Monday, February 1, 2010

Cuatro, tres, dos, patada

("patada" = kick)

This weekend was the first weekend at NPH when I literally had no plans. No program dinners, no NPH events, no big nights out in Antigua. I was so excited to have the entire weekend to do as little or as much as I wanted, and it ended up being awesome.

Friday was (fellow volunteer) Daniela’s birthday, so we threw her a big fugata (bonfire) in the fire pit behind one of the volunteer houses. I must say, man did we make one successful fire. And of course, at first mention of a bonfire, the Americans went out and bought marshmallows to roast and ingredients to make s’mores.

Our fancy bonfire!

Happy Birthday Daniela! She LOVES turtles (tortugas), so all the volunteers pitched in to buy her a tortuga mobile we found in Antigua.

In Guatemala, marshmallows are called “angelitos” (little angels) and are about three times the size of marshmallows you normally find in the U.S. When Cheryl was out buying them, she sent me a text saying “Oh wow. I just bought marshmallows and they are the size of baseballs.” She wasn’t kidding.

The s’mores were delicious, but as we looked around, we realized that only the American volunteers were eating them. Clearly, putting a giant fluffball of sugar on a stick and plunging it into a flame isn’t quite as cool everywhere else in the world. Huh. I guess I would have thought that we were crazy too if I had never seen a s’more before.

The rest of the weekend involved a trip to Chimal for errands (our house bought a coffee maker!), Taco Bell (yes, again), and Sarita ice cream (When you ordered one scoop in a waffle cone, your second scoop was free!! Best day ever!!!) and some roasting of the leftover marshmallows over one of the burners on our stove. There was reading, sleeping in, painting my nails, and watching two movies I’d been wanting to see – Julie & Julia and Fame (both were good, and yes, buying bootleg movies here is as easy as walking down the street to one of the 15 bootleg movie stores in town). Yesterday I made a trip to the Sunday market for vegetable and fruit buying, and it was my cheapest day yet! Only 22Q (less than $3) for bananas, a watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers; I was excited. We also had a house welcome dinner last night where the old volunteers in our house cooked dinner for the new volunteers! We ate delicious homemade deep-dish pizza, and we were all in food comas afterwards.

Yum! Homemade pizza courtesy of Katie and Leeah!

So, great weekend – and that’s not even the best part.

Best part?

Yesterday morning, I taught a Boxilates class (half Kickboxing, half Pilates, duh) to three of the girls I live with. We pushed aside the kitchen table, blared some tunes, and worked up a sweat. It was hysterical.

Thank you, self-timer, for this hilarious photo.

For those who don’t know, I taught classes like Boxilates at William & Mary’s Rec Center for three years, so this isn’t quite as random as it might sound. However, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t still look like an idiot. It’s been a while since I’ve taught a class, so I’m sort of out of practice. I also don’t own any kickboxing music of my own, so we ended up working out to The Killers’ Mr. Brightside on repeat for half an hour. Not kidding. One song repeated for 30 minutes. Oh, and did I mention I taught this whole class in Spanish???

Yep, with Letizia’s help, my Spanish vocabulary expanded immensely this weekend and now includes such crucial words as knee, step, stretch, kick, and gluteus. I have also mastered the art of counting down an 8-count using Spanish numbers.

¡Ocho más! ¡Ocho, siete, seis, cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, otra vez!

So much fun. The volunteers in my house have already requested a second class for Tuesday, and they told me I should definitely talk to someone at NPH about teaching classes for the older sections of girls here. I’ll keep you all posted.

Well, that’s the weekend update! How is it February already? Til next time, hasta luego!

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