Some more observations from my notebook.
Holy cow, families here are HUGE! At a family lunch, almost 100 people came. Apparently the last time, almost 300 people came, all cousins and relatives of one another. And most people are from this town!
Oh. My. Goodness. I’m reading on the roof!!! I have always wanted to read on the roof of a building!!! Ahhh! 😀 Squeeeee! So awesome!!!!
Ok. I’m writing in the dark, with my flashlight half-hidden under my sweater. This is definitely outside of my of my comfort zone, in almost all respects. I’m terrified of falling down the hill leading up to my homestay house, and I’m incredibly impressed by the kids for whom this is everyday life.
There is a kitten and a mom cat here and they are SO CUTE!!! I was watching them play during dinner. The kitten likes to sit in between the stones of the oven, really close to the fire. It’s my first time ever seeing a kitten. So cute!
I feel like the kitten. It tries desperately to be a ‘real’ cat, but only ends up annoying the mom. But I know that the mom loves it anyway.
I was out of breath when I arrived back at my house. I told my homestay mom that I ran up the hill, which was only half true; the only alternative was admitting that I was out of shape for altitude and hill climbing, which is way more embarrassing. I think they knew anyway.
I love Xela. Legitimately. It’s a beautiful city, which is saying a lot, coming from a suburb girl. The central plaza has a bunch of trees, shrubs, and benches, and there are so many colors, from the clothes that the people wear to the street vendors to the storefronts to the myriad of sounds in this place.
We’re currently watching the final game of the World Cup (France vs. Croatia). It’s so lucky that we could watch it live like this! It’s so cool to be watching it in Spanish in Guatemala, with people for whom soccer (futbol) is the best sport. It’s really really funny though, because we’re watching it with a volunteer group that came from France, and they’re going absolutely nuts. Some of them are wearing the French flag as a cape, and they cheer loud enough that you can hear it from the convenience store down the block. It’s several hundreds of decibels louder than the appropriate volume to not go deaf when you’re 30. They’re all so tense, it’s hilarious.
Hilarious thing happened. Our host cousin’s family walked through the front door of our house, and he immediately jumped up from where he was sitting with us and announced dramatically: ‘Te presento las gringas!’ (I present the white people!). And he said it with such pride! We burst out laughing.
EAT SALT it’s good for you
We made it back to San Juan La Laguna at the end of the trek. We had fun picking out Lema and our homestay houses from the top of the hill overlooking the city. It’s like a serious blast of nostalgia. I wonder how I’ve changed. I wonder if other people can see how I’ve changed.
Thank you for reading!