Sunday, June 13, 2004

Guatemala Day Five

The rain can be a blessing, as long as you get out of it in time, unlike Saturday when we got stuck in the deluge. Today we lunched (workers eat a real lunch while we eat bread from Dona Maria's kitchen and power bars) at around noon, and resumed work around 12:45. It was very dark even then. At about 1:30, drops started hitting the canopy. I kept sifting, though I did ask Tomas, my bucket carrier and ground flattener if it was my last one. "Falta," he responded – “there's still dirt here to deal with.” (Isn’t it great how all that can be said in Spanish in just one word?) After about seven more buckets, I started to feel the drops. I put on my poncho, Rene ordered the pits to be covered, and Dave, Mike and I all left very quickly.

By the time we got back to the houses, it really wasn't raining anymore, so I felt mildly guilty for coming back early, but not really. I washed my work clothes from today, since the shirt I was wearing had taken more than three days to dry and still smelled like mildew, I didn't want to stay in the same clothes. I dunked my head, washed my hands and arms (I didn't wear gloves today, which reminds me, I think I left them up at the site, because I don’t remember carrying them back. Oh well, one less thing to take home.), changed clothes, all in relative privacy since no one else was here. Ceil came back a few minutes later, then we went to the lab. Once there, Dona Maria decided lunch would be earlier today, so I didn't even get any lab work done before eating lunch. We finished that about 3:00, the time it usually starts, then went to the lab. By 5:15 I was done helping Michael with his bag of shards, so he and Dave and I went to the local bar.

The bars around here are little kiosk type things called after the owner, usually a woman, but this one is called Tienda Don Carlos. It's not a bar so much as a place to buy beer, cigarettes, soft drinks and Cheetos. Mike bought the first round, two beers and a Tiki, which turned out to be a pineapple soda by Canada Dry, all for the price of 18 Qs, or about $3. The boys and I chatted for awhile until Ceil showed up a few minutes ago because she couldn't get into the house.

Sho'nuff, her key doesn't work on the front gate, and the one I got from Judy does. I'm very glad I got Judy's from her! That would have really been a pain in the hiney otherwise to go round up one of the other girls to be able to get in.

It's not quite 6:00 so the water's not on yet for my evening shower. The weather was quite cooperative today -- not so hot at the site that I felt like I couldn't work. But I certainly did get hot enough that I'll easily be able to remind myself of that warmth before I dunk myself in that cold shower. There’s been talk about installing hot water heaters, but I really don’t see that happening. Everything here happens in archaeological time, so to say “in a few days,” really makes me think it will happen in a few weeks, months, whatever. But not while I’m here, I’m sure.

Of course, Ceil hasn't showered yet. She takes little sponge baths and has washed her hair once – ONCE! since she's arrived in Guatemala. (Note: she arrived in Guatemala the day before I did.) I only know this because she makes a point of telling everyone that she won’t get in a cold shower and that she takes sponge baths. She really can't read a room. She told Jonathon all the details about her personal hygiene (or lack thereof) the first night, and you could tell he was like, "What? Why are you telling me this? Weirdo."

And that solar shower I brought here and filled the first day - I haven't used once. It will happily stay here and be willed to the next group of volunteers, but they probably won't need it, if those water heaters do indeed get installed.

Today's big find was actually in the poso or pit I'm working in, number 133 on Mound 15. It's a monument of some sort, but we don't know what it is. There is speculation that it's a frog, but I don't see how it could be – I guess because I don’t have the imagination that they do to see a mouth and two eyes in a large boulder.

The other news is that Andrea, the student in charge of my pit, or my “pit boss” as we’ve taken to calling these graduate students who are in charge of one or two pits each, told me today that she thinks Chris is muy guapo. I agreed, but said he's too young for me, totally tongue in cheek because I knew where she was going. She said, "But he's not for me!" So at lunch, I told Chris that Andrea thought he's cute and was sweet on him. He was like, "Fantastic" (Chris' trademark word). "I was hoping there might be something there, but I couldn't tell if she has a boyfriend or not." I told him I didn't think his advances would be rejected. So this afternoon in the lab, I noticed that there was quite a bit of interaction between the two of them.

Just now, Andrea was down here chatting with me, and I told her it looked like things were going well with her and Chris. She said she didn't think they were, so I told her what he said and her eyes lit up. Of course she has a boyfriend, but she's a relentless flirt, and he's only here for 10 more days, so I'm playing Yenta.

Now, off to the lovely cold shower.

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