Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Guatemala Day Seven

Day seven? Can that really be possible? I guess so, considering that today's Wednesday, making it one week ago that I left the states. I can't believe there was ever a time I was excited that I was going to Guatemala for "two and a half weeks!" because now I am excited the other direction -- only one and half more weeks until I get to go home. Yes, I'm a bit homesick, which I didn't anticipate being, at least this much. Of course, it doesn't help any that I'm always dirty and wet. Even fresh out of the shower I'm not completely clean, though it's the closest I can get.

I've taken to hanging my wet clothes outside in the morning and coming down the hill at the noon break to take them in. They seem to be drying a bit faster, only taking two days instead of three to four.
Speaking of being clean, the schedule has an optional trip to Lake Atitlan listed for this Saturday, with another optional trip to Santo Tomas on Sunday. I figured out the "optional" part is because we have to pay for it -- the project doesn't. So we made arrangements with Felino, the driver that the project uses, to drive us to Lake Atitlan on Saturday, we'll do all the things there that you're supposed to, then we'll stay somewhere that night and the next morning, drive to Chichicastenango, since the Lake is on the way to Chichi. It'll save us a bit of money and a lot of time. Mike and I did the negotiating with Felino on the price since we were sitting in on Fede's lecture when he came. Ceil chose to not "desert" Fede when we left, even though you could tell she was ripped that she wasn't part of the translation and bargaining process. But Mike and I did just fine on our own, thank you very much, you big buttinski. After all, I do speak Spanish, remember? Anyway, for 1300 Q and food and a hotel room he'll drive us around for those two days.

I made my biggest purchase of the trip so far yesterday when I went to one of the public phone booths (a lady who runs a store has phones that you can use and she charges you accordingly) and called Linda who then conferenced in Cim. We spoke for 33 minutes, which at 2 Q a minute wasn't exactly cheap, but it sure was worth it. Linda was so excited when I called -- she got rid of whoever was on the other line and didn't take ay other calls the whole time we were talking. Wow! I told them all about my schedule and the rustic conditions here and how I'll smell like mildew when I get home, and they told me about the little kitten that Linda found on Sunday morning behind our shed. It'll be fun to see that little rascal when I get home. They've emailed me pictures too, but I don't know when I'll get to a computer with internet access before getting back to Guate (Guatemala City) next Wednesday.

The work schedule -- I've reached the half way point and feel like I can deal with everything. We're back a bit early from the field this afternoon, which is why i have time to write this right now, and we'll go to lunch at 3:00 in 20 minutes, then an afternoon in the lab, which is tedious, but at least it's dry.
Then a full day of work tomorrow and again on Friday, then we get the weekend off, then a full day on Monday, and then a half day on Tuesday so that we can pack Tuesday afternoon in preparation for leaving on Wednesday. Anxious to leave? Why yes, yes I am.

Today at the noon break, Michael, Chris and I met up with Judy so she could show us where La Ventana is, which is the local spot for brujeria (witchcraft) and fun stuff like that. Sadly, the river was a bit too high for me to feel comfortable crossing, but it was impressive even from below.

Okay, lunch beckons. Rather, Ceil who is the boss of everyone and every time says it's time to go. So, go I must. I really think she's one of the reasons I'm just not enjoying my time as fully as I should be. That and the torn rotator cuff, that is. Okay, I exaggerate a bit, but this hard work really is killing me.

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