Published: March 6th 2013March 5th 2013
Yesterday was an exciting day. Yesterday I was reunited with my bag. Guatemala City airport sent it swaddled in cling film, covered in a variety of red stickers, directly to the door of my room.
The important thing about my bag arriving was, of course, that it was full of lots of lovely donations for the Nuevos Horizontes shelter. And as yesterday was my first visit, I think that's perfect timing on the part of the airport. I met Allison, the volunteer co-ordinator, and the two other new volunteers outside El Cuartito cafe and we walked to La Democracia (where the main market is) to get the bus. The shelter is spacious, purpose-built house set in an almost Mediterranean landscape. At the moment, it's overflowing with small children, mostly boys, who were very excited to see the carrier bags I was holding.
"Regalo-ooo!" creid one particularly forward one, creeping over and trying to peer into the top. From then until I put the bags in the office, there seemed to be constantly one or two childen following me, prodding and poking the bags. I think they may be slightly disappointed when they learn that it´s just underwear and toothbrushes! Another volunteer has brought an xbox, which will be very popular as a big problem for the women and children here is boredom. It's so complicated to register the children in the local school that only one girl is attending at the moment, and mostly the others can't leave the shelter building. That's why the volunteers are here - to make life a little more interesting with some hopefully slightly educational activities.
After having a good look around and signing up for a first few shifts (I'm starting on Thursday morning), we got the bus back. In the evening, went out with some of the other people from the Hostal to a Chinese place. I'm not doing very well on eating Guatemalan food so far!