Global Handwashing Day!

Global Handwashing Day!

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Latrine and Shower

My Latrine and Shower

Some of My Host Siblings

Some of My Host Siblings

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dyoos! Bikiileech?

Tuesday started language classes, even though we had all kinda picked up some Mopan over the weekend with our families, it was SO exciting to officially start class! Mopan is an incredibly hard language! & it's not really a written language, so it's all about emphasizing the correct letters in each word. So strange, but crazy cool! We got lost on our walk to class b/c we listened to Matt, haha, and ended up taking the long way around....but we were still early, b/c we are crazy Americans. Class was fun & went by pretty fast! We had sessions from 8-12 and then walked home for lunch, where Mr. Sotz acknowledged me for the first time since I got to their house!!! He asked me if it was hot outside in Mopan and I understood him!!! It was a major breakthrough... I was stoked!! He & I ate lunch together before he headed to work & I went back to class. After class we went into Belmopan to get some internet time and AC!! When I got home my host family watched Apocalypto with me...so cool! They understood the language & were explaining to me every detail! It was funny. Who else can say they watched Apocalypto with real Mayans???! That night we hung out and then i went to bed.... fail. There was a rat in my "room" area!!! Yikes! I was so scared! It was right above my bed! There was rat poop on my little shelf and on my bed and mosquito net! So yuck!!! The rat scurried around and Sofia chased it with a broom.... it would not leave! Finally, Choni came in and got it outta our house! It was a crazy mess... so the rat finally left and I was just about to lie down when I noticed there were ants ALL over my wall! Ahhhh! I killed all of them...yes, I'm a murderer.... so ONCE AGAIN, I tried to get into bed, when all of a sudden we had huge roaches!!! Ahhh.....there were like 4! Oh man... so bad. As we are chasing the roaches, we find huge spiders too! OMG it was too many critters to handle for one night!  I was FREAKED...  So I finally got to sleep, but I left the light on to keep the rats away! Oh man, the next day I woke up in crisis mode.... I was in the worst mood of my entire trip thus far... I woke up and went to the latrine & there was poop all over the seat again!!! I was disgusted! Matt & Dan came to pick me up & knew from my expression that it was a crisis day... But as soon as I vented to them & we got to the Resource Center, my mood altered dramatically. I love my PCTs! It was also a great day b/c all the other Healthy Community volunteers came to San Martin to do our Tech Session! So we got to see the other 5 who are in Cristo Rey! It was a great class day! and during lunch we showed them our village & our host family places! It was so nice! Lunch was actually fantastic that day! So amazing! After lunch we were given our machetes!!! Who would of thought I would be allowed to play with a giant knife??!! OMG, so cool! Anyway, the end of the day was sad when they left, but such a great day!
That night I played with my host family and all the neighborhood kids.....so exhausting! They love "bat" which is their version of baseball... We use a tennis ball and a plank of wood.... It's fun! They tired me out.... But it was a great afternoon and so much fun! After dinner, I hung out in the kitchen w/Mrs Sotz and Sofia. Mrs Sotz was telling me a bunch of family stories and trying to be very personal, which is always hard with the language barrier... Anyway, she was telling me about how she got beat up by her ex-son-in-law a few years ago and that's how she lost her front tooth and lost a lot of weight. It was the saddest story I ever heard... She said that because that incident she got the "sweet blood" which is diabetes. Clearly, she didn't get diabetes from that, but it just shows you how little people know about health in the community. Still, I felt closer to her...like she trusted me! It was a sad night, but I was glad to have the conversation with Mrs Sotz.
