Friday, October 24, 2008

Old post I didn't post (Sor): To Oaxaca We Go

Well, tomorrow we leave at 9am for Oaxaca, Mexico...4 hours in a chicken bus to the boarder, always fun, then we switch buses to a nicer bus, "pullman," more like a really old fashioned gray hound with windows that open, and a bathroom, luckily, since we'll be in that bus for 12 miserable, hot hours. What the hell are we going to do with ourselves for that time. Most of us have ipods, but those don't last too long, we bought some crayons to draw, and will have cards and a half bottle of Crown Royal...I'll probably just sleep more than I'd ever need to. Bought some food and water for the trip...any ideas? This drive is going to be like going from Austin to Denver...damnit, so long. We'll be there for a week, taking group lessons and living in homestays. They are pairing us up, so of course, they put me with Jill. Should be a great week. We'll be spending Halloween there, which will include looking like dead people, walking through the cemetary...it's going to be the scariest Halloween ever!!!!! This is the link to our school: http://www.icomexico.com/ It looks like a really nice place. We're pretty excited to get out of Xela for a bit, well actually we're going to be out of Xela for a while cause when we get back from Mexico we're going to Coban then El Salvador, I think I already told you this...

Last night I was in a dance competition, and lost, to the only black girl in Guatemala, Crystal, who's in our group, haha. They made us get up on this raised area on the corner of the dance floor, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into cause they said it in spanish and it was way too loud...then I had to go first, damnit again. Amy dropped it like it's hot.

This was our last week volunteering too, finally, after 10 weeks. Everyone I had gotten to know, as for patients, had left so it was a good time to end it. Turned out there were also festivities thursday for San Raphael so we spent our time decorating the hospital with cut out fish, balloons, and streamers. Then there were some games, like sac race, who's the oldest, who's been there the longest, pinatas, Greg had to give a speech, sucker, some candy and pound cake...it was great. They acknowledged us a little, which was nice. I gave a butt injection to a man with HIV and tuberculosis. He kept telling us his heart was going to fail but a nurse made him bend over and lay on the bed...she told him it was to relieve the pain, liar, gave him the injection, then he thanked us and said some sort of prayer to us. Thanked one nurse for everything, and left. It was a great experience, I learned more than I thought I would. Oh, so Greg told Jill and I that there was some sort of procedure going on in this room, so Jill and i went to check it out...this room is not an operating room by any means but there was this guy, laying on this hospital bed type thing, head wrapped in sheets, laying on his side with his dirty feet next to his even dirtier jacket, with a gaping hole in his neck and two pairs of scissors inside.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kira

Mom and Dad, I'm glad you named me after the Kira in We The Living. I would also die to live and love. You were spot on and you didn't even know it, or maybe you did :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

yes it rains a lot, no i'm not staying away from things that will make my heart stop, and what the fuck is a jewish cat?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hike to waterfall at Nueva Alianza

