Hello to whoever is reading this post!
Our second weekend here in Guatemala just passed and we actually got the opportunity to visit the former capital of Guatemala, Antigua! We stayed the night in a small hotel called Casa Antigua, a couple of blocks from the central square where you can find women balancing fruit baskets on their heads and kids with jewelry hanging from both arms trying to make a living. Brian, another volunteer from Potter’s House joined us on our visit and we were able to split the cost of one room with three beds for $20 each! We got a chance to explore the markets in Antigua, which are very different from the markets we saw in downtown Guatemala City. Antigua really targets it’s tourists and everything in the markets had Guatemala written on it, and the vendors were a lot pushier than the vendors in Guatemala City. Tisa actually got followed by a vendor down the street until she bought an oven mit she didn’t really need. We took the advice from a friend from Potter’s House and ate at a restaurant called Monoloco. There were a lot of tourists in the restaurant enjoying the Bayern VS. Chelsea soccer game so the restaurant had an energetic and invigorating vibe as fans stood up to cheer as soon as the ball got remotely close to the goal. We ate a ridiculously huge plate of nachos with chicken, lomito (steak), steak, lettuce, pico de gallo, and TON of guacamole that the four of us split. Before I left to Guatemala I told everyone that I was going to lose weight while in Guatemala because I thought that since I lost a lot of weight while in Bolivia (my home country), I would also lose weight here in Guatemala. Boy was I mistaken. We are fed plates full of hearty meals everyday and we all eat until we are completely full! We once got up at six in the morning to do some yoga but that’s a tradition that’s hard to keep… (I write this as I am eating some jello for dessert). Plus we don’t have a full body mirror so its basically impossible to keep track of the weight we’re most probably gaining.
Antigua was such a wonderful experience because it was kind of like a little vacation from all the work we do at Potter’s house, which is very rewarding but overwhelming at times. After a wonderful weekend getaway, we got right back to work by doing some house visits! Today we actually got the opportunity to visit Wendy, a woman in the entrepreneurship class, who told us about an offer she got from a friend who owns a space that she could use to start a business for just 1,200 Quetzales a month ($150). She told us about her fears of opening up her own business and how she doesn’t have the resources to pay for rent. So, Tisa, KAtie, and I committed to go check out the space and help her find business partners that she can trust to split the rent.
After the house visits we got the opportunity to meet the students who we will be teaching English to, Susie and Katy! They shared stories about what they do for fun and what type of music they liked to listen to. It’s so funny how different people are! Susie actually graduated recently and is now working with Potters House as a high school tutor and she hopes to become an interior designer in the future, while Katy wants to be a translator when she graduates.
After spending just over a week here in Guatemala my dreams for the future have changed so much. My goals for working at a marketing firm have now been replaced by dreams to travel and do some development work. Now more than ever I am realizing that life is so short and I can’t imagine myself being stuck in the same place. There are so many different paths that have been opening right in front of me and just the thought of travel and sustainable development work is really giving me some sort of purpose.
Until next time,
PS. Thank you for all the wonderful emails and all the support that I have been receiving from friends and family. They really give me the strength and encouragement I need to complete my job here in Guatemala. Much love to all of you!
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