Saturday, February 27, 2010


Some pictures for your enjoyment :) I went to some ruins this morning - only 3 quetzales to go in! It was a beautiful old cathedral... love it!
Out in Central Park - I tried to be inconspicuous when I took this picture (therefore it is off center and lame...) but tons of people dress in their native dress - it is so beautiful!

More of the ruins this morning :)

And here are some pics of my new home...

Friday, February 26, 2010

dead fish... medical attention

I am sitting in an internet cafe and I think I like it. Well, upon taking 2 seconds to look around I have decided that it is not, in fact, an internet cafe.... more like an internet hole in the wall. But hey, it's STILL COOL! I decided against walking around in the dark to get to the office.

It's going to be my first weekend in Guatemala! Last weekend was spent in Honduras so I am excited to see what a Guatemalan weekend has to offer. I'm guessing beans will be in there somewhere haha.

Today was another great day in the hospital! I don't think I fully explained what I am doing there the last time I wrote. It has turned into a volunteer/internship experience and I am learning a whole lot. From 8-9 I help feed the children who can't do anything to help themselves. It is so sad and yet so rewarding. The kids are all really sweet. I made friends with a little boy named Henry this morning. We talked for a while and when I asked him what he was going to do for the rest of the day he said, "I'm going to play!..... with YOU!" Such a cutie. Unfortunately I had to tell him that I didn't get to stay... but I am already looking forward to seeing him on Monday. Their food looked a bit more appetizing today and included oatmeal as the base instead of beans. Que fancy! (that's for you Kiara, if you read this haha)

So, after helping with breakfast it's off to the clinic part of the hospital. On Tuesdays and Fridays I will be helping out una Doctora in Gynocology (I have already been witness to much more than I might have liked haha) and the other days I will be working with a doctor in Pediatrics. As far as I can tell I am the only volunteer working with the doctors. They seem to really enjoy explaining things to me and I am learning a TON of new vocabulary. I think little by little they are going to trust me to do more and more hands-on work. The people who come in are so humble and so nice. They have no money and are all very scared. We saw about 11 patients today and 3 of the women were SO scared that they were going to die of cancer. Luckily, after our examinations, we had good news for all of them!

At the clinic the people who come don't have money to pay for all of their procedures usually. But to try and help out they bring other things... like DEAD FISH! Yep, boy was I surprised yesterday when this lady whipped out a cooler full of fish for the doctor. I was even MORE surprised when the doctor dumped the contents of the cooler into a bedpan to save it for later. Bwa hahaha ha. Oh the smell was overpowering... we had to open the window. Today a couple ladies brought honey and I got a jar of canned fruit! I don't think I'm going to eat it because they say don't eat fruit that you didn't wash and peel... but I will give it to Magda and earn some points with her :)

I did my first haircut in Guatemala! No, I didn't get MY hair cut... but I cut Cory's hair. I thought about shaving a cool design into the back of it, but successfully restrained myself (a star would've looked really stylish I think).

chocobananas are awesome! Frozen bananas dipped in chocolate. mmmm mmm!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

guatemala... te amo

I just was looking though some old photos and found this amazing picture of Jen. And since I've been thinking about my little sis lately - I decided I'd post it! For the record, I have not had delicious pizza like that since arriving. Actually, lately our food has been pretty interesting. We almost always have beans. Lots of them - mashed, fried, pureed, whole, flattened, fluffy, black, brown, red, orange, slimy, dry, powdery, runny... any variety you could ever wish for in a bean. We also eat a lot of hard boiled eggs and meatfat. Meatfat = "meat" that is half meat half fat.

