Thursday, February 7, 2008

Daily Life

Here is a picture of daily life for me here in Alotenango (really rivetting, I know!)

Every morning I wake up between 4 and 4:30 AM to the sound of the 50 roosters within hearing distance of my house. I also wake up because I have to go to the bathroom--every mornng, its unbelievable! I think the nurse should give me a prize for being hydrated! Around 5 my grandma starts making tortillas and I can hear the of her forming them in my room which is farthest from the kitchen. Its a beautiful way to wake up.

Depending on our shedule for the day I get up between 6 and 7. I used to shower in the mornings but people here think that showering in the cold will make you sick so I try not to worry my family. If I have to get up early, I eat breakfast alone and its really serene. I always have cornflakes with bananas and sugar. Aura leaves a thermos of hot water out for me at night and sets my place at the table. If it is a little later, I eat with Christian and the morning is full of Aura trying to get him to eat and not be late for school. Sometimes if I am done early I get a chance to drink my coffee on the roof and make volcanic observations (this morning was cloudy with smoke straight up into the air because there was very little wind.) Otherwise, I make observations on the walk to Jessica's house to pick her up and we go off to enjoy the day!

Usually Jessica and I have to walk to the other side of town where Melanie and Candi live in order to meet them for class or to catch the camioneta. That means we say "Buenos Dias" atleast 50 times during the 15 minute walk because everyone greets each other around here. Sometimes we meet Eduardo for Spanish class at someone's house or at the plaza in front of the church. Otherwise we take the bus to Antigua or to Santa Lucia (Mondays) for other activites. We return home for lunch between 12 and 1 (things are pretty scheduled as far as eating in our houses) which means "Buenos Dias" another 50 times. That walk is tough because it is right on the line between "Buenos Dias" and "Buenos Tardes." Technically the switchover happens after lunch but it definately doesn't feel like you should still be saying "Good Morning."

Lunch is the most important meal of the day and dishes vary a lot. My family eats a lot of chicken in general. Almost always there are some form of beans (usually black beans prepared a variety of ways) and there are ALWAYS tortillas. Adult men here who work in the campo eat around 20 tortillas a meal, which is a lot. I usually eat 3 or 4 because I am trying to fit in, but thats all I can manage. Usually I eat lunch with Christian and Aura. Jaime usually leaves for work before lunch or comes home after depending on the day. On Thursdays Aura's grandmother who lives next door eats with us. She is in here 80s and I can never understand what she is saying but she is really sweet. Aura's mother, father, and brother live in our house but her mother cooks for them and they eat seperate. Unfortunately, I never get to eat the tortillas I hear in the morning. We buy ours from the lady at the corner and they are really good.

After lunch we return to class for a few hours. Usually we can convince Eduardo to finish early so we can go to Antigua and run errands or do group work or relax (not usually). Dinner isn't until 7 at my house so I usually have plenty of time for homework in the afternoons. The other option is watching Discovery Kids with Christian and I can't understand any of it. It makes me a bit discouraged that I can't even understand kids shows in Spanish. Sometimes he watches movies. Here they are pirated copies that come 3 to a disc. We have the Lion King (Rey Leon) 1,2 and 3 ad well as a disc that has Curious George (in English!), some fish movie, and Cars. I've seen all of these like 10 times each and I still can't understand the words but yuo get the jist of it. Curious George in English was really entertaining the first 5 times.

Dinner is a lighter meal. Usually leftovers from lunch or beans/tortillas/cheese. Jaime is home every other night and we usually talk or watch cartoons during the meal. Sometimes I have assigned questions for my family from class and its pretty funny. After dinner everyone goes to bed between 8 and 9 and I read a bit, write in my journal, and then go to sleep. The nights here are cool but not cold and I usually fall asleep really quickly and sleep soundly until tortillas/roosters/bathroom in the early hours of the morning.

Thats my daily life! Not so rivetting, a little predictable, and I love it!

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