swam through they made a tunnel for it, lobster, shrimp like on finding nemo, swam into a little cave, and sea turtles...it was perfect. Then we went to shark ray alley where they throw out a cylinder full of food to attract the sharks and sting rays and big swarms of fish, and are like, hey, jump in! So I did, naturally. It was probably the best experience ever. The guide would grab the sharks by their tails and turn them upside down so they were belly up so we could pet them, so we did, felt really neat, like almost as if they were dry, but meaty and strong. The guide asked me if I wanted to hold it, I'm like hell yes I want to! so I put this shark upside down i my arms and just sat there with it, petting it's belly! It wiggled a lot. Then he went down (we were snorkeling here cause it was only like 8 feet deep) and trapped a stingray in his arms and brought it to us to pet too, then I held it, that was great cause they are really soft/slimy so it's wings/flaps/fins whatever you call them were all over my arms...he told me to lay back and the sting ray just fluttered over me, it was such a neat feeling. I suppose the guide thought correctly like I might as well be a fish so he asked me if I wanted to ride the shark, I'm like fuck yes I'm so doing that, so he told m to grab the dorsal fin and he'd take me for a ride, so I did, and it was amazing, he didn't go very fast but he pulled me through the water, god it was amazing, I will never forget that. I wanted to hold on forever and for him to show me the sea. Ahhhhh. I'm going to have to have a house near the beach so I can scuba dive whenever.

So, what else. so the bartender, Jaime, about 46 years old I'd guess...gave me a freaking clear plastic dolphin bottle opener with plastic flowers inside...then he kissed my cheek, asked me if I wanted to sing with him later during karaoke, hell no, and he said he was going to sing a song for me...shit. This was the night of the singing karaoke like nuts...So, I was hoping it wouldn't happen, but he got on the mike and said that this song was dedicated to kira, and he sang, in front of everyone, "You've lost that lovin' feelin'," and like pet my neck and i wanted to puke or die or puke then die. It was so awful. Apparently he had given this other girl a dolphin keychain too, such a creeper. That was weird.

There were tons of iguanas during the day and crabs at night. We left by plane. Our boarding passes were plastic. We flew to Belize City from San Pedro, bought 2 bottles of Crown Royal (don't have good whiskey in Guate) and 1 bottle of vodka, lip gloss and perfume (cause I always smell), said bye to Em and Michelle, went to the plane to board...and no one else was there. Jill and I were the only ones to fly this international flight on a 6 seater cessna. That was pretty awesome, we had already felt like celebs the whole week at the resort and then we get on our private plane to Guatemala...hahaha. I told the pilot I have like 60 hours and he asked Jill if I could fly, she said no, he said the passenger says no, BUT later he asks me if I want to fly, I'm like YES! So I fly over the border of Belize and Guatemala into a rain storm. I was so excited, it felt great, and Jill didn't even know I was flying, sucker! Flying to Flores, we saw some ruins from the plane, and flew over this amazing blue lake, with no boats on it...weird how no one uses lakes here at all. Got to Flores, bought our flight to Guatemala City, which was a jet, a full one at that (people go to Flores to visit Tikal to see the ruins) and back to our hostel in Guate City. 4 hour bus ride the next day to Xela, and voila, that was our trip! Any questions?!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Belize Blog

Well, here I go:

The trip didn't go as planned on the way there or back, but here I am, living to write about it, so it ended up just dandy. So left Xela for Antigua early Thursday by chicken bus, got to our hostel in Antigua, which was blaring with American music, filled with drunks on hammocks...no wonder we couldn't find the place to check in right away cause the bar was the lobby. Got checked in and put our stuff in our bunks, we stayed in a 6 bed room, with the bathroom down the hall. Right when we walked into our room Jill and I almost died seeing the hottest guy we've seen yet in this country without good looking men. Yum. Anyway, as soon as he left the room Jill and I looked at eachother with equally firey eyes, this guy was delicious. Anyway, the other roommates came in, hammered, and immediatley jumped into bed with Jill! No holds barred. It was actually pretty funny. Anyway, they were annoying afterall and all we wanted to do was stare and take pictures of Max, from German, or maybe he's from Austria, we