Kids at Tilapita

Huehuetenango

coolest week ever

Last week might be the coolest week ever. I didn't blog about the coffee farm, cause the pics explain what was important really. So last week was the usual week, volunteering, not volunteering, class, missing class...BUT, Thursday at volunteering they taught us how to draw blood! So, Jill drew from Amy, Amy drew from Jill, Greg drew from a patient, I drew from Greg! We all got in the vain well, drew the blood, effortless. Though Greg's vain wasn't as easy...it was hard to see cause the nurse cast a shadow over it and it wasn't bulging much anyways, but it worked! I luckily didn't have to get poked. THEN, I made a decision early last week: I was going to move out of my house and into the school. Reasoning: I need to speak Spanish more than just in class, and I don't at home and knew I would at school, second, I am always at the school, I only go home to eat and sleep. SO, Friday morning, I told my family I was moving out, that morning, had Jill and Greg come over and help me pack my stuff up, and I moved to the school! It's so great here, I love it already! There's unlimited water to drink, and I can fill up water bottles, I don't have to walk outside to shower or brush my teeth, the bed is way more comfy and warmer, I have 2 big windows that look out to the mountains and open up for fresh air, friends can always hang out in here, internet constantly, there is a cat sleeping in my lap right now, always hot water for tea, family talks to me a lot and corrects me...it should be great. Though we're really only in Xela for like a month more since this weekend we go to Oaxaca, Mexico for a week, then we get back and leave Wednesday to travel to Coban, Guatemala (just Jill, Amy, Greg and I) where we can white water raft, float through caves, see waterfalls, then we get back and leave for El Salvador for 2 weeks where hopefully we'll get to surf! Anyway, so Friday Jill, Greg and I left for Antigua to climb one of the 36 volcanos in Guatemala and one of the 2 active ones. We left late of course from Xela so got into Antigua late, not knowing if there was room at the hostel or if we could sign up to hike that late, but it all worked out. Got rooms at Jungle Party again, and signed up for the hike, leaving at 6am. Took it easy in Antigua and got up early for the 45 bus ride up to the volcano. We got there, rented hiking sticks for Q3, and the hike began. At first it was just through the normal brush of a mountain, then onto the side of the mountain that was exposed showing us how high we really were up, we could see 2 other volcanos and dried lava from a huge explosion years ago. Finally, after about 45 minutes, we turned the corner to see Pacaya...a giant mountain, but black, smoking from the top and along parts of the sides from the lava beneath. There was an option to ride horses up, or catch one if you got tired on the way, which some people did. So after a pause to take pics of Pacaya, the group continued...though our guide asked us if we wanted to go skiing! So of course, we did, so we ran up above the path a ways to another path. The volcanic rock was like sand dune/ski hill consistency so off we went, skiing down the side of the volcano (more like jumping side to side with out feet together and sliding down), until we got to the lower path.....it was sooooo much fun! There wasn't lava on that side of the volcano so we continued to hike through the volcanic rocks, of all sizes, until we go to a part of the volcano where the volcano had spewed fresh lava a few days earlier. Apparently it hardens in like a day. Anyway, this part was crazy, it looked like we were in mars really. The rocks looked like they were flowing, but they were hard. It was a sea of hardened lava. But up to this point it had been quite cold...where as now, we were walking over and next to freshly hardened earth puke which was hot at times. The main point of the walking sticks was to poke at the rocks really hard to make sure you didn't step into a weak spot and fall through to the molten lava. So we continued up next to the hard lava and then made our way into it, to where we saw flowing, gurgling, red hot, molten lava. It was kinda hard to get to see it cause it was really hot at spots and there was also really toxic smelling gas coming out that made you cough and feel like if you breathed in too much you may pass out, as well as making sure you were walking on solid lava, and getting around all the other people who wanted to see it up close. One guy did fall through the rock, but luckily, there was just more rock underneath. Got some pics, just you wait. It was amazing. OH, and I ran 4 miles straight. What the hell I forgot something HUGE! I WAS IN MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE! I was sitting in my (old) room reading when the fucking earth starting moving. My brain kinda went blank until I was like, uh, I think this is an earthquake! It lasted quite a while, like 13 seconds or so, and afterwards my towels which were hanging, were still swaying and I felt super nauseaus (sp?). Then a few seconds later there was another, shorter one. It was the weirdest thing ever. You never know how much you trust the solid ground until it starts moving. I can't imagine eating mushrooms and feeling an earthquake, that would really really suck. The epicenter was in Mexico. I really didn't want to eat lunch afterwards, I felt so weird, like I was still moving. I wouldn't say I'd like to feel that ever again. SO. EARTHQUAKE, LAVA, DRAWING BLOOD, 4 MILES, MOVED.

