26 February 2009

Two Places that Start with 'M'

One: The Mar

Two: México

Both are places I went to within the past week. The beach/sea (mar is related to marine, etc.) on Saturday the 21st, and Mexico on the 26th.

There's a Picasa Album to go with this post.  (Yay!  Fotos!)


Anway, it's story time. The sea was awesome! I love the beach, and the Pacific Ocean is one of the greatest places on earth. When the waves smacked my face, filling my mouth with the salty, nasty sea water, it brought back so many GREAT memories of different trips to that ocean. Wicked, with Jessica D., the Bay Area with my family, Orchestra tour last year, etc. But never has the water been so welcomingly warm. Especially because the clima at the costa is so doggone hot, the water was cool enough to be refreshing, and warm enought to be pleasant. We took my uncle's huge truck down there so that we'd have enough room to fit all the travelers: My uncle, two out of three daughters who live in San Marcos, the new husband of one of said daughters, the daughter of the daughter who stayed behind, another family including a mother, father, son, and grandma, an old guy, and another father and son. SO, many of us rode in the back of the truck all the way there. All two and a half hours. It was awesome, but warmer as we got closer. Which made getting there so much better. It was awesome. Then after swimming on the HUGE beach, we pulled out the grill we brought and grilled our own meat. Delicious. Plus we ate some fish and shrimp and stuff from the place that let us eat at their tables, and attract half the mutts in the city with our waiting-to-be-cooked-meat. It was delicious meat. Then on the way home, we stopped at a river to wash off all the salt water, which felt beautiful. It was just as naturally warm as the ocean had been, and in the evening, so it felt nice. Being desalted felt really good too. Anyway, then we road another two and a half hours in the back of a huge white truck all the way home. Fun times. FULLY recommend it.

Other story: The nearest Sam's Club and other such American givens is in Tapachula, Mexico. I'm not sure how far away it is, but I'm thinking a little bit longer drive than to the beach. Maybe that was just because of the border, and crossing it.  Anyway, before going to the store for some cream cheese and other such rare commodities, we stopped at a site of some Mayan cool things!  Which includes a beautiful carving which quite wonderfully depicts The Tree of Life, and the story of Lehi's vision found in the Book of Mormon.  It was awesome.  Unfortunately, since the carving had been left outside, even through all the long, hard, rainy seasons, erosion has occurred.  So none of the pictures can easily show what real life can.  It was amazing to see though.
The last picture in the album is the yummy tacos I ate at Tapa.  Also, I decided Tapa is WAY too hot for me.  I like my colder clima.
There's that, 'cause I was there.

22 February 2009

San Carlos

A poem I wrote a couple of days ago about the place where I went to school:

San Carlos
There are Dark Heads adorned in forrest green--
And here there is no silk, there is no jean.
And when the bell is rung, the door is shut,
And then the Dark Heads pull their notebooks out,
And they are set on wood that's painted grey,
And it, through time, has slowly worn away.
The man in front begins to say his piece
And so the pens record--few words are missed.
Three speakers come in turn, and then they go.
And after that begins the out door show.
The forrest gathers thick around the snacks.
They purchase what they want, and then come back.
Or others simply warm up in the sun--
The ones not wearing skirts will jump, or run.
Their toasted skin was not made for cement
That made the buildings where their days are spent.
And then the bell is heard. The crowds retreat.
Dark eyes--bright lamps--they watch the one who speaks.
And so, they do the cycle once again
With different words and thoughts to entertain.
And after three more bells are rung, it's time
To journey to the park, or home to dine.
The sun still sits above. The day is young.
And so the forrest gathers, then it's gone.

I wrote it for my Creative Writing class in the states, about my school here in Guatemala. I have plenty of homework for the U.S. classes, so Friday the 20th was my last day. They threw me a party. Someone from the administration, and the class president said some words about me before I spoke, to thank the class for their kindness. They bought me a shirt from the PE uniforms from our school, and all signed it, and presented me with a gift too. It was just a simple bag, but it was really sweet. All of the students talked about how they were sure I missed my family, but they all hoped that I'd miss them when I left too. Such good, kind, loving people. I love it here.
There it is.

14 February 2009

It's Been Longer than I Meant...

It's honey and love day!

...or it was when I started writing this...

At school (on the thirteenth), it was a big deal. Firstly, we didn't have to wear our uniforms. Secondly, they ordered us all lunches from a place called "N. Y. Flying Pizza." Our class voted to get the chicken hamburger (I voted for res, but pollo won.) So we had lunch at school, which we never do. But, when I got there, there were a bunch of people going around putting up decorations everywhere (really,) and the desks had been resetup so that there was room in the middle of the classroom for whatever. The decorations were really excellent. People here know how to decorate. Anyway, they had me write on one of the hearts in English. Then later they had me write the same thing in Spanish on a different heart. Also, while decorations were being put up, a crowd gathered around me and asked me to sing a song in English. So eventually they got me to sing the U.S. National Anthem. Not exactly a normal day... Anway, after the decorations, the teacher we have most (for anatomy, biology, chemistry, medicen, clinica and probably others) had us watch a few sentimental slide-shows. Then we started playing games. The teacher put all the boys names in one bag, and all the girls names in another. And then he pulled out names of who had to do what for the games. But before we played, the boy had to wish the girl a happy day, and give her a hug. So, of course, I my name was drawn. Last, when I thought I was safe. Nope. But it wasn't bad... And we didn't loose.

