Thursday, September 22, 2011


I got out of bed as usual this morning around 6am to start my day. I walk outside of my house, look up to the sky to find this…
An arco iris. It seemed pretty fitting for this moment in life. But the picture really doesn't do it justice.
Arco iris
A veces
por supuesto
usted sonríe
y no importa lo linda
o lo fea
lo vieja
o lo joven
lo mucho
o lo poco
que usted realmente
cual si fuese
una revelación
y su sonrisa anula
todas las anteriores
caducan al instante
sus rostros como máscaras
sus ojos duros
como espejos en óvalo
su boca de morder
su mentón de capricho
sus pómulos fragantes
sus párpados
su miedo
y usted nace
asume el mundo
sin mirar
y a lo mejor
si la sonrisa viene
de muy
de muy adentro
usted puede llorar
sin desgarrarse
sin deseperarse
sin convocar la muerte
ni sentirse vacía
sólo llorar
entonces su sonrisa
si todavia existe
se vuelve un arco iris.
-Mario Benedetti

Monday, September 19, 2011

What were you eating?

In many of the schools we work with here they don't have sufficient space for the students. In one of this specific schools I am working with here, they were using the school's kitchen as a classroom.
This led to the mamas cooking over a fire in this small room on the floor, which is a serious health hazard. Especially considering most of them cook with their children on their backs, and the kids run in and out of the room to help.
From left to right, the improvised kitchen, the fire they cook over on the floor, and a view of the the actual kitchen that is currently used as a classroom, behind the improvised kitchen.
(click on the picture to make it bigger)
The community and I are currently working on a project to build a new classroom. It's not even worth it to go into detail about how much paperwork and how many headaches we all had filling out the paperwork required to write the Peace Corps SPA (Small Project Assistance) grant. The important thing is that the project was approved and we are in the process of construction. More pictures to come when the project is finished!
I've been spending a lot of time at this specific school, helping the mamas cook snack, observing health lessons, working with a women's group within the community. Recently, one of the kids came up to chat with me. And I could not stop laughing at his face. That sounds bad. But his face was covered in some unknown substance. I asked him what in the world he had been eating. He really didn't understand why I was asking. So I took this picture and showed him. We still laugh about it together.
It's the small things that get me through each day here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the measure of a great life is not how well loved you are, but how well you love others.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Osa had puppies. What I thought would be a very fun experience...kind of turned out to be, well, dirty.
After a lot of paperwork and patience, the schools we work with constructed 8 faucet stations. A huge improvement, most schools only had one or two faucets for their entire school population.
We celebrated Abby's 24th birthday at a lovely restaurant called Panza Verde. Apparently, I drank way too much wine and may have ended up burning her face. The restaurant gave her a lovely dessert of tiramisu and after singing her happy birthday, I decided to smash her face into the cake following Guatemalan tradition. Unfortunatley, I didn't make sure that the candle was out. Abby woke up the next morning to show me the burn on her face. Oh well, it didn't stay for too long.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

No excuses...

Only 6 months left here in Guatemala and sadly I have only posted on this blog 12 times. I'd like to say it is because I have been sending detailed emails, long skype conversation or phone calls to loved ones at home, but well, that is just not the case. I have been completely wrapped up in my life here, that I just have failed at communicating for the past year and a half or so.
I will try to make up for it, not through exhaustive paragraphs about my months here in site, but through pictures.
November 1st, 2010- Celebrated Día de Todos Santos with lovely visitors from home. A beautiful day to commemorate the deceased. Huge kites are made in Sumpango a town close to mine. And in smaller communities people fly kites in the cemeteries, and clean up tombstones. It is one of my favorite traditions I have experienced here in Guatemala.
Took A trip to Río Dulce and Livingston for Thanksgiving. This area of the country is distinct for its Garifuna (Afro-Carribean) culture. The area was alive with music and dancing for National Garifuna Day. It was a nice relief to see a different side of Guatemala, wear skirts that went above my knees, see some great dancing, and pretty much just relax to a different rhythm of life.
Discovered the beauty of home cooked beans over a wood fire and ceramic pots. (Thats Don Checha from my host family, and sitemate Abigail)
February 2011- Gave workshops on how to maintain a Healthy School to around 200 teachers and directors. They were great, but some teachers have a hard time paying attention to two 23 year old girls, and respecting us. They tend to try to talk over us, or answer their cell phones...So, we decided to make the CASCO de RESPETO. We warned everyone at the beginning if they started to do anything disrespectful, they would have to wear the helmet for 5 minutes. It worked for a bit...until certain teachers actually like the attention. Oh well, we tried.
Where´s Waldo?
Well thats it for today, I´ll post more tomorrow!

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

Thursday, May 27, 2010