never really found out. So, we left and had a great dinner, took a stroll and found max on the street, then to a bar for a couple drinks...that was it for the night, until we came back to the hostel, sober, and ended up having a massage line of 10 people! AND they were great at massaging! It was pretty funny, Americans, Germans, Israelis, others, just sitting in a line massaging eachother in the hallway of a hostel, pretty random but great. Jill and I went to bed shortly after. We had planned on climbing the volcano Pacaya the next morning but when we went to sign up they said it was too late...so there went that idea, first thing we wanted to do, shot cause we got to Antigua too late. The next day we had to get up to catch the 1130 bus to Rio Dulce but the front desk lady said the bus would be there at 1230...so we had an hour to shop. Shuttle came and got us, we left for Guatemala City and got dropped off at the other bus station to catch a charter bus thing like grayhound, which come to find, the bus to Rio Dulce had already left, which we would've made if the bus came at 1130 like we signed up and paid for...so we had to take it to Puerto Barrios instead. This completely screwed up our Rio Dulce/Livingston trip...plan was to go from Rio Dulce to Livingston by boat and see the jungle and waterfalls and birds and stuff...nope. This bus ride to Puerto Barrios was hell. 6 hours sitting in the very back next to the bathroom on top of the engine so hot air was blowing on us the whole time. I'm sure people were wondering why these white girls kept stripping off their clothes and were sweating to all hell. It was kind odd to be the only foreigners on this bus...like, what are THEY doing here. It was a long bus ride. Saw a lot of the countryside though. Anyway after some of the people got off the bus we switched seats, and that's when we realized we looked really weird sweating so much in our seats cause just the seats next to us were almost cold...so we got to puerto barrios, sweating from the bus, stepping out into the ever more humid heat to what looked pretty sketchy. Like, not a tourist place. So we opened the good ol' travel guide for Puerto Barrios and found the only hotel with air conditioning. Took a taxi there, fine. Got there, no one around really but the front desk guy and the waitress for the hotel, asked for a room with a/c, none, he said there werent any, all full. Like, wtf, there was no one around and it wasn't that late in the evening. So we went to the room they gave us with 2 fans...come to find a giant fucking infestation of ants or something that looked like ants, crawling from one corner of the room all along the bathroom wall, to the outside world...great! Jill in the meantime couldn't even function because it was so hot...it was miserable there. I took a cold shower and immediatley after I got out of the shower I was sweating again. It was weird hot. We decided that it wasn't going to work out. Also, every now and then people would walk by our window and knock on it and say shit...sketchville. I decided to go tell them we were leaving, right when someone knocked on the window, and I left and went to the lobby just as a man walked in...I'm pretty sure it was the man who knocked on our window, so creepy! Anyway, I told the guy it was too hot and we were going to leave, and he was like, oh we have a room with a/c! SO we moved rooms but we kept trying to ask why he lied and why he said in the first place that there weren't any rooms but he would answer in spanish so fast that he knew we wouldn't be able to understand, so it worked and we quit asking. Lived through the night and walked to the dock to catch the ferry to Livingston...which we ended up chartering our own boat for 250Q cause otherwise we'd waste half the day waiting for the other ferry to fill up and we wanted to get to Livingston to do something we wanted to do. Got to Livingston, dieing of heat, checked out a few hotels, without a/c, once again, not possible to sleep here without a/c, so some garifuna took us to a new "resort" with a/c. Paid 432Q for that one, the hotels on this trip ended up being more expensive than we wanted, didn't realize the coast would be unbearably hot and sketchy. Finally got to relax a little after we decided to get online and book a flight from Punta Gorda to San Pedro cause we were not going to do busses again and we realized that we couldn't get to Belize in time if we took a bus. Bought that, ahh relief. Walked around a bit, and decided to get some lunch. During lunch this old garifuna man comes up to our table and starts talking to us about Austin and Boulder and how he went on tour in the states with his band...ended up sitting down with us, kinda weird at first, but he