Things are going great - I just completed my first day in my new hospital... and I love it! It's a hospital run almost completely by donations here in Antigua (so I only have to walk 5 minutes to get there!) I got up nice and early today so I would actually have time to eat breakfast and throw on my scrubs. Walking to the hospital I got quite a few weird looks... apparently scrubs are not the normal attire to wear while walking the streets of Antigua. But, I arrived just fine and they sent me to go work with the kids until the doctors got in at 9. The kids are so sweet! They all have developmental problems (cerebal palsy, spina bifeda, etc) or mental disorders and they live in the hospital indefinitely. I helped get them up and feed them a very "tasty" breakfast. Well, I told them it was tasty anyway. I snuck a peak at how they prepared it and all they do is get some stale bread and break it into pieces into a bowl, cut up some salchichas into the bowl, and douse it all in really really liquidy black beans... it makes a stew of some sort. But, the kids seemed to like it! They are all fascinated with my hair - always touching it and pulling it. I guess it's true that they haven't really seen many redheads around there.

I can't remember to which wheelchair place you all have donated to, but I saw a few wheelchairs there from the "Wheelchair Foundation" - is that who grandma donates to? Anyway, it's good to see that the wheelchairs actually get to kids who need them!

Side note: back in the day women gave birth in these things - I couldn't even get in! I can't imagine trying to get in there with a huge panza!! Who were these women?!! It's not the little hole you see by my hand - there is a bigger entrance right behind me... but still!!

Here is a pic of the "playing field" of Copan - we were pretending to play... it didn't work real well. BUT - the game kind of works like it does in the movie "The Road to El Dorado." watch it!.

Newsflash: I am still the reigning champion of Egyptian Ratscrew! Mwa hahahaha!

I talked with Shirley's sister and she said that she is going to be in town this weekend - so we are going to do something :). I am also going to go to church (really excited about that!). Hopefully I can meet the missionaries and set up some times to go out with them. Either way I'm going to meet some great people.

Well... hope you're all great!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My mailing address for those if you who have asked :)

6th Avenue North #6A

Mocos en mi cabeza!

Just a quick update... I'm still alive! My cold kind of reminds me of all the street venders around here... It never gives up or goes away! But things are great of course!

Monday, February 22, 2010

WE GOT STUCK... Honduras. Yep, that's right - my weekend was veeeeeery interesting. Interesting but really amazing too. It started about a week ago when some friends and I decided that we wanted to see some ruins. First we talked about going to Tikal - but that ended up being too far away and too pricey. So, we decided to go to another country and see the ruins of Copan in Honduras. Rather than going through a travel agency we decided to just wing it and do what we could. We booked our transportation (a very crowded shuttle), found a Hostel (Iguana Azul), and made plans for a super fun weekend! And it was... with just a few minor problemas along the way. Oh the joys of travel!

3:30 in the morning rolls around on Saturday and it's time to get up and get ready for the shuttle! We pack light - you don't want to carry around too much or people will want to steal from you. The shuttle arrived at 4:15 and we were off! The ride itself was QUITE the adventure.... we were packed in there - I was next to a couple of french people (that seems to happen a lot for some reason) and some Israelis. The frenchman next to me had a terrible cold (which might be the cause of the cold that I got the day after...). Then there was Craig... our new friend with dreadlocks from England who helped us once we got to Honduras. Ok, but here is the scary part. So... there are a lot of winding roads on the way to Honduras. A LOT. There are also a lot of cars. Well, our driver likes to get places fast I think... and therefore he passed anyone and everyone who was even sort of in the way of his need for speed. I tried really hard to sleep because I was kind of scared... but I woke up to the frenchman cursing under his breath as we passed SEVEN CARS.... around a turn.... going uphill... 2 of the cars were not actually cars, but rather semis. Our driver was surprisingly collected and simply honked and flashed his lights at the oncoming traffic. Yeeehaaa! I guess that's what Guatemalan drivers do. We made it though. Passing over the border was fun - we had to change our Quetazles into Lempiras and got our passports stamped.

Once in Honduras we found our hostel and checked in - it was actually pretty nice. It was just us 3 (Brenna, Sarah, and me) in our room. then we went out to scour our new town! We found some cute little shops, ate pupusas and smoothies, talked with the Hondurans, and took their advice to go see "Macaw Mountain." We rode a tuk tuk (always one of my favorite parts) and went to see the birds - BEAUTIFUL! Our guide was a bit interesting and just threw some parrots at us... which commenced to eat our shirts.... we all have holes now. The toucan was cool until it tried to eat Brenna's camera. You know, maybe these birds were hungry or something. We also found out that Sarah has earrings that look like weed. She didn't even notice when she bought them but our guide sure noticed. He complimented her on them a few times haha.

