First day in Guatemala City

Published: October 4th 2010
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Starting my dissertation research in earnest has been a long time coming. Granted, everything I have done in Guatemala (and grad school) up to this point - the excavations, ceramics analysis, etc. - has been preparing me for this step, but still, it feels GIANT. I decided to blog - a very non-Betsy thing to do - about my time here in Guatemala as a way of keeping a journal of what I am doing and accomplishing, and also due to demand from friends and family for a way to keep up with what's going on with me while I am here.

My first thing to tell you about is about my new little apartment. It's in a great area of the city - very close to the airport (yep, noisy!) and the archaeology museum, it's in the hotel zone (Zona 10). My apartment is an efficiency apartment meaning bedroom and living space are one in the same, but that's OK. It's really cute. I am on the 5th floor (with elevator!!!) and have a balcony, kitchen and nice bathroom. It's fully furnished and equipped with flat screen TV and cable (no, there's never anything worthwhile on anyway), internet, a balcony, etc. I like it and think I can live comfortably here for 2.5 months, while being productive working on my grant proposals and dissertation chapters in the evenings.

I will be working on ceramics from 9-4 daily and then probably going to the gym, picking up a salad to go (cook? me? I don't do it at home, why would I do it here?!), and coming home and working for a few hours each evening. It's back to the monastic life of a grad student for me. NYC I miss you already!!

Tomorrow I will go and meet with a friend who is in charge of all things cultural for Guatemala to find out where I am supposed to go and who I am supposed to meet with to start working on what I need to work on. Then I have to go to the bank and open a bank account and do administrative things for the afternoon. Real work will start on Tuesday.

I am nervous and excited, a little disoriented here in the city where I have never spent much time on my own (aside from being shuttled around in cabs, which does not lead one to get to know a city). But I am ready to get started. Feel like a 1st grader the day before school starts. 😊


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