Blogs from Cobán, Verapaz Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 2


On Friday at the office Jorge and I finished all of the plans and gathered all of the supplies for the work team that is coming this week. We piled up all of our tools and stopped off at the market and double-checked the first aid kit. We are all ready to rock and roll. On Sunday Jorge and I will take the 4 to 5 hour bus ride into Guatemala City to meet the group at the airport. So on Saturday I decided to take some time getting to know Coban a little better. Let me preface this by saying that this is the week of La Feria in Coban something equivalent to that of the PNW Fair in Lynden. The town has really been a buzz all week because of this with fireworks, traditional ... read more
New Hostel

I had a wonderful first day at the office. The staff was very friendly and patient with my Spanish. Shortly after arriving we had an office meeting in the conference room where everyone introduced themselves. They then brought out a lovely cake to welcome me to the office. Next Enrique, the Coban Office Director, and Jorge, the Teams Coordinator then gave me an orientation to MTI’s work in Guatemala. Later in the day Jorge and I went into town to order the supplies that we would need for the upcoming group who will be building latrines. I spent the evening reading, chatting with other travelers in the Hostel, and watching the fireworks erupt over the city square. This morning we continued to make preparations for the upcoming group. Solidifying hotel arrangements and other fine details. Then ... read more

Wow that was one crazy day and a half of travel. I arrived at the airport in Guatemala City and was met by the Medical Teams International Guatemala Country director. From there we started the long drive of winding roads to Coban. Somehow in my head it was going to be a two-hour drive. Not bad, I go the hour and a half back and froth to Seattle all the time. Well this was kind of like going a back and forth and back again ☺. The sun had set and we were driving in and out of clouds in the mountainous region. (Not really mountains for those of you from the west coast, more like large hills) It started to rain as we entered the small valley that will be my home for the next ... read more

Well, I can gladly say I’ve only seen the poop man a few times since the last time I wrote. I actually thought he was finally gone and probably jinxed things by saying so. Yesterday, he was back. Although, I think I will now take him over the new guy. The new guy appeared before when we leaving for school this morning. Somehow, I find it a hard toss up between the guy that craps all over our grate and this guy who enjoys mornings with his hands clearly down his pants. I don’t just mean a little down there. I mean all the way down there, scratching and then bringing his hand back up, staring at whatever he found before flicking it in the air. Luckily, I wasn’t standing close enough to see what he ... read more
Photo 24

The weather is finally changing here in Coban. It’s been pretty nice the last month or so, but there were definitely the occasional gloomy, rainy days. The last few days though, have been so hot that I’m wishing I had a fan in my room. I don’t know that possible because my apartment is usually really cool no matter what time of day. Plus, with the our altitude here, the moment the sun goes down you need a sweater. I can’t exactly afford to buy a fan, so I think I’ll just have to sweat it out for now. Considering the weather I had to put up with when I first got here, the heat is a pleasure. Hopefully now that it’s getting really hot, I will be able to make it to a beautiful beach ... read more

I think things are finally coming together for me. As most of you know, I’ve been working a crazy amount of hours everyday at both school and home. I was putting in 16 hour days most days. 8 hours at school and another 8 hours of lesson planning. It was definitely not my idea of a good time and there were days that I really thought I was going to crazy. But, I’m happy to say those days are pretty much out of the way now. My books finally came in and even though it’s only two books, it has already cut down on my lesson planning so much. The last few days, I’ve spent just as much time on lesson planning as I had been before, except this time I’m not stuck on doing just ... read more

Things have so insanely busy around here that I haven’t had a chance to write anything other than lesson plans. There were a few days this past two weeks when I was really wondering what in the world I was doing here. It is a great experience and I love being in Guatemala, but the amount of work to be done sometimes feels soul crushing. The fact that I haven’t had a chance to even talk to anyone back home, let alone write, makes me a little sad and upset. I’ve been trying my best to stay optimistic, but sometimes it’s just really hard. Things are starting to get better, but maybe that only because it’s a Sunday and I’ve had a couple days off now to decompress. This weekend I decided to be rebel and ... read more

I’m used to not having a lot of money. I didn’t grow up getting everything I want. Heck, sometimes I didn’t get anything I wanted. So, I feel like I’m pretty used to being frugal, only buying the necessities and splurging once in a while if I can. What I didn’t know about coming to Guatemala is that the word splurging would have to be redefined for me. For most people, splurging means they buy that really cute dress they’ve been eyeing. It could be that they buy a new movie, or possibly go to the movies. Not for me. Splurging has come down to standing in the canned food aisle in the grocery store and trying to figure out if I really need that can of tuna. To be honest, I don’t know who in ... read more

My time here in Coban is getting better each day. It’s a small town and I see some people every day, but that doesn’t bother me. Instead, I find it kind of nice. I have already staked out my favourite restaurants, favourite places to grab ice cream, favourite place for coffee and I pretty much have a favourite for everything now. I love that every day on my way to and from school, I walk by the same guy that shines shoes for a living. He makes me smile absolutely every day. I can’t help it. He just cracks me up. His clothes never fit. They are always way, way too small. I wonder if he has a younger brother at home and just takes his clothes. His shirts don’t ride up on his stomach, it’s ... read more

I feel like I've already been slacking when it comes to writing these blogs. But, that's only because I'm too busy writing a million other things to actually write something I want to write. Work has been really, really busy. Tuesday my day lasted 8 hours in class, plus another 7 planning. Wednesday 8 hours in class and add in another 8 hours of planning and by then I couldn't care less about writing a blog. But then came Friday and all was right with the world again. Things with work are going really good. Even though I've been crazy busy, I think it's like that for everyone at the beginning of the year. So far, the school is incredible. I adore the staff and I love how small and cozy the atmosphere is. It's a ... read more

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