Friday, August 22, 2008


Hey Everyone! I apologize that neither Sarah nor I have updated the blog in such a long time. We have been adjusting to our new lives here and trying to get all of the accoutrements to our new place (literally to our place) from Santa Cruz, the cabecera, of our department. We finally received them after the typical Guatemalan delay and problems and – I hate to say this – our lives are so much better now that we have a bed that fits us!

All of you in the email group have a good idea of what happened in the first month of our service so I won’t rehash it in detail. Needless to say our situation is 100% better and two years seems more doable than one month ago. Well, twenty-three months from yesterday! It’s amazing how slow the days are and how fast the months go by.

We are slowly sticking our heads out into the community and finding a mixed response. Many of the people in the communities outlying our site are a bit skeptical of the new gringos. I set up a meeting for one week ago with the community development committee (COCODE) and when Sarah and I arrived a woman we know told us the COCODE didn’t want us and, also, that the people “have fears”. Well, then.

The instructor at the school then came up to us and, seeing that we were a bit downtrodden, offered us the opportunity to work in the schools for an hour a week giving health talks and teaching a little bit of English. We are also going to start reaching out to other schools in other communities next week to see if they’d like us to come and give our health charlas.

Right now we’re focusing on the interchange of cultures and learning Spanish. On that note, we are experiencing an interchange right now! The marching band is practicing literally outside of our window for the feria (fair/celebration/holiday) called “The Fifteenth of September” (El Quince de Septiembre) and it is their Fourth of July. They practice every day at around 5 or 6 for a couple of hours. And now they’ve started to practice at 5-6 in the morning. Ahh, Guatemala…

And now, I bring you the pictures! Remember that you can click on them to make them larger!
Sarah's Host Family (L-R Mariela, Mario José, Doña Roxana, Yadira, Joseline)

Mat's Host Family (Don Andres, Doña Salome):
Mama Lichi and Doña Roxana:
A really nice restaurant in Antigua called Red's:

Riding in the back of a pickup on the way to Antigua from swear-in:
L-R Thea, Ellen, Ashley:
Rural Home Preventative Health. The guy in the cowboy hat is David, our technical trainer, and he is famous for sayings such as "stinky like moist wood".
The certified breeders of the group! (Married couples):

A really cool random wall in Antigua:

View from the hotel of Volcan Agua in Antigua:

One of the schools that we will be working in for the next year or two:

The view from where the school is overlooking the community (it's beautiful):

One of the typical after-storm skies in our site:

View of the hills around our site during a storm from our roof:
Us after walking four miles in 85-degree weather (uphill!)
Lovely Sarah modelling our kitchen (Check out the skylights!):
Our bedroom (with a bed!)
Remember to check out Sarah's post underneath this one!

1 comment:

Rob said...

Mat - I love how in the the third picture it looks like you're seven feet tall