22 enero 2011- sabado
Argh! Internet problems have been dogging me…first, my modem not working and now apparently our muni office doesn’t have funding to pay for internet service, so we are without for how long…who knows? Thankfully I found this wonderful internet cafe in Xela with fast WiFi…such a treat!
Last night was a pleasure to spend in my new vivienda (housing)…although I will definitely have to adapt to the sound of the bus rumbling by at all hours…so I am feeling a bit sleepy this afternoon. With little notice, my adopted host mom, Dona Fina, jumped at my request to transport my belongings to my new home…Within half an hour she showed up in her pickup with husband and daughter. One trip by truck for the short distance of 2 blocks saved at least 10 trips on foot….amazing how much I’ve gained in 5 mos! So glad to have wonderful Guatemalan friends and fellow volunteers!
My new landlady, Dona Rosa, and I chatted for awhile last night before I moved in…clearly it was important for her to share about her family so I would know who I was renting from. That personal interest is rare in the U.S. It was such a treat to hear my landlords voice their desire that I be comfortable and happy…yes!
So my new home is a 2-bedroom house on the main road leading out of town (thus, the buses). My landlords are keeping the smaller bedroom for themselves for their occasional visits, but the large bedroom will be like a studio space, very adequate and I just need to come up with creative ways to divide up the space. I will pay 500 quetzales/month or approx $75 plus monthly electricity costs, which will be about $8. I truly will have sticker shock at prices in the U.S. after adapting to costs here.
The bathroom has an electric water heater at the shower head…a nice amenity,
however, I will probably still head to the los banos 1-2x/wk for my warm thermal soak and socialization. The outdoor patio (sheltered) is where I will put my gas oven and stove….and perhaps will be the site of my future baking classes. There is a lovely view out to the mountains from the patio, so I can view many of the towns I will eventually be visiting….more in next post about finally getting out to one of the towns last Thursday.
I promised follow-up to my questions…at least one brave soul ventured some guesses, and did get at least 50% correct. Here are the answers:
At each meal, what food is served that can also double as a utensil or napkin? tortillas
What is the Guatemalan name for a bus? camioneta
What has been the maximum #people on a bus bench with me? 7
What is the 2nd largest city in Guatemala (and site of my favorite dancing)? Xela
What technology do most Guatemalans use? cell phones
What are the names for the west and east part of the country? occidente, oriente
In which region live most Mayans? occidente
When are fireworks likely to be popping off?Anytime, day and night
What is the most important holiday in Guatemala? La semana santa (Easter)
What is the Spanish name for the insect that relentlessly keeps pursuing me? pulgas (fleas)
What is a musical instrument typical of Guatemala? marimba
What do Guatemalans say to others at the beginning or end of meals? buen provecho