I speak English and they speak Spanish… and I’m supposed to stay with them for a whole night? This should be interesting. Last night I had the opportunity to stay with one of the families in Chajul. When first entering into the house, I already had my doubts. It’s not like your typical American house, but after about five minutes of communicating with the family I felt right in. It was a lot of fun we got to help make dinner and the whole family sat in the kitchen while the mother finished preparing supper. I kept thinking of back home in Texas, counting all the times I sat in the kitchen for hours waiting on mom to finish dinner and I could only recall a few and that was because I was forced. The culture is centered around relationships and the families are very close; which I admire and will definitely bring this bond back home. My stay ended up being one of the best moments on this trip. I loved sharing part of my culture with theirs and learning Spanish and Ixel and teaching them English. Gracias, Tantiuxh, and Thank you!!!
A device I used to use 24/7; hasn’t even been taken out of my purse except maybe once or twice… My phone. It’s a blessing and a hassle that I can’t text, call, snap chat, or Facebook whenever I want. I’ve kind of grown accustomed to not talking to my friends and family all day or sending random snap chats because I’m bored. Instead, I’m reading a book, talking with group members, walking around the town, or working on school papers. I never realized how much we rely on our cell phones on a daily basis just to look up the randomness stuff. Not being able to use my phone has allowed me to stay more in the present and notice everything that is happening around me. It’s a shame that technology has changed our lives so much and people have grown accustomed to having conversations over texting instead of face to face. I feel like we lose a lot of the meaning and emotion behind our conversations and with the world in general because we are glued to our electronics. I realize the minute I hit U.S. soil I will be texing, calling, snapchatting, and Facebooking for hours, but having this break has definitely opened my eyes to this new culture here in Guatemala and I hope to try and stay in the present more after I travel back home to Texas.
This past week we have been working with some of the LHI scholars and Philanthropiece students on a huge compost bin WITHOUT any electric tools. We sawed boards in half, hammered posts together, dug holes, and measured and leveled everything out… manually. It took us about 4 mornings to finish this project. I kept saying how much easier it would be if we had electric tools especially when measuring everything out. However, seeing everyone take a turn sawing and “hacking” the wood was pretty entertaining. The LHI and Philanthropiece students kept saying “Cuidado, Cuidado!” “Be careful!” every time we handled the machetes or saws. This past week, with these students, has been a lot of fun and we learned a lot from each other as we combined some of our Texan skills with their Guatemalan skills.