Monday, November 23, 2009

3-5-08, Guatemala

hi everybody!

this might have a different feel to it because i'm so tired. it seems that we go non-stop here. the 40 days before easter builds in intensity everyday. last weekend was so crowded that we missed the famous procession through town . . . again. it occurs each sunday until easter, so we have one more sunday in this city to see it. the streets are carpeted with flowers and grass in various religious designs and then the catholic guys dress up in purple robes with big pointy hoods (kinda spooky). the men carry the huge artifacts-statues on their shoulders down the flower-lined streets while the boys wave incense. this winds all through antigua.

last weekend we went to church with maritza and carlos. it was two and half hours! my brain was mush by the time we left. later we went to our friends house in gautemala city for dinner. we had huge hot dogs with guacemale. it was yummy. we also got to tour the school they work at. it is a very nice school and big too. their youngest daughter, xela, helped with the tour. she is absolutely adorable.

yesterday joe hiked up to the big cross on the mountain above the city. he went with the school and the tourist police. i went to a hospital to get set up to volunteer. i took a tour first and was almost brought to tears several times. i can't handle seeing the children. it breaks my heart. but the hospital was very clean and extremely old. to say the least, the equipment is antiquated. tomorrow i will start helping in the physical therapy department. a PT student from utah wants to works with me . . . how sweet!

we went to san antonio today on the chicken bus (but there weren't any chickens). we went to a interactive museum and joe and i participated in a wedding ceremony. joe and i were the parents of the bride and groom. we wore the ceremonial costumes and everything. it was very cool. then we watched them make my favorite food . . . tortillas and pepien and then we ate the food! i like interactive museums:) i bought a beautiful cloth with the mayan story embroidered on it. the cloth took a month to make and i only payed 40 dollars for it. amazing.

joe and i made a mental list of all of the things we have done that our doctor warned us to not do. we have eaten from street vendors, talked to strangers, pet dogs and cats, been bitten by pulgas (fleas) and mosquitoes, walked around at night, taken a public bus, hiked up into the mountains, driven the road betweent antigua and gauatemala city, stayed in a home, eaten in a home (every day), visited a hospital, but we haven't taken a taxi or a tuk-tuk. tuk-tuks are little 3 wheel taxis that don't even follow gautemalen traffic laws. but against all odds we are alive and well.

abrazos y besos, heidi and joe

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