Saturday, May 24, 2014

When blog post stop being polite, and start getting real:

Though I commend the sweet, earnest blog posts before me (and the sentiments behind them), I'm also a  pragmatist. As such, I would like to bring things back to reality for just a minute...

- We have a limited amount of water each day. There are ten girls living here. We are all accustomed to daily showers, grooming, primping, prettying, etc. Somedays here, we don't have enough water to flush the toilets, let alone get ten showers. Props to those who have taken this in stride, and gotten in touch with their crunchier sides. Literally and figuratively.

- This is a developing country. We are lucky enough to live better than most of the locals around us. But this too has limits. Case in point: the city-wide, planned power outage yesterday. Apparently, we missed the memo.

- For anyone who has been to Central America, you know you don't put toilet paper in the toilet. For anyone who has lived in America their entire lives, this is a hard habit to break. The result: two clogged toilets and an adventure in breaking up clogs with caustic powder (the local remedy).

- We don't exactly blend in. Ten white girls? In a Mayan community? Its basically Gringas on Parade whenever we go anywhere. Plus side of this: we have perfected our Miss America-style waves.

- As if the adults' reactions weren't enough, you can imagine what the kids in Chaq think of us while we are teaching lessons. Fascinated by the white girls, recess is prone to becoming a giant game of "touch the gringa." This is what happens when you let a seven year old do your hair:

Next big trend? 
- Let's talk food for a minute. And by food, I mean the Guatemalan staples: corn and beans. Granted, they are in various forms. But at this point, we've got starch coming out of our ears.

Corn soup with potatoes and corn tamalitos

All things considered, these just add to the experience. From my previous experiences traveling, the best stories to recount aren't the ones about the nice hotels or the five-star Western meals-- they are the ones about stuffing 27 people into a shuttle van, or needing to hitchike down a mountain because bus service was cancelled for the afternoon. So long as we have our humor and each other, we are all blessed to have this opportunity to add to our anecdote arsenal.

- Alli, Summer Intern Supervisor

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