What happens when a chicken bus stops

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VIDEOS

I've tried to upload videos on this thing many times, but it always screws up...got lucky once and have been trying ever since and still not working. I have a bunch of videos. AND Lindsay, I haven't lost my mind, damnit! I LOVE MY LIFE.
video

Things I've lost

I don't know what Guatemala has done to me but here is a list of the things I've lost so far:

-probably at least 5/6 umbrellas
-military knife
-rain jacket
-dress
-flipflop
-hat
-headlamp
-I'll add more if I remember...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coffee Farm

Today...I ran 3 miles straight. I could've kept running too, I wasn't tired, and had plenty on my mind...but I decided, nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I could've ran until I passed out. It was great! I hate running, it's such a mind game. Yesterday I could hardly run a mile, I was dieing...mostly due to being estar de goma to all hell (hungover). I didn't go to volunteering or class cause it was so bad. It was Ruchi's birthday Wednesday so she had a party at her house (cause her mom's awesome)...tons of people, lots of dancing, it was super fun. It was pretty funny, Greg and I were standing there talking with like 5 other Guatemalans, and I was like, do you think these kids have any idea what I'm saying...and like a few of them looked at me and were like, yea, we understand everything! ShiT! Good thing I didn't say anything bad, at least I don't remember saying anything bad... You always have to be careful what you say! I hope that happens to mexicans back in the states with me...I'll just mumble off some spanish right back at them, ha! Anyway, so running sucks, but I killed it today.

Weekend: Going to a coffee farm! Woooo. I'm looking forward to it, we're doing 2 hikes to waterfalls where we get to go swimming. Also theres talk of picking medicinal plants...who knows. Should be pretty cool. We also get a private bus there which kicks ass cause usually we take a chicken bus which can be hell...packed in like sardines with indigenous people who smells like cow shit and dirt. Have I told you all about the people who come on the buses? Well there are the ones who come on and try to sell nuts, tamales, drinks, etc...but there are also people who come on there missing both arms but still holding a tray to put money in, another guy had a gaping gushing bloody hole in his stomach, people come on there trying to sell herbal sex enhancers or muscle toners, others are just flat out preaching...its so weird. I captured the selling on film once...I'll check to see if I can post that video on here. Well, that's all for now. Crystal is having us all over at her place tonight to watch a movie!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ok

Not going to South America...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Something I've Realized

First of all...do you people read my blog anymore or what? Where's the comments? I realize my life is utterly boring to you all right now but, come on, I love the comments. By the way, Dylan and Mom, finding wooden vases is way harder than I thought...it's not a common find and the ones I've found are really expensive even in $ terms.

So, today we did a little hike up a near hill to this place called Baul...just some rusted slides and broken down buildings and such. On the way back down I got to thinking. I've always thought of myself as independent, but now I know that's completely bullshit at least in one sense. I have to have a partner in crime, whether that be boyfriend, best friend, sister/mother, near me at all times. Perhaps this is why I tend to always have a boyfriend. Here, though I have Amy, Jill, and Greg, all good friends, I've been wondering why I've still felt like I was lacking something in my life. It's that partner in crime. The friend to go to the mall with me, wait for me when I fall behind, someone I know will always be there for me and will be down for adventure or just doing nothing. Of course this exists in the states, and is obviously why I haven't realized it until now. I was talking to Amy and Jill about this and they told me that I need to find things to do on my own that make me happy, or get a shrink (thanks Amy). Amy said some things that are her favorite in life are things she does when she's alone...not masturbation. I really couldn't think of things I do when I'm alone that make me happy. If I'm alone I'm sleeping, on the computer, trying to find out something to do with someone, etc. But I'm also not so sure needing people is a bad thing...how would I even try to break myself of that when, being the baby of the family, I've always been taken care of and had no worries about not having anyone. Perhaps it's not a bad or good thing, but it is something I need to figure out cause I hate feeling left, and instead of feeling left or disappointed, I need to just pick up and do whatever the hell I want to and not get so distraught with those whom I feel should give me what I need. I'm obviously happy with myself, but what do I do with myself when I'm alone, in the sense of now, of not having a partner in crime? Skype alot!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Running out of Titles




