I’ve been reading about the terrible heat wave making its way across the States and all I can say is, I’m sorry! When I got here last August at the tail-end of Guatemala’s winter/rainy season, I was miserable and cold. However, whether due to the same climate change forces the US is currently experiencing, or because the supposed resurgence of summer during the month of July, the weather here has been pretty perfect :) Hot days, cool nights, and no sudden rain storms plaguing my afternoon community visits. The clouds forming outside as I type might bring some relief to the farmers, though! I’m curious (read: apprehensive) to see how August progresses and if the roads become impassable or not.
But this post is about progress, and more specifically how it comes in spurts. And how in between those spurts, it’s very easy to forget about any progress made. For example, I was so bored on Thursday that I remained shut up in my house like a hermit for 48 hours, until Saturday evening. During those mildly suicidal yet productive 2 days, I neither dwelled on the successes of the previous week or 2 nor could I revive myself enough to predict how fun the end of my self-imposed state of recluse would be. As my mood swing back to joy principally involved the return of sitemates and other volunteers passing through, I am further convinced that I could not have done this experience alone. Also that I am a great self-entertainer but ultimately a terrible hermit!
I’ve diverged again – as I mentioned, the last week or 2 have actually been fairly successful. Work-wise, Save the Children hired a new marketing specialist, Enrique, to work with us. I was extremely skeptical at first because Enrique became our new Supervisor while Allan, the previous unhelpful Supervisor and whose daily work is a complete mystery to me, was promoted to Coordinator. I further could not comprehend why Save was hiring new people when it a) supposedly has no money and b) is looking to end all projects northern Quiché by next June (I’m here until October…). I have to say, though, after one particularly productive brainstorming (lluvia de ideas!) meeting, I am impressed with Enrique and his leadership abilities. While Allan (though a nice guy) never inspired anything in anyone, Enrique came up with a solid 6-month plan and was very open to altering and adding on to it, especially to more actively include Stephen and I. With a sidestep back to pessimism, that was the first installment; follow-up on the plan has been lacking. Returning to my natural optimism: I also had a bunch of successful capacitations, teaching about responsible micro-lending, nutrition, and a manure “tea” organic fertilizer :)
Progress with my new neighbors has come haltingly as well. On the one hand, my direct neighbors across the street persist in their blank stares/dirty looks whenever I greet them. I for the life of me cannot understand why, considering I am far less threatening than other people actually from town, but I guess being a gringa and renting a nice house causes jealousy/envy/resentment. Oh well. On the other hand, a woman a few houses down has taken a particular liking to me and brought me over a tamal yesterday evening :) She was also overjoyed that it wasn’t one of us gringuitas (little white girls lol) that died in a recent car accident in town – the victim was a woman from out of town, who wore pants and had light hair – it was actually really sweet! Oh and I also forgot to mention that I had my old host family over for lunch last weekend, which was really nice; I always liked the family a lot and I think it’s easier to appreciate them now that I’m not living under their somewhat crowded roof!
To end this installment (!), I do not have any new photos to post, but I do have some exciting news: my plane tickets are booked to go home from November 13th-26th!!! It’s funny how I was originally never planning on returning to the States during my 2 years and now I CANNOT WAIT! Thanksgiving, Lehigh/Laf, friends, family, food, stainless/hole-less/form-fitting clothes…mmmmm :)
PS – Felicidades to all gay couples now legally allowed to marry in New York!!!