Tuesday, December 22, 2009

San Pedro! (and why I have to change my name)

Fact: Guatemalans cannot pronounce my name. The "a" sound just doesn't work. I mean, when you think about it, English pronunciations really make no sense. My friend Juan Carlos has been asking me how to pronounce words like "boil" and "Connecticut," and I really have no good answer. "Ummm, I don't know why, but you don't pronouce the second c in Connecticut, and no, it's not bo-EE-l." So, now when I introduce myself, I say "CAR-rie," using the word "car." English is stupid haha.

And now: San Pedro!

I'm currently spending 2 weeks in the town of San Pedro la Laguna, on Lake Atitlan. Lake Atitlan is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and it IS. The town of San Pedro also looks up at 3 volcanoes, so the whole town is just gorgeous. My first night here, I stayed with Urs and Juan Carlos, friends of my Volunteer Coordinator at NPH. They are AWESOME. They helped me get a phone and learn my way around, and they also really only talk to me in Spanish. It was difficult at first, but MAN is it helpful. Juan Carlos speaks almost as little English as I do Spanish, so our conversations involve a lot of overexaggerated gestures, but we can still manage to talk for hours over coffee about the fact that we both love Glee and The Devil Wears Prada. Urs and Juan Carlos invited me to have coffee with them every day at 4 p.m., and it's so nice having friends!

The town of San Pedro

Gorgeous Lake Atitlan

My Spanish school is also fantastic. We have one-on-one classes with our teachers, and we learn in little huts right on the lake. Today, we even moved and sat with our feet in the water. My teacher is hilarious, and in order to practice past tense, today we discussed what types of alcohol I drank in college and what it would have been like if I were on the Titanic with Jack y Rose. My fist day in Guatemala, the Spanish was definitely intimidating. I RARELY hear English, and English isn't really allowed at NPH because not everyone knows it. But now, only after 4 days, it's amazing how comfortable I am with Spanish. It's bizarre now to hear English, and the Spanish is coming back to me pretty quickly. I wonder what I'll sound like after a year!

My school...desks right on the water...no big deal.

Aracely, my teacher!

I'm also living with a host family for these 2 weeks, and they are awesome! The father, Pedro Rafael, is a famous artist (Google him if you don't believe me), so the front part of the house is an art gallery. Yes, I LIVE in an art gallery, and Pedro sits out back and paints during the day. It's so cool. A lot of their family is in town for Christmas too, so I'm becoming fast friends with the 11 year-old, a 23 year-old daughter, and her super adorable 1 year-old baby. I think the baby actually has a crush on me. :)

And now just a couple random facts about my time here so far before I run off to afternoon coffee!

1. There are no kitchen sinks in Guatemala (I haven't seen any at least). The sink is either somewhere else in the house, or outside. I guess it makes some sense though, since you can't drink the water in most places in Guatemala. It was just confusing at first haha.

2. When I first got here, the entire town of San Pedro had no water. They could get it from about 4:30-7 in the morning, but then it ran out if you used it all. It was crazy, and people had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to wash clothes, or they had tons and tons of buckets set out to catch the rain. The problem has been fixed now, but it apparently lasted almost a week.

3. The rooster is everywhere in Guatemala. Statues of roosters, blankets designed with roosters, even the most popular beer is called Gallo (rooster). The other day, Urs explained why. In the Bible, Jesus told Peter that he would deny him 3 times before the rooster cried. So, there you have it. Roosters everywhere. Fun fact, huh?

Ok, that's the update for now! I took a bunch of good photos today, but I don't have a way to upload them yet. Stay tuned. :)

1 comment:

spmore said...

CAR-rie! glad you are loving it!!! learn some fun new spanish words we can sing!

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