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Archive for the ‘how you ruin something that you love’ Category

Okay, I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately. Last week I slipped on an orange peel and sprained my foot. I am fully recovered from that injury. Today, while in Antigua… I fell off the sidewalk and sprained my other ankle. Seriously??

I realize that I am a clumsy person… I fell and then laughed. It didn’t hurt that badly initially. So, after a full day in Antigua I am writing this while my foot is on a giant bag of frozen veggies.

I have to be able to laugh at myself in these situations. My history shows that my injuries happen in 3’s. I sprained my ankle. I have a nasty sinus infection (not sure of this counts as an injury or not). Then this today. God is either telling me to slow down, or watch what’s in front of me (or to my right, as the case may be).

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Last night after I left school I went to have dinner with my friend Raul, one of the teachers at La Union. We arrived at Cafe Sky, a very popular restaurant that is close to the school. After Raul and I had dinner, Raul’s student, Jacob came to join us for a beer. Jacob had decided to have dinner at home last night because he didn’t want to spend any extra money. This is completely understandable, as we receive free meals as part of our stay with the families in Antigua. I chose to splurge and have spinach and cheese quesidillas.

During our beer drinking (only one each), Jacob began to feel sick. All foreigners learn quickly that you are bound to be sick to your stomach at random times. It’s just common knowledge. So, Jacob disappeared to the bathroom for several minutes. After returning to the table he explained to us that he was suddenly not feeling well and after a few more minutes went back to the bathroom to do his thing. The owner of the restaurant went into the bathroom after Jacob came out. Jacob apologized to the owner, Carlito, and told him that he had felt very sick. Carlito nodded and said “no problema” and Jacob returned to the table to finish his beer. We asked for the check. Jacob’s check read as such:

Pollo (the only beer readily available in Guatemala) : 22Q … or approximately $2.75

Limpiar Sanitario (cleaning of the bathroom) :40Q … or approximately $5.00

For a total bill of 62 Quetzales. SIXTY-TWO QUETZALES!! To poop!!!

I immediately called Carlito over to our table and asked if he was serious. Carlito replied with a simple “si”. Once again I looked him in the eye and said “seriouso?”, waiting for Carlito to crack a smile or something… because this just had to be a joke of some kind. Nope. Carlito was serious. So, while Jacob and I sat with our mouth hanging open, he dug money out of his wallet shaking his head and just laid it on the table.

This would be one way to ruin something that you love… Cafe Sky has the best view of Antigua with it’s roof-top seating. Tourists love this place, as do students and most everyone else. It’s very sad that I won’t be returning there.

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I’m sorry to report that this Sunday I had my first experience of being taken advantage of for being a gringa. I had been sick for most of the weekend, and hadn’t been eating much. I knew that I had to eat to keep up my strength, so I bought some toasted bread and peanut butter. I was also craving an avocado. On my way back from the internet café, my housemate (Sherry) and I passed through the square of Iglesias de San Francisco, a shortcut that I take back and forth to school. In this square are merchants of traditional Guatemalan goods… Clothing, hand-woven tapestries, candles for the church, and people selling food. I had noticed several women selling avocados during the days that I had passed through the square and felt the need to buy one.

There are two kinds of avocados in Guatemala. The traditional avocado that we find in the states, small and black on the outside. The Guatemalan avocado is larger and green, and almost completely round. I had never had this type of avocado before, and decided to give it a taste. I looked at the señora, sitting with her basket and said, “Un aguacate para hoy, por favor” (one avocado to eat today, please). “Pará hoy?” she asks. “Si”, I say. The woman picks through her basket and pulls out this huge avocado, as green as a beautiful tropical garden. “Es bonita aguacate para tu” (a beautiful avocado for you), she says. “Seis quetzals” she says… then changes to broken English, “but for you, cinco quetzals.” ~~ Keep in mind that cinco quetzals is equal to about $0.63 American. I give her the 5 quetzals in the bills that I have in my pocket. She looks at my money and says, “oh no, este dinero es no bueno” (this money is no good), she takes 2 older quetzal bills and gives them back to me. “Por que”, my housemate says. Apparently the Guatemalan government is in the process of updating their bills, as the States has done for the past several years. However, some merchants will now not accept any older bills. This woman insisted that I go to the bank and exchange my older bills for newer ones. Sherry and I looked at each other and I pulled two 1 quetzal coins from my pocket to replace the older bills.

I brought the avocado home and set it on the counter. Marta (my house-mother) walked by and asked who’s avocado it was. I told her that it was mine. She looked at me and said in Spanish that the avocado was no good and that she preferred Mexican avocados. Sherry and I decided that maybe she just didn’t like that type of avocado, and that Marta was just really picky about her produce. This was a new food for me, and I was excited to give it a try.

Later that evening, I was studying at the table at la casa and decided to try my avocado. I cut the avocado open, and the pit literally fell out of the fruit. The avocado stank. The woman not only sold me a rotten avocado, but she then complained about how I was choosing to pay for this avocado. I was later told to NEVER buy anything in the square at Iglesias de San Francisco. Had I gone to the grand marcado (big market), not only would I have gotten amazingly delicious avocados, but I would have paid half the price.

Lesson learned.

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I’m not entirely sure how how it happened… but I managed to ruin one of the things that I love most in life. Baths.

So, I’m taking a soak in the tub… and not the regular tub, in my bathroom. Oh no… I’m totally taking advantage of the fact that the fam is gone for Christmas, and using the big ‘ol garden tub in Beth and Lance’s bathroom. So, I’m taking a soak… and I sat there almost entirely relaxed. I’m feeling all kind of relaxed.

 Then my brain decided to  try to figure out how many gallons of drinkable water I just decided to float around in and try to relax.

I will never be able to enjoy a bath again.

This is how you ruin something that you love.

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