Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Week Down, Part 2

Since I never get a chance to write during the week I have to make up for it on the weekend and I always give a double dose of bloggy goodness. Guatemala is such a beautiful and tranquil place (despite the bombas). The paciencia of the people is amazing. People are much more understanding when you make mistakes and are always, always kind. Even though I am a stranger everyone I have met has been so welcoming and open. They are eager to extend hospitality sometimes going so far out of their way to accommodate me that I feel badly. When I feel my lowest, when I can not speak or understand any Spanish, I am always reminded by the wonderful people to take a minute and realize that this is not the land of immediate gratification. Love your mistakes. Take more time to learn from them. Poco a poco. How refreshing.

The relationship to time is so different too. And I love it. Tiempo es vida (time is life). What a fabulous phrase. Even though I know that I have a long way to go in learning Spanish and more about this country and its people, I don’t feel nervous or scared about it coming in time any more. It is a relief to let go of that anxiety. Something clicked for me and I realized that I actually can not flip a switch and be fluent or comfortable here. I am going to struggle daily and that is ok, maybe even good. I can take this time to get to know the people and form relationships. I am not necessarily ready to call this place home, but it is starting to feel more natural. People are getting used to seeing me walking around Duenas, I know a couple of the tienda owners, and I can even take part in a little local “chisme” or gossip with the women in the Puesto. And now that I am better able to understand what people are saying, I am starting to get used to the sense of humor. Thank goodness too. I thought I was going to go crazy not being able to joke around with people.

Sunday is Antigua day. Some friends of ours are meeting there tomorrow for lunch, hanging out in the park, and drinking espresso from CafĂ© Condessa. It is hard to swallow that instant stuff. Speaking of instant….. My family grows coffee in their backyard which they then sell to coffee fincas. But they drink instant. I can not figure it out. They export all the good stuff. Well obviously they make money off of it but still. For my family, it is literally in their backyard. I bought some Guatemalan coffee and have been brewing my own. The instant just does not do it for me in the mornings. Go figure. And if I need to wake up and speak in a language that I am not fluent in, I need a serious kick start. Hell, I can barely speak English before my morning cup of joe.

Oh I forgot to mention that I went to this awesome organic macadamia nut finca. Deliciousness all around. You get a complimentary taste of the nuts and chocolates and you get to test the oil and cream. We want to go back for the macadamia nut pancakes! Anything else happen this week? I guess Mat will have to update you all soon. I know that I am certainly not getting enough fat or something because I have already tightened my belt one whole notch. Mat looks like he has lost some weight too. I really miss Indian food. Kumar, I am thinking of you right now as I crave your taste-tacular Palak Paneer!!!


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