was really nice. He mentioned that he had a boat, and we mentioned we needed a ride back to Puerto Barrios in the morning to catch the ferry to Punta Gorda...and he said he could pick us up and take us for 250Q if we wanted...GREAT DEAL...but then he said he needed gas so we'd have to pay him ahead of time 50Q cause he couldn't get gas the next morning...do we put our faith in humanity? or do we put it in being fucked over cause we're pretty little blonde foreigners? We put our faith in humanity, and at 7am the next morning, he pulled up in his boat to our hotel's dock, as promised. It was a great feeling. If he wouldn't have been there I probably would never do that again. So anyway, that day in Livingston we walked down the main street to the ocean and held a parrot, talked to this weird little girl, I tried to convince Jill to swim to this island statue with me and that didn't work...had some beers on our hotel's dock, bought some stuff, took a nap on the beach, swam in the neighboring hotel's pool...then dinner at this restaurant that was recommended in the travel guide...got a whole fish on my plate that night, eyes and bones and all. It was good but just weird. While we were waiting for our food this guy comes up to us and says he say us earlier in the day and that we need to remember peoples faces more, just in case, and got mad when we laughed cause he said he remembers faces cause he was in the army...just didn't make sense to us, he totally freaked us out, like telling us we need to memorize peoples faces just in case and he replayed how we walked and where we went and that I looked at him and wtf, so Jill and I didn't go out that night...we stayed at home, decorating the wrapping paper for Em's gift. Actually we went to the neighboring hotel who had live garifuna music and listened to that and had the local popular drink, Coco Loco, which was delicious. Read and bed time. Got up, took a beautiful peaceful ride to Puerto Barrios, and waiting for a 1.5 hours for the ferry to leave for Punta Gorda. During this 1.5 hours we had 15 people come up to us and ask to take a picture with us! Eventually Jill got annoyed of it so I just stood there with Guatemalans taking random pictures...so funny! I think this is about when we started feeling like celebrities. Slept on the ferry to punta gorda..with my head propped on my life vest...very uncomfortable. Got there and walked to the airport...hahahaha, what a joke. It was a building, they didn't ask for our names, and I climbed into the co-pilot seat, soooo excited. It's a weird feeling that comes over me when I get up there. I instantly want to take off, fly, and especially land that bitch. Ha. The pilot was great, good ol' Jerald from San Pedro. He put the intercom on so I could hear the traffic. But in all reality I couldn't hear shit cause it was too loud. He said he would've let me fly if there weren't passengers...sad. We did a stop in Placencia then on to Belize City and then finally San Pedro!!! Landed in San Pedro and got into the taxi which would take us to the dock where we were to catch our boat to the resort. We were sooo excited to see Em and Michelle cause they were supposed to already have been there for 2 days, but the taxi was like, are you Michelle, we're like no, they're already there and he said no they weren't!!! We were soooo sad! Turns out because of Ike, they couldn't leave Saturday or Sunday and didn't get there until Monday afternoon! So we had another day to kill before seeing our girlies. Hoped on the ferry, got to our what seemed abandoned resort (low season for tourists), and went to our kick ass condo. 2 big rooms and huge windows, 2 bathrooms, big kitchen and bar, the best view of all the condos at the resort! Once we got off the boat they immediately brought us 2 fruity beverages! It was heaven at last. Though we didn't do much that day but had lunch and a few cocktails, made a huge happy birthday sign for Em and blew up and hung balloons and hung out in the condo and went to bed early...not too eventful, we were sad. Next day figured they're be there around 5 or 7, so we hung out by the pool and read, got some rays, had some drinks, showered and got pretty for their arrival! Hung around the dock taking silly pics until finally, bliss, they arrived! Costa Maya staff was awesome too, and bored I'm sure, cause they printed happy birthday signs, 10 of them, and colored them and blew up balloons and hung them everywhere, Em was in for such a surprise! They left the balloons up the whole time too! We were all so excited to see eachother we all teared up, it was great! (I'm so bored of blogging and I'm sure I've gone into too much detail)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Belize it or not!

