Classes begin

Published: March 5th 2007
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It´s been a couple days...the school is not open on Sabado or Domingo, and didn´t bother to track down an internet cafe. Excuse the typing, I have yet to find any two key boards alike, the special characters don´t correlate to the keys, and several keys stick, etc.

It´s easy to find your way around Xela, as the volcano Santa MAria is always visible.

Got up early Sabado to catch a ride to the nursery raising trees. Not exactly what I was expecting....looked like a moonscape. People are out in the middle of know where digging up the land to harvest dirt, sand and gravel to sell for construction. In the middle of all this is a small plot where ICA is working to raise trees for planting in gov´t designated areas and to the gov´t for money. It also gives a few people income.

This time of year it´s all you can do to keep weeds from taking over the little seedlings. So my back was aching from bending over all day. And didn´t hear a word of English all day. The people are delightful, and even in there situatation of extreme poverty, were laughing all day. The people are quite handsome and of course could not resist the little children...this little one worked right beside her mother and myself. In addition to weeding we fillled hundreds of llittle plastic bags with earth for the next seasons crop.

Sunday is market day so, in addition to what seems like endless studying, I did experience the two markets in Xela, one in the Centro which is where a majority of tourist frequent and one on the other side of town where the indigenous people go. Haven´t been here long enough to know what I eat...

(Libardo-Miguel is a great teacher, but on this first real day we´re into serious grammar and I´m still learning to count and the days of the week. I now know the difference between Yo necesito hablar Espanol and Yo deseo hablar Espanol. Miguel keeps reminding poco a poco)

I haven´t quite figured out if the mountain tops are covered by clouds of water vapor, smoke or dust...all of which are a distinct possibility. If you think we have road construction, it´s on steroids here, carving right thru mountains, no dust control and no closing of lanes during the construction...makes for very bumpy and exiting (read dangerous) bus rides.

ICA is coordinating a campout on top of Tajumulco, over 12,000 ft this weekend...we´ll see if tennis is any good at keeping me in any kind of shape.

someone comment on pictures..they look dark on this computer...the sun is so bright here I may need to compensate...Xela is at 8,000 ft.

Additional photos below
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5th March 2007

Steve, I am loving this ..keep sending. The photos look great to me.
5th March 2007

The photos are great - more would be better, especially since they fit in with the text. I would also love to see a pic of Steve at school!! Thomas
5th March 2007

The pictures look great! The blog is also great. Thanks for doing the blog, although it is making everyone jealous.
6th March 2007

Busy Man
This is so much fun getting to see and hear what you are up to in Guatemala. As expected you seem to have found many things to keep you busy. Your pictures looks great! I especially love the photo of the little girl. I love you and can't wait to hear you speak Spanish! Love, Kendra
6th March 2007

Steve - love the pics and news of your trip - keep 'em coming. Pictures are a little dark, but not too bad.

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