*Quick side note: Everyone in my class is 14, or maybe 15. I'm at least two years older than every one.

And we're back: After that was the gift exchange. One person got up, said stuff, said what name she had drawn (earlier in the week), and gave that person a gift. Then that person did the same thing, etc. A boy had my name. He comes in later, so don't forget. He gave me the gift, and like everyone was doing, I didn't open it. One thing I love about gift giving here is that they don't want you to know who it's from, ('cept in this case...) they don't include tags, and bring the gifts in black bags, so you can't even identify it by the kind of wrapping paper. And they make their own bows. Awesome bows. Anyway, then I gave my gift. And all I said was "buenos días," and the name of the girl to whom I was giving a gift. Then I sat.

Later, our literature teacher came in, who had assigned us all to write a letter to another person in the class, also by the popular draw-a-name system. She quickly graded them, and had us give them out. I had a very kind girl named Delfina. She's a tipica, (native,) and she came to school in her typical skirt, etc. It was really cool looking, with a ribbon or something woven into it. Pretty. Anyway, my letter came from a very sweet girl named Láudima. The general gist was that God watches me, and stuff like that. It was very sweet. Speaking of which, I love how often God, etc. is just mentioned in passing, or to explain part of the lesson, or something. Every one is Christian here. It's so different. Anyway, after school, the boy that gave me a gift asked me if I would give him permission to walk me home. They ask for permission for everything here. When he walked me home, he asked me if I would go to the soccer game with him the next day. I told him that I would probably be at my Aunt Amalia's house for lunch, so he asked me for permission to come look for me. I gave it to him, but I was eating at Amalia's until 2:45. Which I'm kinda grateful for. I'm all for giving everyone a chance and stuff, but he's a fourteen year old kid in my class that I've close to never spoken to. Maybe I'm just not embracing the culture well enough. (I'm fine being a foreigner, if that's what going native would include.) Anyway, this post is already longer than I meant it to be, and much later than I would have liked.

There it is, even if it is late.

10 February 2009


Quick Post:
Sometimes I have no clue whats going on, even in places where I'm not a foreigner. Here in Guate, sometimes it happens because I space out and forget that people might speak to me in a language I need to listen to well in order to hear. SO, this gives us premise for tonight's story. Quick, 'cause I have seminary at five.

Tonight at mutual we had a testimony meeting. And I listened, and understood. It was really nice. Then in our YW class, we made assignments for Young Women in Excellence on the 22nd. (I have to wear an orange shirt, black skirt, bear my testimony [they want it in English] and sing a song in English while a friend plays the piano.) I got that. Then we wrote the ward missionaries. I think my letter was pretty okay. Even if it was disjointed. Then we played futból with the YM, and I didn't really want to play 'cause of my shoes, but did anyway. Barefoot. It was the first time in a WHILE that I was barefoot. Here we wear shoes inside 'cause of the cold, outside 'cause of the ground, in the shower incase of fungus, etc. But I got to be barefoot for the game. And it was HEAVEN. Everyone thought I was nuts. More than once I was offered a pair of tennis shoes, but I turned them down. I said that there wasn't any snow, so I was good. Fun game. Here's where it gets good.
The bishop gave us all a ride home in the back of his car. The thing is, my cousin's sister-in-law is my leader. And she knew that there had been a birthday party today (that I will post about later.) And she asked me about it, and I didn't catch it all, but tried to answer anyway. I was really tired. Then I spaced out. Then I realized they were talking to me, and I told them that I didn't hear. Then we were at my house. And pretty much everyone who had been standing in the back of the truck got out, and followed me in, and all I heard and understood was the word pastel over and over. And they came in. I guess for cake. And I had no clue what was going on, and I kept apologizing to my cousins, and they kept laughing and visiting. And then they left. And I was still confused.

The end. I guess it's okay... culturally... Or maybe they were just fine with it, because they all know eachother.

So there that is.

04 February 2009

Hi there

I tend to write. In class when I'm not paying attention, in a car when I'm bored, on a plane when I'm trying to forget the pressure in my head 'cause I'm congested, and the napkin was there, etc. Also, I figure now is as good a time as any to start a blog so that what I write can have some sort of organization.

Plus, I'm in Guatemala, and I miss people.

So here is an update:
I go to school down the street from here at a place called San Carlos. I already feel odd because I only understand about half of what their 800 miles per hour tongues are saying, but also I haven't had a uniform. But today, one of the girls in my ward brought me her old one. So now I have the cool warm green sweater that I like, two shirts that are too small, and a plaid, pleated skirt that makes me feel a little more reavealing because it comes higher than I'm used to, and the pleats make it really open. But it's better than nothing.

Also, my brother got his mission call. You can see a video of it (with me watching on webcam) at his blog:
www.ithinkpoorly.blogspot.com. I'm so excited for him.

Also, I started a blog. ...bet you never would have guessed...

There that is,