Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mah First Tuesday

Did I mention I love the old women I work with? They are the sweetest. My placement was pretty great today. I like it A LOT better than yesterday and was actually able understand and comunicate a lot more. We left a little late for placement since it was the first day for the interns, but I still had a solid amount of day ahead of me. Today I got to go with another girl from CCS which made the experience a lot smoother since she could understand my English babble. I may or may not have answered some people in English yesterday only to remember I was in Guatemala. This three week experience will probably teach me Spanish much quicker than any class ever did.

As soon as I walked in today, some of the most talkative ladies recognized me and waved with a cheerful "Buenos Dias!" We start our day by wheeling some of the women to physical therapy, which seems way too long and not enough one on one. Ann, the other girl with me in placement, went to wheel one of the women to therapy but she kept saying no. Ann called me over since my Spanish is slightly better and I realized that she needed to use the bathroom, but when we brought her to the bathroom door she continued to say no. Finally it dawned on me and I asked if she needed a nurse to go to el baño. I finally got a solid si. I ran to tell a nurse that she needed a nurse to go to the bathroom, and she said si and went about her business. ummm, cool. The poor old woman needs to go the bathroom! SOMEONE HELP HER. Someone finally came around to assist, but it was wayyy longer than it should have been.

We spent the rest of the morning just doing little tasks and socializing with the women. Pretty sure my new best friend is Maria. That woman is so sweet. I told her I was Catholic yesterday since we were told not to say we weren't any kind of religion, the women wouldn't understand. So today she enthusiastically shuffled over to me and told me that there was book on her night stand that she wanted us to read together. It ended up being a little Catholic prayer book that I read aloud for about an hour. It was super presh. She helped explain some of the more complicated Spanish words and smiled every time I asked a question. Since I did legitimately grow up Catholic I understood some of the prayers. I haven't done the sign of the cross in I don't even know how long, and it was the first time in forever that I did it happily. After each passage Maria would quietly mumble "que linda"-how beautiful. Mi día es muy buena.

After we got back from placement we had a delish lunch. I have pics but it takes a super long time to upload so I'll do an entire picture post tomorrow or Thursday. Then Virginia, our supervisor, said she had a surprise for us, so at about three we went out to the courtyard area to find a Happy Birthday banner for another volunteer and me, since we had birthdays in June. Our security guard hung out on the roof and controlled the giant piñata we destroyed. It was both horrible and great, since ya know, I hate attention, but it was muy comica. They bought us a lovely cake so we all went back inside to enjoy THE MOST AMAZING MEAL OF MY LIFE. Ok, that's overstating it a bit, but really, we had classic tostadas, which are basically a fried tortilla that you layer with beans, tomato type sauce, cheese, meat, guacamole, and delicious other things. Tostadas + Cake = amazing birthday celebration. The staff also chose not to reveal that Guatemalan birthday celebrations always include firecrackers. I think we all had heart attacks. The guard set them off in the corner of the yard as well unknowingly chatted across the way. I wish someone had gotten a video of our reactions. It was actually hilarious. Later Miguel, our guard, and Juan Carlos, another staff member, escorted the ten of us to the soccer court type thing and we all played a ridiculously fun game. My team won by the way....no thanks to me. The days keep getting better, and it's been fun getting to know all the girls here since they are all super friendly. I can't wait to see what the next couple weeks hold for me!

I feel like a pic is necessary so here's the street I live on! Keep in mind that this is considered middle class.

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