21 septiembre 2010-martes- Gracias everyone for your kind words of support!… the return of health has chased away the clouds from my spirit.
Two days ago all 15 of us muni folks boarded 2 minivans and headed to the ¨wild west¨ of this country, which is actually located in the east (called the oriente) near Honduras. The temperature creeped up on us and pounced in the 80-90F range, such a change from the 65-75F we have enjoyed in the highlands around Antigua! Although green, the vegetation has the scruffy look of California, even some cactus. I find that I am missing the colorful clothes (traje) of the Mayan women back in my community. Here in the east most people are more of European descent, called Ladinos…there are other indigenous groups here, but less of a presence.
This is our week of field-based training where we are visiting other volunteers. This is to peek into their lives and our possible future, and to hear the highs and lows. Today we were very inspired by a volunteer who finishes up next month…she has accomplished a lot in 2yrs! Tomorrow inaugurates a library that she resurrected from disuse. Other projects have included educating community groups on identifying and championing their needs, renovating a playground, and working with youth in an orphanage. We got enlisted to help with the latter…heading off to paint their playground today. Although the thunderburst cut short our painting time, we had a great time learning Guatemalan hand games of pattycake and more with the kids as we huddled under shelter…what irrepressive energy they had, and plenty of curiosity about us! The ride back to our hotel got adventurous as we skirted around newly arrived landslide areas on the road…fortunately, nothing serious. This clay soil doesn´t hold water very well….
More on my travel week later on….