Alive and kickin'

So, we're sitting in Guatemala City...we made it back, alive and kickin'. Were supposed to catch the 1030am bus direct to Xela but there werent any seats left, duh, you can't get there 10 minutes before a bus leaves and expect seats! So, we're waiting at Wendy's until the next one at 12:30. The Belize trip was awesome, I'll blog it all later tonight...For the record, winging it traveling requires more days than you think.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Great Day Volunteering!

Today was the best day of volunteering though I'm thinking my folks are going to quarantine me when I get back to the US cause I'm not stopping working at the TB place...

Got to Rodolfo today, knowing I'd have to feed the crazy again. So, I did, and so this is how it goes, she just sits there looking around, mumbling shit I can't understand, looking at me crazy, I ask her if she wants eggs and no matter if she says yes or no or something, I feed them to her, same with tomalitos and beans...sometimes she points at the bread and she can handle that herself. There's this drink they call atol, which I think is just a liquid form of corn, cause everything is corn here. I thought everything would be beans here, but no, corn. Anyway, so the nurse comes up and it's time for the ladies pill, the atol is too hot so I have to wait for that to cool off until I try to force her to eat her pill. She lays down, shit, she has to eat this pill. So I just stand there and start like, swaying back and forth saying that she needs to eat her pill, smiling, and she SMILES. This lady doesnt freaking smile, she's the scary crazy lady that the nurses put on me cause they don't want to deal with her! She smiled, I fucking loved that, it was great. I suppose just cause she looks crazy, can't feed herself, and doesn't talk real sentences, she can still understand what I'm saying...and she has eyes that work. It felt great, I felt bad for her later cause I figured all the other nurses just sit there and spoon feed her and don't say anything to her, I got bored with that so I just basically talk to a wall, my name is Kira, I'm here for 6 months, I'll be volunteering here for 5 more weeks every wednesday and thursday morning...blah blah blah. I hope she appreciates me. SO that was a great start to the morning. After feeding time I was bored. Oh but another great thing was that right when I got there the other cooke saw me and came up to me and hugged me and rattled off stuff smiling with her eyes closed. That was nice. Then I saw that they were preparing the injections so I went into the room and asked if she could teach me, so she did, 10ml agua in the antibiotics, easy, 2ml of vitamin in another needle (aguja), then we went to give them out, she did one, then I did the next 3! It wasn't that cool cause you just stick the needle into a tube that goes into their veins, so it doesn't hurt them, but maybe I'll get to do injections into the butt eventually. So, did some injections, then I saw the nurses wheel this lady somewhere so I got the idea that they were taking her to do a procedure, and they were, so I just walked in, one knock and walked in...never would fly in the US, they had a camera tube this time in her nose, going into her lungs taking samples out of there! The whole time she was gagging and making horrible noises, it was pretty awful to watch her be miserable, but whatev. What next...so on the way to the hospital I bought some paper, paint, and paintbrushes for an activity! There is nothing to do there, these ladies hang around day in and out walking around doing nothing, bored out of their minds. I was excited to paint, got 7 of them to paint, others said they couldn't, that they didn't know how, which I didn't really understand cause it wasn't like I was grading them or anything. I think they've just never done such a thing, painting is probably something only people with money enjoy, definatley not in the rural areas. They painted trees, flowers, their houses, mountains and farms...pretty much the only things they know. I painted a million hearts then a pirate ship with pink sails and green fish underwater. It was nice, they really enjoyed it I think. Tomorrow I'm going to bring my camera and take a pic of them and me with their pics so you all can see the ladies and their paintings. Then went home happy for lunch, no one talked to me and I didn't care to talk to them, took a mini nap, shower, had class for 3 hours, now going home for dinner, then off to La Parranda where a salsa band is playing...last night in town for a while, should be a good one. TOMORROW JILL AND I LEAVE FOR BELIZE, SO EXCITED. THIS IS MY LAST BLOG UNTIL SUNDAY THE 21ST, IF WE GET BACK THEN. I'll have my phone so if something is urgent, call me, it should work, if at least until this coming sunday. Ok, have a great next week and a half, love you all and miss you all! xoxoxo!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Either your comments are boring or my blogs aren't worth commenting on. Things haven't changed much these days, I suppose less partying, I guess we went a little wild a few weeks ago.

