Antigua at dusk with Volcan Agua to the South

Antigua at Sunset
Hard to believe that it's already  my last dat at Familias! I think I may have avoided writing this week to ignore this reality. Just like most endings, I feel bittersweet about it. For most of the week, I've been telling myself that I was sad, and for a whileI was, but then I felt like I was ready to go home. Now, I'm getting sad again, the sort of nostalgic feeling I get anytime something good is coming to an end, so I guess that's a sign that I really enjoyed my time here. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I did or not, but this sentiment is reassuring. Although I will miss Familias de Esperanza and my job, I think I will miss the other aspects of Guatemala much more. My job itself was never the highlight, but rather the people I interacted with while doing my job. And so, in no particular order,  some of the things I will miss about Guatemala:

The edge of el Parque central
Today in the park, Lamarr and I were sitting on a bench people watching, perro [dog] watching for me, when a young girl come up trying to sell bracelets. When I said "No, gracias", I expected her to go away like most of the vendors do. Yet, she just stood there next to me and I could see her staring at me out of the corner of my eye. Her black hair was tied back in a ponytail that had become a bit unkempt during the day, she wore the traditional blouse with intricate flowering, yet you could see that the shirt had been worn thin and had much use, and her arms were covered in some sort of bumps or rash that did not look at all comfortable. She had sad eyes--maybe she was giving me a pitiful look on purpose. If so, it worked.

In Guatemala, when it rains, it pours.
After breakfast, we headed to el Centro to sit once again. I forsee it being a common pastime.  We were approached by another young Guatemalan whom I expected to try to sell us something at some point during the conversation. Yet he didn't really-just offered to take us to the Cerro de la Cruz. He was very friendly though, complimenting me on my Spanish. Originally from Lago de Atitlan, he said he was in Antigua as an artesania, selling items that others had made.

The first picture I took of Antigua
We were picked up at the airport by a friendly driver named Jose. There was traffic in Guatemala City so we spent about half an hour in stop & go traffic amidst other cars. The small of gas blanketed the air and the heat seemed to intensify the smell. The crowded streets of GC reminded me a lot of Mexico-the cheesy billboards, brightly colored homes, and loud cars.


    This blog contains excerpts from my journal that I kept while in Guatemala. It details some of my memorable experiences from the summer and tries to illustrate some of the culture shock that I experienced, along with detailing the Guatemalan culture from an outsider's perspective.


    December 2009
    July 2009
    June 2009


    Culture Shock
    Structural Violence

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