Title: Waking up to the lovely sound of a car's horn??? Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
I feel that I am adapting well to life here in Quetzaltenango. I have quickly fallen into a routine. My day usually starts at 6:00am, with me waking up to the sounds of cars on the street. For two days now, a car has parked itself near my house, and has blared its horn while waiting for the person to come outside. I usually lay in bed and think about my plans for the day and start to review my Spanish. I get up at 7:00 and study for about an hour at my desk. In my room I have a desk with a small lamp, and full sized bed, and a set of small shelves where I lay my clothes on. My host family has decorated my room with various paintings, rocks and figurines of animals made of jade. At 8:00, my host mom has set out breakfast (once she made mush and the last three days cold cereal with bananas and instant coffee.) I then get ready for the day, and I am usually out of the house by 8:30 at the latest. I walk to my Spanish language school, (it´s about 5 minutes from my house) and come to the computer lab to check my email and write on my travelblog. My school has two different sessions of classes- one session in the morning from 8:00- 1:00pm, and then 2:00pm- 7:00pm. I am in the afternoon class, but I hope to change to the morning session next week. During the week, my school has various activities planned during the morning and afternoon. We have guest speakers that come in and talk about domestic violence, the civil war (which was from 1960-1996) and other topics in Guatemala today. We also have excursions to different places around Xela- visiting hot springs, or going to local villages to visit the markets or weaving. I am interested in doing these excursions, but for now I want to stay in Xela and study. Today, we have a trip planned to visit a village that does weaving, but I want to stay and study for a bit. I usually run my errands in the morning, and study at my school or a café. I eat lunch at 1:00-which is the biggest meal of the day. My host mom makes tamales, chicken, red meat with vegetables (onion, tomato, red pepper) or squash with tomato as a stew. So far I have eaten everything that she has made. I told her that I like fruits and vegetables, but I will also eat meat. Then for dinner, at 8:00 pm, we have a lighter meal with plantains, beans, tortillas, or bread. After dinner, I try to study, but I am usually very tired. I start getting ready for bed at 9:00- which is a challenge in itself. Since traveling to Nicaragua several times, I was prepared that the shower experience might be a challenge. In Nicaragua, there is no hot water. People usually shower in the morning or afternoon, when it is warm out. In Guatemala, the shower is hooked up to a voltage box. You literally see the wires running from the box to the shower head. When you want to take a shower, you flip the switch on the voltage box to ON and then turn the faucet handle. If you want hot water, you turn the faucet so that you will have a small stream of water. However, if you want more water, you will have to sacrifice the temperature of the water. Being that I like hot showers, my water usually comes as a trickle. This makes it difficult to wash the soap from my hair, so I wash my hair every other day. The water also changes in temperature, so sometimes it is hot and then other times it is freezing cold. But other than that, the Spanish immersion classes are going great. I am learning a lot, and get lots of practice talking to my host family. They tell me I am improving!