Tuesday, November 29, 2016

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, el 29 de noviembre, 2016

Not much happened today.  School was okay - as a language teacher, I have issues with the way I'm being taught.  This week I've been learning about the past tense, but how do you do that in an effective way?  I don't think by writing the exceptions on the board and assigning phrases where the verb must be conjugated into the sentence, at least not before the concept has been exhausted orally.    I think there has to be a lot of talking using particular verbs with all subjects:  I, you, he/she, we and they.  Unfortunately we don't do that.  We did, however, spend a lot of time talking, although Mynor did a lot of it.  That's okay, I need to listen and try to understand.

After lunch, I decided to go to Santiago via lancha.  I waited in the boat for 30+minutes , then decided I didn't need to go that badly, especially when it cost $5 each way.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow on a chicken bus.

Due to the rising waters of Lake Atitlan, this former home-

the trees and this tienda-

are no longer habitable.  

So, I just wandered around town and came across Doña Iyom Chona Rax- a local midwife who delivered babies for over 70 years!  She delivered 6 generations of children - 2000+ babies!  Some days she saw 15 patients! She started when she was 15 and retired as doctors and hospitals came to la Laguna.  She died this past January.  Apparently Maya midwives are born with a 'don' -  a destiny which is marked by a thin veil of skin over a portion of a baby's face.  Parents are told to watch for this sign in their newborns-

This evening, school showed a film called Diario de Motocicleta - Motorcycle Diaries.  It's a true story when Che Guevara and Alberto Granada traveled from Brazil to Peru on one motorcycle.  I left after half an hour.  It was difficult to hear the Spanish and rather than have Spanish subtitles, they were in English, and what I could understand wasn't exactly how it was translated.  In the first half hour, it seemed more about a love story "typical Hollywood" than some cool ride.  Films in a language school should be played in the target language with the sub-titles also in the target language, rather than translated.  Oh well....

Sometimes I get such a depressed feeling walking around these streets.  People are poor.  I just walked by a house where they are sitting on the floor.  They have no furniture and if they do, often it's plastic.  People aren't begging, but many have little.  They eat tortillas- ground corn and water 3 times/day.  I guess that's like us if we eat bread three times/day.  Sometimes I feel sad here and wonder what am I doing here when I have so much at home.  Sometimes all I want to do is go home and live in my luxury, and I think, why don't I just relax and enjoy this place?  People who are "lucky" by my standards anyway, have scooters to get around but most walk or use tuk-tuks. I guess it's important for me not to judge their happiness - from what I've witnessed, they are happy and that is the main thing.  Sometimes I think they are better off than at home.  So many Canadians need to keep up with the neighbors and even though they can't truly afford it, they live in big homes, drive new vehicles and go on all inclusive holidays once/year.  The rest of the year they work hard to at least pay the interest at the bank.  Maybe the people here have it figured out better than we do!

Getting a little philosophical tonight!  Is it age or boredom and frustration?


  1. Hola Alli! Feliz cumple! Me parece tan lejos la escuela en Antigua...pero tu tienes suerte de estar todavía en central america, sin frio y sin nieve..brr...Y ademas aprendes ya el pasado..pronto vas a estar mas avanzada que yo! Me gusta mucho leer tu blog y estoy celosa de tu viaje! Saludos de Suiza! ;)

  2. Chin up Alli, nothing wrong with noticing people and their way of life, comparison will happen whether will want to or not.
    You were so supportive to me in 2014, I really appreciated your positive attitude.
    Tomorrow will bring new challenges and new surprises, relax, enjoy nothing is foreverx


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