So, this week I only have 8 hours of class, nothing tomorrow. Another student came into town to study, but requested Gladis, my teacher, so we worked it out that I will not have class tomorrow, 4 hours tuesday and wednesday, then 4 more hours added on top of the 6 the week after BELIZE! Jill and I leave for Belize Thursday afternoon. The only reservation we have is at a hostel in Antigua, then we're off to Belize, armed with a few travel books and that's it. I'd say it's the biggest adventure I've been on. In Antigua we're going to climb a volcano and see lava...so cool (or hot actually, haha). That'll be a long blog for sure when we get back. I haven't been so happy in a long time, life here is ridiculous. Volunteering is great (boring sometimes and not mandatory), school is great, friends are great, weather is great, I'm supremely happy. Right now we're watching sex and the city, Amy had her mom send her all the seasons on cd that she owns...so us 3 girls end up watching it randomly with cookies, chocolate, and or wine. This is boring, I'm out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Volunteering Stuff

So yesterday I went to Rodolfo Robles to volunteer for my first time. I got there and they took me to the nurses station for the women. Amy, Jill, and Greg work in the men's side. Only Jill and Amy were there with me, kinda, today. So I get there, change into my scrubs, and the nurse shows me how she gets all the pills together, then I go with her to give them out. Next, breakfast for the ladies...but there's a catch...one of the ladies can't feed herself, so they ask me to do it. Ok, I've never fed a baby much less a old woman, I suppose they're the same in reality. More practice for the baby to come! Anyway, so I didn't want to do something wrong, and the lady doens't speak, she just like grunts and semi-points, more like throwing dead hand towards a general object and you guess what she wants, so I asked if I could watch the first time. This lady is so weird, she'll give you the craziest eyes, like she's going to fucking kill you, the nurse ignored it so so did I, so I watched the nurse and then she left me and I did it alone. Doesn't sound like a big task, which it wasn't, but it was weird as hell. She ate just about nothing and then laid down, I didn't know if I was supposed to force her up (that's what the nurse did originally) or let her lay down and leave. So I left. Later I saw her sit up again and bring the tray to herself so I went back and attempted to help again. I fed her then waited around until they were setting up injections. Watched them mix them up, I think I'll be able to do that eventually, soon likely, then I went with one of the nurses to give them. The ones she did went into the IV they already had so it looked pretty easy, she asked me if I'd like to do it, which I did, but I got scared and said another time...perhaps tomorrow. That'll be cool to give drugs, injections, the feeding of the crazy lady isn't so cool, but whatev. I talked to 3 of the patients. They all have TB so I wore my mask. The first girl I talked to is 18, she can't really speak cause her TB is too bad. She was really nice, but I couldn't hear shit. I was bored and didn't want to just approach the beds to chat, and I was cold, so I went outside to sit in the sun. Walked by one lady who seemed coherent, she was, and I talked to her a little, she only has 2 more days and had been there 18 days...she was nice, I don't remember where she's from. Later I sat on a bench and one of the other younger girls came and sat by me to chat, that was nice, we talked a bit, her husband is in Portland, Oregon and has been there for 4 years! Her kids are staying with their grandparents in Mexico, I think, if I'm not getting stories crossed. Then one of her friends came and chatted too..we were outside, I didn't have my mask on, and felt rude to put it on right when they came up to me just because they came up to me...the wind was blowing their direction so the particles weren't coming my way...so I was thinking and hope is the case. The other friend who came up has 6 kids who her husband is taking care of. I told her I was tired cause I watched a movie in my bed until 12 and she had no idea what a movie was! She doesn't have a tv at home and the first time she saw one was in the hospital! Most of the ladies in my area are from very rural areas, can't read or write, don't have tvs, don't even know about other countries really. Today I asked a random question to one of the ladies, "if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go," she said, "yes." Then I