Published: October 20th 2006October 20th 2006
Greetings from Huehuetenango. I have returned from my brief hiatus and am loving each moment of my experience here. Going home was the solution. I felt like I was carrying baggage with me. I dropped it at home and I am free to fill my life with the world of Central America. Its an excellent feeling.
Madeline Harris Mullen passed away on Oct. 6 2006. She was surrounded by her whole family, in her own bed, in her own house. I can´t imagine wanting to die any other way. I made it home that morning and spent an afternoon with her alone while everyone went out to lunch. I said my goodbyes and made peace with the thought of life without her. She was a perfect woman; full of grace and compassion. I carry her in my heart wherever I go.
I arrived in Hue Hue on Monday the 16th. I promptly moved into my homestay and unpacked my meager belongings. My days are filled with commitments. I have never felt so active before. I have good reason to collapse into bed at night. I wake up at 6:30 am and do my daily practice of movement and writing. After breakfast, I walk to the Orphanage. My house happens to be the furthest away from anything. Most students walk about 10 minutes max to get to the school. If I am lucky, I make it in a half hour. I make my way through the busy streets, winding through throngs of chicken buses, motorcycles and vendors. Although the exhust pollution is disgusting, I enjoy the walk. This is not a tourist town, therefore my walk is filled with stares, smiles and the ocasional cluck from approving male eyes.
We are currently volluntering at the local orphanage. It is a healthy environment for these children. They attend school and seem to be totally satisfied with the conditions they live with. Instead of spending the time playing and not acomplishing some thing greater we have decided to put together a puppet show. Yesterday we built the stage and on monday we will begin a puppet making workshop. Its been rewarding so far and the excitment is begining to build in the children.
After the orphange we treat ourselves to licuados (smoothies) at the carnival across the street. I then make the long trek home for lunch and have only minutes to rest before I walk back across town to Xinabajual language school. For the next four hours, I practice my spanish one on one. My spanish is consists of a growing vocab which I piece together with badly conjugated verbs. Its actualy rather amusing. Surprisingly, I can carry on a conversation with my host family that goes beyond the basics. They get the jist of what I am trying to say and that is enough for me. When classes end, we usually pull together some sort of group meeting to discuss the book we have been assigned or to make weekend plans. By then, night has fallen and I must take a cab home becuase it is not safe for me to walk alone.
I arrive home at about 8:00 to a well deserved hot meal, generally consisting of beans and tortillas. After dinner, I spend time with my host sister and her newlywed husband. We share stories and pictures. At 9:30, I retreat to my quarters and do my spanish homework and squeeze in a journal entry. By 10:3011:00 I am fast asleep only to do it all again in the morning.
Today was a break from the norm. We had a free morning so Elizabeth, Elliott, Sam and I went to the market. Its a holiday so the streets were packed. We had a enjoyable morning looking through the thrift stores and gawking at live turkeys in baskets.
Tommorow we will wake up at 3:00 to make a 4:00 chicken bus to Todos Santos. From what I hear, its a four hour ride through the highlands to a mayan village which has an exciting market. It should be a good time.
I am in high spirits and loving every moment here. I am willing and excited to see what each day brings. I have one more week here in Huehue and then we go to Costa Rica. I hope that this entry finds you happy and healthy. My love to you all!