One thing I love about my life in Campur: Sometimes when 7 o'clock rolls around and I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like cooking for myself (or I don't feel like eating my dinner alone, standing over the stovetop, eating straight from the pot) I can grab my flashlight and walk the five minutes to Doña Ines' house, where not only do I know I will get a nice big plate of beans and eggs, tortillas, and a lukewarm mug of overly sweetened Nescafe, but I will also eat with at least five or six members of her very large, and very friendly, family. It's one of the few things that I can really count on here, and I love it. Family dinners are nice once in a while, even if the conversations are, in typical Guatemalan fashion, painfully circular (eg "Seño Hannah, so you can speak Q'eqchi' now, right?" "No, I really haven't mastered the language since you saw me last week." "So you're teaching at the school again this year?" "Yes, I'm still teaching at the school this year, which is why I saw you there earlier today.") When it comes to appeasing my appetite--for good Guatemalan fare or for the comforts of a family--Doña Ines' house is my favorite.
One thing I hate about my life in Guatemala: Transportation. It's one of the few things that continue to remind me that I live in a third-world nation. I've been here in Guatemala long enough now that it is harder and harder to phase me. I'm used to the languages, the smells, the weird cultural do's and don'ts...less and less of Guatemalan culture is novel to me anymore. But one thing that continues to challenge my patience, my tolerance, and my comfort level is Guatemalan public transport. Little did I know that when I was stuck on the Chicago Blue Line in rush hour, I was traveling like royalty. It just never ceases to amaze me how Guatemalans continue to travel under such awful conditions. No time-lines, schedules, consistency. On some days there will be five outgoing buses waiting to fill up. Other days, nothing. Some days there are roadblocks. Some days there are lots of stops. But what I can almost always count on is being crammed, sweating, legs cramping, in a bus with a capacity of maybe 35 passengers with at least 60 (people will sometimes literally sit on top of you), jerking down a dusty dirt road for the thirty minutes it takes to cover the seven kilometers between the highway and my home. All the while with, no doubt, a god-awful Guatemalan radio song blaring over the bus's speakers. I hate it. I hate it so so much. And unfortunately, there's no way to avoid it. It's just part of life here.
I guess it's like they say.. You win some, you lose some.
Dreams of a Beached Cow
3 years ago