Blogs from Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 3


This morning I woke up before my alarm and even though I wanted to go back to sleep for a few more hours I managed to drag my butt out of bed to take a shower, which ended up being my first cold shower here in Guatemala. I was definitely awake after that shower! I headed down early to eat breakfast and soon after we headed to our very last clinic day! I can’t believe it’s almost over! I was very surprised but we actually didn’t have a lot of patients today so we got to hang out with the kids most of the day. One of the volunteer’s was not feeling good so I spent most of my free time with her, one of the little girls I met yesterday remembered me so she came ... read more

This morning I woke up to lights!! Yay. I’m so happy to see sunlight and have electricity that I don’t even mind the lack of sleep. I head downstairs to have breakfast and soon after we load up the buses and head to our second last clinic day! (tear) It was a super exciting clinic day because the community we were in (Santa Maria El Tablon) was the community that has the highest percentage of people that speak Kakchiquel so for most of the day each group had two interpreters. One of the patients that my group definitely got to me and made me cry; he was 15 years old and came in because of some stomach pains but when we were asking him all the questions to figure out what it could be nothing was ... read more

This morning we started a little later than usual… well I was supposed to. I had my alarm set for 7 o’clock because we were leaving by 9:30am but I woke up at my usual 6:30am. After shaving my legs and trying to find a bathing suit I headed downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast was the usual beans, eggs, tortillas, tea and fruit; it was nice to be able to eat normally as my stomach was feeling much better this morning. After breakfast one of my roommates and I went for a quick walk around the street before heading back to the hotel to meet with everyone else. As per usual, we didn’t leave at exactly 9:30, c’mon now, we’re all running on Guatemalan time. We eventually made our way down to the lake and were lead ... read more

This morning I woke up before my alarm (again), but wasn’t overly exhausted so I got ready and headed down for breakfast early. My stomach is still feeling off but I ate breakfast anyways; fruit (papaya, watermelon), tortillas, plantains, little bit of beans, and chamomile tea. I could live off of fruit, tortillas, plantains and tea. Slowly everyone made it down to breakfast and then we got onto the bus and headed to our last clinic day in San Jorge La Laguna. Today we didn’t get any super interesting cases but the group I was in saw 13 patients throughout the day which is awesome; we also got the diagnosis completely right on 4 patients!! Is anyone sick? Don’t worry, I’m almost a doctor, I’ve got this ;) At lunch I decided to venture out and ... read more

Today we were at San Jorge la Laguna and it was one of our busiest clinic days we’ve had so far! Today was also the first day that we needed two translators, one translator to go from kakchiquel to Spanish, and another to go from Spanish to English. It was so cool to hear kakchiquel spoken, and by the end of the day I was able to pick up on a couple of words. The clinic was a short walk from the water which only made me want to head to the lake that much more! My stomach was a little better today but I still didn’t want to chance it so at lunch I decided to not eat the meat and instead just eat rice, tortillas, vegetables and Jamaica juice. We didn’t have any notable ... read more

It's been awhile since I wrote last - sorry! To be honest though, not too much really happened before Christmas. We just did the norm -- wake up, coffee (Roger is in LOVE with our espresso maker!), volunteer, dinner, sleep with a few hours of bass and books thrown in. Christmas wasn't really anything too different either. We decided not to exchange gifts since we're sharing all money and everything we own down here anyways. It was a bit of a bummer - I didn't think I'd be bothered by it too much but I really took it hard. It was so different (and not that awesome) to have Christmas without family, without snow, without yummy smells from the kitchen all day. And then looking at everyone's awesome times on Facebook made me even more sad! ... read more

Weaving with ants. This week I have spent the afternoons with Maria and her grandson, who I have been teaching to count in English. He is stuck on 8. Likes to go from 7 to 9 . Makes sense in a Guatemalan kind of way. Maria has been teaching me traditional backstrap weaving . We sit on low stools (enter the ants) , the weaving suspended hammock style, one end on a hook banged into the roof and the other connected round my middle (hence the backstrap). Several hours spent setting it all up and then the weaving which took much patience from Maria till I got the hang of it. I am producing something that wouldn’t look out of place on a deckchair but am very proud of it. Then its a beer to recover ... read more
Weaving with maria and ants
Sunset on Lake Atitlan

As we awaited our lunch, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the largest chicken I have ever laid my eyes upon as it was being wrestled out of a plastic bin bag by the owner of our chosen eatery. We were somewhere in the pulsing heart of the markets of Chichicastenango, renowned for being one of the best in all of Central America. Anyway, back to the chicken. Caroline and I were hungry and I wondered if this particular chicken would be the one that would end up on our plates. Alas, it lived to fight another day, with the lady who ruled over the cooking pots deciding it wasn’t worth spending her money on. It was plunged back into the bag, wings flapping and feet clawing and scratching in its vain search for some ... read more
Flower sellers on the steps of the church.
Typically colourful and happy locals.
It's not only for tourists at the Chichicastenango market.

Earlier this week (the 19th), we had our first benefit party with TRAMA! They actually had a benefit party like, the night before we started volunteering with them, but this was the first one we had a hand in helping out with. It actually started because a lady named Denise, who owns a restaurant called La Esquina Asiatica (the Asian Corner), was being featured on a program back in Singapore, her home country. They were doing a piece on entrepreneurs who have been successful outside of their native country. Well, Denise lives at Yoga House with a number of TRAMA volunteers and it was brought up that we should collaborate on a night. Denise wanted a full house to show the news crew and everyone back home; and we can always use fundraising ideas! We called ... read more
Amparo, Pamela and Fabiana
Roger and Amparo
TRAMA team + Denise!

Good mid-morning from San Pedro, a tiny lake town of 10,000 or so people. Arrived yesterday with a friend from Hong Kong I met on the chicken bus here.Scored a decent hotel tho the electrified shower head is kinda freaky....for 90 quetzales for 2 nights. Or about 11 bucks! The trip here made me recall my butt hurting from long bus rides in Colombia! However that is pale in comparison to this voyage haha. But all told I'm relaxing and enjoying new sites. Happened upon a French Canadian here that owns a bar and a pool. Turns out one of his patrons was having a 50th birthday party so I stayed for the festivities. Drank a bit toooo much though it was fun. Walked to the Santiago dock for breakfast this morning after sleeping in till ... read more
San Pedro

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