Tuesday, May 12, 2009

cappin it all up

here's my address!!
PCT Sarah Tankoos
Cuerpo de Paz
Apartado Postal 66
Antigua Guatemala
Sacatepequez 03001
Central America

So, let's seeee. thanks for all your posts. they mean a lot to me!
So the first day we arrived in Guatemala, we had some safety and health stuff and then we walked to our homestay families. i did not know ANY spanish at all, so that was preeetty awkward. I met with the family i was staying with, i'm sure i was the only one who was staying by themself.. but that's okay. it worked out the best because i could practice my spanish one on one. i showed my homestay family all the pictures of you guys and who you were and everything.. in spanish from my memory and then the dictionary was and has been my best friend since i've gotten here. So then we had two more days of health and safety and cultural training! All of us, 32, were in Santa Lucia. A little over a week ago, me and three other volunteers were assigned to move to San Mateo, which is where I'm staying now for the next three months. I absolutely love my homestay family and parents and their three kids, Norah, who has a 3 month old baby, Bryan, Eddy, whose 13, and Marline, whose 16. We watched Buscando Nemo a few days ago (finding nemo in spanish!)
Last weekend we went to a celebration for construction workers, which is every 3rd of may. it was reeeally lively, there were beautiful ground art made out of leaves, flower petals and paper mache items. there was a lot of music, food and dancing, and lottts of people! there was a huuge carnival, too! soo that was reeeally crazy.
oh yeah, i've not been wanting to mention this, but i've had fleeeas for a bit goin on there. not fun AT ALL! they like to find some warmness during the rainy season, now, in warm beds.. so they were keepin caliente in my bed.. lovely! soooo uncomfortable, i could feel them biting me at night. they were in my clothes and everything. soo i put some plastic on my bed, and eycalyptus all over my room, in my clothes, shoes, under my mattress and they are officially gone! soo yay!! itch-free!
hmm.. i've been eating a lot of tortillas, beans, rice, beef, pork, chicken, noodles, tomatoes, green chiles, mmm.. coffee and atoll, a really good drink made with rice and cinnamon and sugar. lots of soup with all of those items! yeah, the food has been reeeally good!!! the fruit is delicious, fruits of all shapes and sizes and colors sold everywhere.
i've been to antigua a couple times, antigua is one of the past capitals.. it's soo nice with cobblestone streets, you all know how much i love cobblestone streets.. and shops and a huuge market with all types of goodies.
i've been dressing pretty nice with nice shoes and skirts.. it's a real formal culture here.. they like to look nice as much as possible and they expect that you would too. so it's best not to offend them with my usual sneaker, flipflop and scruffy atire.
everyday we've had hours of spanish class, and some technical training. last week we worked on community mapping, mapping of daily activities and seasonal activities for our future needs assessment in our communities.. that is the foundation of our work here in community development.
all in all, i'm feelin real good about being here. i feel really good with the family and friends and teachers, mentors that i've met since i've been here.. so all positive things about that!
next week we're learning about the history and the civil war that was going from 1954 to 1996. so it's going to be a lot to take in. everyone here is really friendly though! and always offering such warm welcomes of "buenas" to everyone on the street. it's been really pleasant, i'm enjoying it a lot!!!!!
that's all for now, gotta get to technical training in community development for the next 3 hours! thanks for listening. i miss you all and send warm and loving thoughts your way! : ) : )


  1. So great to read your newsy post. Not all good news I see but you sound great and positive. Quite a lot on your plate.

    Lots of love, Dad

  2. Sarah Girl,
    So glad you got rid of the fleas!!! Never knew eculaptyus worked that way!
    Good to know you are enjoying your "family" and home away from home.
    Now don't let the bedbugs bite anymore!
    Love, Aunt Carley

  3. Sarah - your Dad sends this on to me and Greg and we really enjoy hearing from you.  I am glad you got rid of the fleas!!
    Love, Lindsay and Greg

  4. sorry we got cut off. use your minutes careful! loved hearing from you. LOL, Dad

  5. Hey, there, Sarah! Good to hear about all the grand adventures you're having down there. So glad you are happy w/ your host family (although the dressing nice would really bum me out, since, like you, I'm jeans and scruffy attire!), but great that you are getting along well w/ them. Ewwwwwww, fleas??? Really? YUK! I'm itching just thinking about it, you poor thing. But now I know that I could probably save a fortune on flea control for the dogs by bathing them in eucalyptus! Hmmmmmmm.......Something to think about! Study hard, eat well, stay healthy and happy down there! Love you lots!

    Aunt Judy

  6. Well - this is a pretty cool site... as fantastic as I am on Facebook - I have YET to learn how this blogger thingy works. I will figure it out soon enough - no worries. This is awesome! Keep us updated whenever you can.

    Don't get any more fleas - and best of luck when you get the worms Danielle warned you about! Glad the fleas went away - it was very nice of you to keep them caliente for the time they were visiting with you.

    Keep studying that Spanish - you are going to learn SOOOOO much more than if you were studying it here - so enjoy that aspect of it!

    Nice to hear the people are friendly - sounds like your host family is great - Interesting that you watching Finding Nemo in Spanish... Maybe if they have Friends in Spanish down there - you can watch those episodes - since you know every line by heart - that would be a good learning experience for you also!

    Ok - TOODLES. Keep updating whenever you can. I'll figure this thing out eventually.

    I love you.

    ~Your Wonderful Sister, Kayte