Out of Quarintine in Xela (October 28th - November 5th)
Oct 28, 2008
|October 28, 2008
Technically I was still supposed to be in isolation, but I felt great and the kids asked me if I wanted to go with them to take Cannela for a walk...so I said ´OK, but I have to stay away from niños´. So off we went. It was beautiful out and I was covered head to toe...minus toe because I was wearing flip flops. I thought we´d just go around the block, well the kids were like lets go to Parque Central...so off we went. Then we went to Majo´s school and then all the way to Toni´s school and then we attempt to visit their dad at his work. Let´s just say I didn´t realize that he worked on the other side of the city. We never made it. We headed back. We were in trouble. Luckily, Jose had seen us walking when he rode home for lunch, so he relayed the message to Noemi so she wasn´t too worried when we walked in. Our little 15 minute walk had turned into a couple of hours wandering the street. I was exhausted.
October 29-30th, 2008
The family asked me if I´d go to Church with them, I said OK. It was an anniversity of a death in the family:( So, I went with Sonia to the market in the morning to get flowers before heading to Santo Tomas Cathedral(?) in Parque Central. I tried following along, but I just couldn´t. I´m always amazed when I walk into Cathedrals. The detail, work and art and worth/money in these sacred places amaze me. Anywho, I took some pics of the fam all dolled up in Parque Central afterwards.
The doctor had said that I could continue taking Spanish if I liked, except I had to stay away from children. I was back studying in the afternoons with Mariana. Wednesday evenings are movie nights at El Nahual. So, after class the popcorn and the goodies came out. This week the movie was Fidel: the untold story, a doc by Estela Bravo. Anyways...20 mins into the movie and power went out. The whole street was out. We waited to see if it would come back on, but it didn´t. The walk home was interesting. The road would be illuminated by the passing cars, when there were cars. I got a little to close to a stray and got barked at and I nearly wiped out in the middle of the road as I fell into a pot hole. It was interesting. By the time I got home the lights came back on and were on for a couple of hours. I thought it was safe to shower. I was wrong. The power went out again:(
Thursday rolled around and I was off to class in the afternoon. After class the plan was to attempt to watch the movie again, but the power was going to go off again. Apparently they were having scheduled power outages between 6-8PMish from Wednesday to Friday. So, the Sarahs and myself decided to take our chances and go out to El Curtito (can´t spell). It was great to get out and about. Halloween was the next day and I had a doctors appointment in the morning. The plan was to find out my status and if OK, I was going to go out and celebrate Halloween in Xela. I basically was going to invite myself to were ever the El Nahual gang was going.
October 31, 2008 (Halloween)
So...I didn´t sleep a wink the night before because I was so itchy. Great:( So, Liz swung by and off we went to the doctor. So...I´m over Varicela (I guess) but I got a new bug...something called acaru??? So, new creme more drugs...one good thing was that I was able to be re-introduced to the outside world (officially). SO, this new bug , apparently, lives on your skin and comes out at night and bites you all over. Sounds great. I went from Chicken pox to Crazy Itchy Bug. I washed everything and had to wash my sheets every day for 5 days and put my blankets out in the sun. Noemi disenfected my hole room and even put my bed in the sun for a couple of hours. I was kinda upset because I could have been healthy alreay...but this way I was in Xela for Halloween.
I went to class in the afternoon and then headed home in the dark (power outage) to get ready by candle light for Halloween. I decided to be a Gypsy...sorta...so a ate some supper and the went over to Sarah and Liz´s to finish getting ready. We decided to begin the nights festivities there, so I brought beef gerky from my emergency stash. I didn´t have time to go the store and get something. According to Sarah, bringing beef gerky was a very Albertan thing to do. I am from Alberta. Anywho, the power finally came back on and we all stumbled down to Los Chocoyos. So I had a fabulous night. My favorite custome was a guy dressed up as a working traffic light. He had a yellow box with the three coloured lamps...it was very original and very well put together. After Los Chocoyos we ended up at Ojala to round out the night. In Xela, Halloween is more of an adult festivity. The kids don´t go door to door or get dressed up. The teens and adults hit up the bars and discoteques all dressed up. El Nahual gave treats to the kids, but not a sugary treat, since most don´t have dental. I love Halloween, so its too bad the kids here don´t celebrate it:(
November 1st, 2008 (The day of the dead)
So, it is customary for family to get together on The Day of the Dead, make or buy kites and go down to the cementary to fly them. So, I went down to the cementary with my Guatemalan family to spend the day flying kites and hanging out. I forgot how much fun trying to fly a kite was. The cementary we were at had music playing and little food stands. They even had contests for highest kite and largest kite...and I couple of other categories. Apparently, they fly kites on cementaries on that day because it is thought that they can send messages to their loved ones via a kite. It was great to see families working together to either put the finishing touches on thier kite or just trying to get them into the air. It was a fun relaxing day.
November 2nd to 5th, 2008
What do you give to kids who you've been spending 24/7 which for 2-3 weeks?? I decided that I wanted to hunt done Scrabble (the Spanish version of course), because its one of those gamed you can grow old with and can be a great learning tool. And Jenga...just because I saw it and thought they'd like it. I will miss the time I spent with the family. It was the first time, according to Noemi, that they really got to know a student...because I was there all the time and couldn't do anything besides hang out with them. It was great.
Finally, able to socialize with the outside world. I hung out with Emma, the Irish Mechanical Engineer who works as an Electrical Engineer. And small world, the company she works for did some work for the City of Edmonton before, she was not involved in the project though. It was through her that I met Steve who works for an organization called AIDG. Its an NGO working with renewable resources and implementing, efficient, environmentally friendlier options in rural setting (mostly). A couple of the projects he talked about sounded great and if only I had more time, I might of applied to volunteer with them...they required a minimum of 6 weeks (I think) commitment. Anywho, who knows what the future holds for me.
I got the thumbs up to continue with my travels on November 5th, so I made plans to leave the next day. That afternoon I volunteered for the first time in the classroom. It was fun and I wished that I had been doing that for the last 2-3 weeks versus being stuck inside. The kids where a hand full at times, but it looked like they had fun and hopefully they got something out of it. After class we skipped with a couple of students just hanging out. Maybe I'll be back one day and actually get to volunteer in the classroom. So, if anyone thinks they may be interested in volunteering overseas, I do recommend checking out El Nahual.