Well this weekend was pretty tranquilo...Friday night we went to this new bar called Ojala where Amy's future husband and his band played some covers, mostly bluegrass type stuff...roughly. It was great, I felt like I was home. Saturday I went and bought some shoes...let me tell you that I'm a giant here. You don't really know that until you go to buy running shoes and first of all they don't have up to my size in women's...only up to like a 7...then I finally find a store, Adidas, with real live shoes, but I have try on like 5 shoes, all too small, in MENS. I have bigger feet than the majority of males in Guatemala, fuck! But eventually I find some, gray, silver, and YELLOW, fuck again! But I bought them, cause they are comfy and I need to run so...still haven't used them. Ok, about real live shoes. Just like every other store, I don't know why I thought it would be different with shoes, but every store, who claims they are like, CHAMPS, or other sporting goods store with a real, American name, aren't real at all and neither are the goods they sell. I went into Champs thinking they'd have real shoes, I mean, it's Champs, but no, the soles of the Nike's were uneven, the check marks are all off, and just flat out are fake. I wonder if guatemalans know that they are buying fake Nike's. Gap is like this too. Luckily I found a real Adidas store. I looked at Puma too, which I think has genuine stuff, but it's not a chain store...like they just buy Puma stuff and resell it. Anyway, interesting trip to the mall, like, can I please have the biggest shoe possible in all of Guatemala please? Saturday...Jill and Greg got really bored and went and made a beer bong, then that night everyone proceeded to beer bong over and over, I only did like 2 cause I kinda forced myself to go to the school anyway, and that was just a big mess. Beer bottles broke everywhere and beer spilled everywhere. We went home early. SUNDAY FUNDAY! Got up, went to Hyper (aka mall), and ate Taco Bell, yes, what a treat! Then we went to the zoo! Zoo complete with monkey's, rabbits, pigs, foxes, a jaguar, birds, slides, and other games. We did bumper cars, which was super fun, Greg almost died from a head on collision and side impact at high velocity. I have some pics...coming soon to a computer near you, wow! After this little adventure we went to this video casino...just to check it out, just a bunch of slot machines and some tables, and like 5 people. Though it was the middle of the day. I felt like I walked into Blackhawk, CO...Then there was a fair in the park, with an amazing amount of stands and food and stuff. Didn't buy anything. Oh I saw 2 funerals this past week. They carry the casket through the streets with the hurse (sp?) in front and everyone holding arms behind the casket, on the way to the cemetery. And they walk sooooo slow. Today at the hospital one of the patients asked me to take her back to the states (this happens a lot and they are serious), same lady asked me for 20Q cause she is poor and needed phone minutes, and another asked me if I could give her some clothes cause her mom took hers and never visited again so she doesn't want to wear her pj's home in 10 days! Interesting day. I have some clothes I think I'll give her since I don't want them anyway and need more space in my suitcase. Nothing much else...except:

I think I'm moving to Mendoza, Argentina in January for who knows how long with Amy. Dylan has a friend down there starting up a winery and needs hands...though he won't be able to pay us I'm trying to see if he can at least feed us and we'll stay in our tent on his property until we find legit jobs and a home. Another cool thing is that Amy's sister works for continental so she gets buddy passes which make international flights like less than $300! Mendoza is awesome, it's next to the Andes so you can snowboard, wineries, rivers for white water rafting, etc, awesome. So...working out some things, but so far that's the plan. CRAZY. Who knew. Though all could fall through and I could be in TX, or CO, in January. We'll see!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Nothing new

Hi friends and fam! Well I haven't blogged all week cause nothing, absolutely nothing interesting has happened. It's begun to rain everyday; you can wake up and it'll be beautiful, but by 2pm it's pouring and thundering and cold as hell. It's only going to get colder too but supposedly the rain should stop sometime soon. I think we were very lucky the first three months cause it was supposed to rain a lot but didn't and we got a lot of sunny days. This weekend is a free weekend so we're doing nothing here in Xela.............br.