Thursday, August 28, 2008

Market Day Lentil Soup


2 cups lentils (soak overnight with some onion and garlic)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 red pepper
4-5 small tomatoes
Any other vegetables you are a fan of (broccoli is good)
2 jalepeños
Curry powder

Put it all together, watch a movie while it cooks. Good for dinner + next day lunch + so much more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Q 7.50 = $1.00

Snacks for 3AM bus trip: Q7
Getting up at 2:30AM to catch the bus: Lots of will power
Bus fare from Cabricàn to Santa Lucia: Q52
Chuchitos for Bfast in Cuatro Caminos: Q6
Imaginary fiancee in the US to deflect men: Lots of imagination
Taxi ride to the doctor's office: $36.50
Doctor who shares your birthday: free
Cheeseburger at McDonalds to reward myself: Q40
Pirated movies to last me the next few months: Q50
Night with Mel in Chimal: free
Chuchitos in Mel's site: Q3
Bus fare from Chimal to Cabricàn: Q45
Bus breaking down on the way home: free
New bus fare the rest of the way: Q5
Sitting next to the guy who was also on the 3AM bus: Free

Total two day trip cost: Q254.50
Falling in love with the world around you: Priceless

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Pop culture has arrived in Guatemala. We have all heard of this phenomenon called Globalization in which we are all connected and goods produced in or by one country can be relevant and available in other countries around the world.

The problem here is Guatemala is that pop culture has arrived without the education to handle it. It used to be that people in other countries were just a little behind stylistically than us in the up-to-date fashion world. Don't worry, we are still using a lot of 80's and early 90's haircuts around here. With the increase of technology and of influence in the forms of foreign brands of clothing, people here have begun to adopt a lot of American styles. Kids run around with gold chains and big jeans and there are even some punk kids running around here in Cabrican.

Somewhere along the line there was a disconnect in which people began to use these pop culture symbols we love so much without really knowing what they represent. Last week I went to a store where the lady owning it wore a black and silver hat that said "HU$tLER" across the front. This morning I ran into a friend's mother who had earring with the playboy bunny on them. I am sure the store owner liked the shiny colors of the hat and maybe even recognized the dollar sign, but I doubt she knows what a hustler is. I am positive that the church-going mother of my friend thought the rabbits on the earrings were cute but had no idea what playboy is.

It is really funny to walk into the store and see the old lady wearing such a ridiculously not right for her hat, I know. It is also kind of sad because they really have no idea. We throw all of our culture into people's lives without giving them a chance to understand it.

Lesson: Next time you are going to donate your HU$TLER hat or your playboy earrings to a charitable organization where it will then be resold in countries like Guatemala, think twice and maybe attach a note explaining the symbolism.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Reoccurring Dreams

I have reoccurring dreams about whether or not the post office is open. I suppose it is a good thing that the mail is the most worrisome thought that plagues my mind at night.

My English is slipping. I insertar words of Español even when I am hablaring with mí mamá. Life has become this weird mix of trying to speak Spanish to people who speak English and English to people who speak Spanish. My brain is having trouble figuring out who is who. I have got friends now and I think as I get more comfortable with them I feel like they should understand English because that is what I always speak with my friends….but they don’t and I am pretty sure I look like a crazy person most of the time. Last week I was giving a lesson and I started speaking English instead of Spanish in front of 25 third graders. Awkward.

I think I am the only one who loved the cat Reina got to kill the ratones. Her name is Micheli. Reina says she hasn’t been eating very much and I think it might be because I let her lick my cereal bowl.

I have realized being away from them that I have the best friends in the whole world. I miss you guys. I love living in Guatemala and I love my friends here but there is nothing that could ever beat a barbeque at the beach with you guys. I am starting to get a little U.S.-sick.

Things I miss about the U.S. (besides family and friends and other obvious things that might make me cry in the internet café)

1. Knowing what time to show up to things (everyone here seems so know exactly how late you should be except me. I am either way too early or way too late all the time)
2. The Mongolian Grill
3. Driving (not allowed here because of Peace Corps rules)
4. Costco (thanks to my brother who informed me he bought a huge pack of Australian toaster biscuits the other day)
5. Movies I can understand
6. Paved roads
7. Seattle
8. People who go outside in the rain (It rains here an everyone hides until it is over. Streets: totally empty)
9. Saying what you mean (here you say a trillion things to hint at what you really need or want but can’t ever come out and say it)
10. Laundry machines (have I already mentioned how long it takes to wash your clothes by hand?)
11. Affordable chocolate
12. Things that have prices (blonde hair seems to mean everything costs more here)
13. Concerts