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, May 17, 2010

Toledo, Toledo.... I love ya, Toledo!

We moved out of San Martin on Tuesday! Toledo bound! It was pure madness b/c we had to move everything we owned into the vehicle headin south and, of course, my stuff was misplaced and thrown away and all over. I was a DISASTER! We had a few sessions in the office before leaving, but I really couldn't even listen to anything that was happening..... Finally, we boarded the van for Toledo! There were 10 of us in the southern crew... We were pumped! After 4 hrs, we made it to the good ole Charlton hotel! We finished our last night strong with dinner at grace's and a rooftop party.
Wednesday we met our counterparts who we will be working with for the next 2 years! Mine was awesome! She played futbol in high school and was a marine biologist and was really awesome..... til she quit on Friday. That was a long relationship.... hahahaha. After the long workshop, we all packed up to head to our new host families!!
Me, michele, and nate are in PG together, so we were all in the same car. We dropped them off first before heading to my new home! My house is very different from the last one! I'm in Indian Ville, which is the outskirts of Punta Gorda. My host family is very friendly! My host mom is SO talkative, which is odd for a Mayan woman! My host mom has 6 children between the ages of 25 and 7, which is also not very stereotypical of a Mayan family. The oldest, Romana, lives in the second house of our 2 house complex with her 2 month old baby and husband, Omar. Then Cornelia and Tania are the only other 2 living with the family, they are 16 and 7 respectively. Mr Assi only comes home on weekends because he is a principal in a village almost 3 hrs away by car called San Benito Pointe. So I didn't actually even meet him til Friday night. Our house is a wooden house on stilts. It has 2 buildings: one is Romana and Omar's and the other is the main building that has our kitchen, and 3 rooms: Mr & Mrs Assi's, the children, and mine. I have my own room!!!! Yay! So it's a pretty sweet setup! Outside downstairs is our latrine and shower... sadly, I'm done being spoiled with a flush toilet and back to peeing in a hole! hahaha. But at least it does not smell nearly as bad as the original one we had in San Martin!!! hahaha. And my shower is wooden this time and in the back of the house, so I;m not on display either! lol. My family is not traditional Mayan in any way... the kids are all educated, even the girls. Romana is a principal and Cornelia goes to the high school.  Also, we have a tv with cable! Which is not very traditional at all! I've grown very fond of Wizards of Waverly place.... that's pretty much the favorite show of the household, ahahaaha. We also see a lot of Hannah Montana... I'm not as much of a fan.... lol.  Mr Assi is also one of the guys who wrote the Mopan book we used during training classes! Which is cool because he's practically famous! hahahaha. I really like talking to him b/c his english is very good and he is well educated. So he is very familiar and honors a lot of his Mayan roots and traditions, but he also disregards ones that are detrimental to a family. He told me that in their culture you are expected to have lots and lots of babies as soon as you get married or else it's an insult to the family. But he tells his children to think about how many kids they want because they have to feed and educate them and children are expensive. Like I said, they are not very traditional at all! But it's a nice change! Mr Assi even helped his wife iron some clothes because he said Mayans expect the wife to do everything and never help, but he respects his wife and helps her!  I really enjoy talking to him because we can actually understand eachother and he knows enough about his culture that I can learn about Mayan traditions and languages, but he is also well educated and knows the difference between good and bad traditions.
So my first experiences with my new family were great. I got some tv in and got to eat a lot of fruits.... and then... I drank some tap water. FAIL. It had dirt in it, I thought I was going to die. I tried my best to not drink much and also to not offend Mrs Assi. Surprisingly, I didn't get sick tho! (& it's been 5 days!) Overall, they seem like great, really nice people!


Now speaking of Belizean tv.... well that's an experience! I think most cable is just stolen from the US, so we get pretty great channels! haha. But on the local station, you get all the Belizean commercials and EVERY SINGLE commercial is a song or jingle! Belizeans love singing commercials!!! hahaha The most popular one rite now is a cable commercial to the song "I;ve got a feeling" by Black Eyed Pease that goes:
"I've got a feeling. That tonight's gonna be a good night. Because I'm gonna watch some tv." And goes on and on about 125 channels and all this stuff! Hilarious!!! hahahaha It's so funny because literally every commercial is a song: the census ad, the phone companies, the cable companies, everything! haha love it!


Oh Belize.

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