Saturday, May 30, 2009

it's been a month!!

hi lovely friends and family!!!
i hope you are all well on this fine saturday! i'm hanging out at the cuerpo de paz office on the computer.. watching that victor borge video, thanks padre! he's real funny! anyways, the past couple days have been fuun. i'm trying to remember what i've been doing. hm. on tuesday we had technical training in the morning.. and then ate lunch and then in the afternoon we had a speaker talk about different forms of activism and community action. he had spent a lot of time working for a newspaper that investigated corruption in the government for a number of years. then now he's working with communities at a grassroots level, which is what we will be doing in our individual communities.. facilitating conversation, community mapping, getting to know what kinds of projects are most important to them. our position is on the sidelines, our position is to figure out what is most important to the community and then help them gain access to resources. i'm really excited about it! the guy talking was really smart, he had multiple different levels of how he thought about the world, cultivated probably over years of his thinking. i wish i could share, but i don't really remember too much. i just remember it was really fascinating!
then after that, i played basketball for awhile outside, that was wonderful. brings back so many memories of childhood with all the basketball i used to play with you, jenny!!! que mas? tiara, sidney, robyn and i missed the bus, so we came back sort of late that night.. which they always encourage us not to be out after dark.. muy peligroso, very dangerous! but we were good to go! then i ate some chicken soup for dinner with lots of veggies and tortillas. and then i think i went to bed. it was a long day of travels and learning.
then the next day, we had spanish class in the morning and learned about medicinal plants and herbs!!! that was soo interesting! and then we went to robin's homestay and her mom showed us the different plants because she was organizing hundreds to sell in guatemala city this weekend. then she was so kind to give us a group of the seven traditional guatemalan medicinal herbs- one was for healing your stomach, another was for cleansing your spirit, another was for diarrhea, another was a healing and cleansing the body, i can't remember the others, but it was really fascinating and she was so kind for giving us a bouquet of them!
that night i ate some dinner with my homestay family and then played cards with my homestay brothers for a couple hours! we had soo much fun playing. as i'm learning more spanish, we can really joke around with eachother about winning and losing and our cards and everything. it's so much fun!! then i went to sleeeep after that
que mas? the next day we went to the cuerpo de paz office to have technical training.. there was a presentation given by two volunteers about how to choose what types of topics we wanna teach about in our schools. and then they told us all about a week long sports camp that they planned like 4 months in advance. the presentation made me kind of nervous with everything because they were super duper achievers, but it will be okay. we'll all find our place and what works for us and what works for our community. it will all be good in good time!
let's see, that afternoon.. our spanish class, consisting of me and the three other volunteers from san mateo, watched a movie called El Norte. it was an incredible incredible movie about a brother and sister who lose both their parents to the guatemalan military who invaded their pueblo one night. so they get some money from their godmother to escape to the north- the mexico and eventually los angeles, which is what many guatemalan refugees did during the civil war here. it was an incredible movie, i would suggest you guys to watch it if you can get it. it's so tragic though, it is so sad. but it's very honest.
then that night we missed that early bus again, so we waited for a little over a half an hour at the bus stop for our bus to san mateo. then returned back to my homestay and ate dinner with my homestay family.. then i played uno againnn. we had a good time, i think i won a whole bunch! went to sleep.
hm, and we are up to yesterday.. what happened yesterday? i slept in til 9.. oh that was marvellous.. it's been weeeeks since i've slept in past 7 a.m.! then me and the 3 other san mateo volunteers hung out for a while and talked and studied espanol and talked some more. then we went to the school that we've been working at the past few weeks. we've been playing english games with them and observing the classroom and everything and meeting all the students. my homestay brother and sister are in the classrooms that we are working with, so that's cooool! and then later that day all 54 students and us fit into a classroom, ate popcorn and drank coca cola and watched parts of apocolypto.. which is based roughly on the history of the mayans. the subtitles were in spanish, so that was sort of tricky, but luckily most of movie is visual. then we helped clean up a little bit and went back to our homes.
me and my homestay family ate dinner together and then we played cards again and then i talked to dylan on the phone <3! and then went to sleeeep!
this morning we walked to santa lucia, where the peace corps office is.. had beans and bread for breakfast and left for santa lucia at 630 a.m. sidney robin and i walked for about 45 minutes up and down the mountainous roads, past the farms and arrived in santa lucia!!
this morning we were so incredibly lucky to be able to take part in a mayan ceremony.. i have to think about it more before i talk about it. i'm listening to seinfeld stand up while i'm writing this so i'm not in the right mindset to talk about the ceremony. but it was one of the most beautiful things i ever seen. and i feel so lucky and grateful to be able to be here and to learn about the cultures here.. and get a glimpse of the hundreds of years of wisdom and knowledge that the mayans have cultivated and reflect in their calender and their every day life. it's really incredible, i'm very happy to be here and also to share it with you all!!!
i hope that all of you are safe and happy and well!!!! happy saturday to you all! hope you enjoy your weekend and your upcoming week!!! thanks for listening! it's fun talking to you all!!! i love you all and wish you the best until next time!!!
love love love!


  1. thought i posted this already. thanks for the news. will go outside and read it now. lots of love, dad

  2. Sarah! I cannot believe how much you fit into your blogs! Are you keeping a diary as well to help you remember all this stuff, or is it just your fantastic memory working here? So sorry I didn't reply to this post earlier, but I had forgotten what a pain in the ___ it is getting a new computer and trying to get all my 'stuff' off one and into the other! It's a lot like work for those of us who are mentally challenged! All my bookmarks are gone, took me three days to figure out how to get my address book from one place to the other (impossible! Now they're in Plaxo!). And am still struggling w/ converting my e-mails to a format that this mail program will accept. Desperately trying to free up some desk space here. Yeah, maybe in my next life.

    You are doing so much down there, and experiencing so much, so many different things than anything you've been exposed to here in the States. I am so proud of you for rising to all these challenges as happily and energetically as you have. I don't know that I would have had it in me way back in my youth or childhood. I suspect you may get tired of hearing how much we all love you and how proud we all are of you by the time your stint down there in Guatemala is finished.

    It is so invigorating to read your posts. I'm learning a lot about where you are simply by osmosis. (But please don't make me take a test on it, ok?! LOL)

    Take care of YOU, Miss Sarah, and stay safe. Continue to absorb and experience Guatemala so you can teach us all about it. Good luck w/ Spanish classes. Sounds like you are making great progress.

    Love you LOTS!

    Aunt Judy (and the pups)