The next day was our 1 week anniversary in the village! I had eggs for breakfast....again.... it was egg soup, which is really just eggs in a massive amount of oil! Gross! So unhealthy! Anyway, we met Mr Cal in the morning to ride on the bus to San Ignacio! It was our bus riding practice day! hahaha We rode to San Ignacio, walked around the town & market, bought a bunch of bananas, & ate about 20 tacos before getting back on the bus! haha On the way home we stopped by Georgeville to see everyone, which was so great! Then we headed home and breaked for lunch.... That afternoon we were dead in language class! It was SO hard & we were exhausted from the field trip! We decided to ride bikes, (since we have helmets now), to the river in Belmopan after class. So fun! Matt's chain kept falling off, but we made it there & got to cool off in the nice river!!! On the way back we stopped at an italian/American restaurant, Pasquales, for food & beer! We hadn't drank in so long! We had an amazing italian dinner & split a pitcher & then the owner bought us another pitcher! It was awesome! We were nice & relaxed & then headed out to meet all the belmopan ppl at Callahan's for dinner! Matt & Dan ate again, but I resisted for the 2nd dinner, haha. We then all headed to Perk Up for open mic night & beers! It was such a fun night!! We had to be careful & not drink too much before riding home, but it was still really fun! Me, Matt, and Dan headed back around 9 & when I got home I could tell that everyone was talking about me in Mopan! It was so awkward! Then Fernando asked me if the italian place was good! HE KNEW! Somehow he saw me at the restaurant with my friends!! Ahh, I couldn't escape. I'm not sure if he saw me drinking, but oh man, what a bad day! I tried to play it off like "oh, you should have come say hi!" But it was bad... I was so uncomfortable..... I went to bed.
The next day was our first all-trainee session back in Belmopan!! It was so exciting to see all 38 ppl again!!! Mr Cal gave us a ride in his truck, so it was an awesome start of the day.... & we spent the first hour just catching up with everyone!! So fantastic! Everyone has funny stories & shoosh to share! The sessions that day were really helpful & interesting...& I was in a good joke-making mood so it made it go by faster! woohoo! A bunch of us went to dinner after before the southern people caught their bus outta town... we went BACK to Pasquales... haha. But this time it was just dinner, no beer. It was a great meal & then we walked back to Ring Road before getting a taxi home in the dark. Dan, Matt, and I thought we were SO clever to take a taxi to the chiney (store) at the beginning of our town, thinking no one will know we stayed so late.... & then I get home & not only did Fernando see me at Pasquales AGAIN, but Choni saw me at the chiney get out of the cab!!! OMG I cannot escape my host family!!! I have such bad luck!!! It was such an awkward night... I pretended like I didn't eat & helped my host mom cook some fish for dinner.... FULL fish again.... so odd. I get weirded out about eating a fish that looks into my soul as I devour it..... hmmm. Anyway, the rest of the night I busted out pics of family & on my computer for them to see. Everyone really liked them & it made the night a little less awkward.
On Saturday we had a GREAT morning language class! We learned so much & played really productive games to remember the vocab! I was pretty impressed with our progress all before lunch.... it was great. We headed home for lunch & I hung out with all my host bros & the guys working on their new, cement latrine in the back of our property. I tried my Mopan out on them & it was fun, hahaha. They get a kick out of the Gringa trying to speak Mopan! I ate lunch quickly, even though we had a mini monsoon & we had to run outside & save the laundry frantically!!! But I finished quickly & headed to Mr Cal's so we could sharpen our machetes!!! So cool! I feel pretty badass carrying a machete, I'm not gonna lie... hahahaha. Anyway, the machete adventure had to wait until our afternoon session, so sharpening them was a tease! We had a quick language session & headed out into the bush!!! It was amazing! Mr Cal, his brother, his son, & his friend, & us three gringos headed to the "backabush"! It was so cool! We were on a mission to cut a cohune tree down.... we needed the leaves for a garden fence. You should look up a cohune tree.... they are HUGE!!! But Mr Cal's bro and I cut down one all by ourselves!!! It was so hard! I never sweat so much in my life!!!! Oh man, I think it took us so long! I got a huge blister on my palm AND the blister popped all before we were done cutting --(yea, that was a painful experience later...) But I had some pretty sweet battle wounds, & it showed all the men I was with that I could handle the backabush.... go me. hahahha.
That night we had planned to have a party at one of the current PCV's house in Belmopan.... Well, I had to ask to go out... Yes, I am a teenager again... & my host mom told me no when I asked if I could be out til 10!!!!! OMG can you believe it??! Yikes! I had to beg & basically tell them that I WAS gonna go out in order for it to happen.... Oh man, is this real life? hahaha So we headed into town & had an amazing time w/ friends! Everyone was catching up & drinking, but I had to get home to Mom & Dad, so I had to behave.... yes, I was responsible! hahaha Imagine that! It was worth the judging looks I got from my family when I was home again.... hahahaha.

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