Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sad realities

This post is just kinda going to be a mess of Monday and Tuesday's activities. I'll definitely get to today's Mayan Ruin outing at some point, but I'm having a hard time keeping up with my life lately. Also I hand wrote this so it's just written in present tense. Don't get yoselves confused.

Well, happy Monday (wrote this on lunes obvzz) todos los personas. I'm exhausted from my weekend so today at placement was meh. I mostly just drew for three hours with one woman, which was cool since I like drawing and wasn't really in the mood for heavy chatting. I didn't really want to complain about being tired while these women live in their crappy conditions so I tried to suck it up as best I could. It's become a lot harder to communicate with the ladies now since we've gotten past the whole, oh, what's your name, age, country, etc. Now it's time for legit conversations, which isn't easy, let me tell you. Pretty sure the nurses spend their days laughing at Anne and me. Oh well.

After work and lunch we all piled into the van with Juan Carlos to get a cultural look at the city beyond Zona 2 and our placements. We were able to see the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I feel like each day has some new kind of holy crap moment, and the city tour for sure offered some. We made our way through one of the public cemeteries in the city first. It really doesn't compare at all to the United States. Nothing here really does to be honest. The graves are more mausoleum like, and the richer the family, usually the more elaborate the grave site. check it.

We were informed that only about ten families have all the money in the country, and we were even able to see the CRAZY mausoleum of on of the richest families in Guatemala. Apparently the goal of the monument was to show the other people of the country that they have all the money and power. That's nice. I seriously couldn't believe that was true. That's not messed up or anything. It also seemed strategically placed right next to the giant wall that the poorer people are placed in when the giant graves are too expensive. nice.

this was massive. note the wall of grave slots next to it. yup.
The whole thing kind of freaked me out a little, although cemeteries in the U.S. freak me out as well, so it's not that surprising. But seriously people, take note, I would like a giant monument. Just kidding. Oh wait, no I'm not.

Once we wound our way through the cemetery we ended up way in the back near the dump. We were led out of the van and the smell hit me real hard. Apparently it was really ripe today. Although, I can't imagine it ever smells good. I can't actually imagine having to breathe that in day in and day out. There are tons of shacks all surrounding the dump area, so I'm sure that stink must just be everywhere. We ended up at a little ledge that overlooked the dump, and my heart instantly dropped. I knew people basically lived in the dump and spent their days rummaging through the trash, but honestly, I don't think it's something I fully comprehended until I saw it. And even still, it's so hard to imagine that this is people's lives. There are swarms of vultures and other birds that just ominously fly over the area, and it was actually kind of sickening. I've never felt so guilty about my super privileged life.

We all quietly got back in the van and drove through the neighborhood of the dump. Probably the saddest thing I've ever seen. The streets, houses, etc., are just filled with trash from the dump. Children play in the dirty streets and stray, skinny dogs are seriously everywhere. I couldn't believe it was real. I can't even imagine the health of any of these people. So crazy.

We drove through a lot of different neighborhoods filled with markets, chop shops, and drug dealers. There are significant issues with the functioning of the country, but with so much government corruption, how can it really get better?

Going from the dump to the ritzy area was insane, so we stopped to get ice cream in between to make the transition. yum. I got caramel explosion. so good. No Cherry Hill, but still a solid pit stop.

I honestly don't remember what I did last night. Sat? Probably. But today (Tuesday) was a much needed quiet day at the homebase after going nonstop for so long. My morning at the nursing home was pretty solid. Just loving about 5 old ladies more and more everyday. I've realized that I'm obsessed with Cecelia because she reminds me SO MUCH of Memere Lucille. Just a Guatemalan version. She's presh. After breakfast I started drawing again and made a nice cartoon pic of Cecelia and me, and she just started cracking up and showing it to the other women around. It was so great. I drew a more serious (or well as serious as a crayon drawing can get) drawing of a dog that was on a woman's coffee mug. I even went all out and shaded it. getatme. Bringing back my artsy self for realz. Cecelia was obsessed and kept both drawings. It was too presh. The owner of the dog mug even wheeled over to me and held my hand and thanked me for drawing the dog. lol. No probs, ladies. Cecelia also attempted to teach me how to crochet, but it's seriously difficult. I failed a lot. Memere, I'm coming over for some lessons. I'm determined now. Later, Maria gave me the address to write to her. I died. I'm actually going to cry when I have to leave. DONTMAKEMEGO.

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