asked again and still, yes, then I asked her if she's ever seen pictures from other countries, no. I let her try on my shoe cause she said it looked soft. Her toenails looked like someone had gnawed on them for years, even the tops. These rural ladies also are really hard to talk to sometimes cause they've had no education and speak the jibberish spanish their folks taught them so it's harder to communicate, but it's great for my spanish. Being in the women's area is good cause they just love to talk, if I sit around they'll just come to me to talk. Next time I go they're going to teach me how to mix injections and probably give them, that's exciting. Today I got there this morning and they immediately took me with them to watch a procedure. It's called a bronchioscope. I didn't know what was going to happen to this lady until it started happening. They wheeled her into the room with the table and all the instruments and stuff, there was a doctor and 3 nurses and me. They had the lady lay on her side, put a towel over her head to cover her eyes, then they put this device in her mouth to keep it open which tied behind her head...so freaky looking, there was a hole in the mouthpiece too, to fit something in it. So the doc takes this thing that looked like a black octopus and hooked it up to a tv and other instruments...they were about to put this huge tentacle into this women's throat who they only spraid anesthetic in! FUCK. So I watched this camera go all the way almost into the small intestine of this lady! It was crazy cool. Then they took this other wire thing which has a claw at the end, like the game you play with the claw to get the stuffed animals, and took out chunks of her stomach! The whole time she's like gagging. Nothing much else happened today, just talked a lot to the patients, ate my snack forever to waste time, talked to Amy and Greg a little...then later I am napping forever, going to eat at the Med aka the best restaurant in Guatemala, salsa class, then live folk music at 9! Great day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Dylan, Jill still had my shorts to wear so that was fine, I just walked around the town naked. WHAT! No, of course not, my bottoms didn't get lost, so I had my bathing suit and one flip flop of mine and one of Andrews, I think.

Darcy, tranquilo means tranquil. And no, we don't eat healthy meals much. The lunches are filled with carbs most of the time, sometimes not, sometimes a soup filled with vegis, but lunch is also entirely too big. Today for example, I had half a heaping plate of spaghetti, 3 things of fried cheese that were like 4x2 inches, corn on the cob, and a bowl of beets. I am gaining weight for sure, I can feel it...boo! I need to work out but it sounds sooo horribly boring and a waste of time. Ha. Whatev. Darcy, and Dad, come fucking visit me during Thanksgiving, you two could even travel together, cute!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The weekend again

Weeks really fly by here, it always feels like Thursday. Today I got 2 letters in the mail!!! So exciting! One from my seester and one from a friend from CU, what a surprise! Letters are always welcome, they increase my happiness here by like 100 fold. Today it's breezy, chilly, cloudy, and probably will end up raining all afternoon. Once again I don't have to go to the clinic cause she's not in. This week I start volunteering at the TB hospital in the mornings with Amy, Jill, and Greg...I just don't do enough at my clinic to feel like it's useful so I added Rodolfo Robles. They get to give out medicines and give shots into IVs and into butts if they want to learn, so it's more hands on. So now my weeks are like this: MW class 830-1130, lunch 145, volunteering 4-?, T movie/conference, WR volunteering 8-?, lunch 145, class 230-530pm, F nada. So this weekend we went to the lake again but this time with the group and obviously way more tranquilo. We left Xela around 230 on Friday, the weather kinda sucked, cloudy and chilly the whole way to Panajachel. We got to Pana and went straight to the hotel, Hotel Garcia or something, it was a little hole in the wall, nothing special, the bathroom was community so in the bedrooms were just beds and a table and a dresser and smelt like musky rotting cemet, if that makes sense. Walking to the hotel we passed by massive amount of SHOPS!!! It was great, we got so excited to go shopping for CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! They were selling everything, blankets, musical intruments, pipes, jewelry, bags galore, art, other fun little things...so much great stuff and bargain city, though they were pretty tough to bargain with sometimes. So we ate dinner at the restaurant right next to the water which was really pretty and there was live music. Had some drinks. I had chicken filets in bbq sauce with mashed potatoes, real mashed potatoes...yum. It was nice to have good food. Then we went to another bar and hung out, went to another and had some shots, on the way back to the hotel stopped to buy beer to bring back to the hotel to play flip cup, which kinda happened, 2 on 2. Of course this wasn't the whole group...Jill, Amy, Ruchi, Greg, Andrew (who is now gone but was awesome), and I. Then bed time. Next morning got up at 8 am for breakfast and a little shopping before we went to San Pedro. We surprisingly felt great, no hangovers! Woo! Had waffles, cold waffles, and fresh OJ, which is always delicious. Then shopped and bought you all gifts!!! After the shopping spree we hopped into a boat taxi over to San Pedro to the same hotel we were in last weekend. Got to the kayaks again as soon as possible cause Andrew was going to leave at 3pm for Antigua to leave back to the states today. This is where things got interesting and completely awesome. We hung out on the boats for a while with our beers and pringles, attempted to have battles standing up on one of the kayaks...didn't work so well. Then someone had the idea to flag down one of the boat taxis to get them to tow us around in our kayaks...GUATEMALAN STYLE TUBING...and it worked! The guy stopped and tied all 3 kayaks to the boat and began to pull us but one of the kayaks tipped and got full of water so we just cut that one loose and all hopped into the 2 left. He towed us around for like 10 minutes, it was hilarious. Like, what the hell are we doing right now, tubing in kayaks behind a boat taxi in a lake surrounded by volcanoes in the middle of Guatemala. Though...things got lost. Greg and Andrew decided to try to hang on to the back of the kayaks and get pulled which looked like a lot of fun so of course Jill and I did it too...but in order to no lose our bottoms, we took them off and put them in the boats with the rest of the stuff...though, somehow Ruchi and Amy didn't realize that my dress, Jill's bottoms, and one of my flip flops got washed out of the kayak into the abyss of a lake never to be found again. Then jill fell off and the boat taxi driver didn't want to go back to get her, so Greg had to paddle out to her half naked ass. It was interesting but all worth it. Though I'll miss that dress. Jills camera also was found drenched in the kayak...we thought it was in the dry bag but, no, it sadlly was not. So we got done kayaking and had the money that our director had given us to spend on lunch after kayaking (the others in the group ate lunch first and went kayaking after us)...we spent our lunch money not on lunch, let's just say that. What else....we took naps later and then went to meet the group at this indian like restaurant for dinner. I had lasagna, it was delicious, and a molten lava chocolate thing, basically chocolate goo...The restaurant was cool, you sat around the tables on mats surrounded by pillows and a neat lamp hanging above, there were probably 10 tables under a hut with a roof of dried banana leave (I think)...nice music, great atmosphere. Then we did absolutely nothing that night but hang out in the hotel room. Next day up and had breakfast, were supposed to catch a chicken bus from San Pedro back home but there was a jesus parade going on on the road where our bus was supposed to be so Liz(coordinator) found a pick up truck for us all to squeeze into once again to take us to the highway where we'd catch a chicken bus...Piling people into the back of a pickup truck with bars is the norm here for transportation, we've done it quite often. The first time I thought it as kinda weird and scary but now I'm used to it and it's kinda like a ride and you get better views and there aren't people who smell squishing you and there's no horrible music blaring like in chicken buses. So, it ended up being better this way cause we got to see a gorgeous view of the lake and the volcanoes. Got back to Xela about 2pm and had lunch in the food court at the mall, always a treat! I had taco bell and it was perfect. That's pretty much it, just hung out at the school after that and did stuff online and watched part of Pulp Fiction, which by the way sucks and I have no idea why it's a "classic." I was sooo bored that I just turned it off. Can someone explain this to me? So, now I'm off to my house for lunch, and perhaps a siesta. Que les vaya bien, hasta pronto.