Then we went back into town, bought food for the next day, and played cards - I learned a new game called "golf" - it's superdivertido. We went to bed and then got up nice and early to go to the Copan ruins!! They were so neat - they are Mayan ruins and include their palaces, temples, sacrifice areas, playing fields, and underground tunnels. It was so crazy to think about how people actually lived there (and died there... a lot... I think that there were more sacrificial altars than there was anything else!). It was really really neat - I would definitely go again.

So, our shuttle was supposed to come and pick us up at 12. We ate lunch at 11 and then went to wait for him. Well, we waited... and waited.... and waited.... and called them (nobody there).... and waited.... and panicked a little... and waited... and called again... and finally took a tuk tuk back into town. Well, we go to a travel agency and they said that he had waited for us at our hostel (NOT what he told us he was going to do!!) and that he left. So, we were stuck. There were no more shuttles going out to Antigua that day... after searching and searching we found the only vehicle that was going to Antigua - a huge luxury bus. Yes, a luxury bus. We didn't want to take it. But, we had no other choices. So, we payed the extra money (que horror!) and got on our bus. It had very comfortable seats, a movie, a bathroom, sandwiches and soda, and our own attendant. Riding in style! Oh we were so mad at our travel agency though... but at least we got to sleep for a while on the way home. We got back really late and I went straight to bed because my head cold was taking over! And last night I had my first encounter with food sickness here in Guatemala. It's not fun! I don't know what I ate but.... I should NEVER eat it again! So, I didn't make it to my project today :/ . But, I am feeling somewhat better now and should make it to my spanish class. Lovin' life in Guatemala!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuacala! That is what I have to say about this beautiful picture. Kind of funny when I had just said that I hadn't seen any bugs. LOOK AT THESE HORMIGAS! They were on this banana peel on a lightpole in the street. Yummy. I bet that they probably mash them up together and fry it. Protein AND potassium... what more could you ask for?

Anyway... I digress....

Let's back up to yesterday! I had a very delightful time scouring the marketplaces and haggling with the venders... one of whom which had me transcribe a letter to her friend from Spanish to English... therefore I got a 2 for 1 deal! What a ganga! She said she was going to name one of her kids after me (Raquel). Ok, that's a lie - but she does already have a kid named Raquel - almost the same thing, right?

I LOVE my Spanish classes - my teacher is the bomb. She is so great - she comes prepared every time to give me lessons that I specifically need. She's been busy researching all sorts of medical terms and phrases that I might need and writing personalized tests to see what level my various skills are at. She's wonderful! She also is the one that took us to the awesome church in San Felipe a few days ago and then TODAY she took us somewhere else! Ok, I have a confession to make... I ate coffee today. Ek. Not on purpose!! This is what happened... we all went on a little trip out to the music museum and coffee museum of Guatemala. It was really really neat and so beautiful. But here is where I made a mistake. My dear, sweet, innocent teacher gave me a red berry during our tour and told me I should eat it because it is very tasty. I asked her if she was sure it was safe (she had just pulled it off of a random bush) and she said, 'claro!' (of course). So, I ate it and she was right, it was tasty. Too bad right after I swallowed it the tour guide started explaining about how it was a coffee berry that they later process into coffee beans. Whoops. The whole tour was very interesting - I'll make sure to include some lovely photos.

Other news... well... this morning I was waiting around for my chicken bus and up came the school bus again! Oh boy! I was kind of embarrassed and just staring at the ground a lot and then the driver started yelling out the window, "Ven! Ven! Ven! Puedes venir con nosotros" (Come! Come! Come! You can come with us!). Well, it beats getting stuffed into a van with 20 other people... so I went and I didn't even have to pay again. Buena gente. The kids kind of looked at me weird, but we made friends soon enough.

My project was pretty neat today - I stayed in the pharmacy the whole time and helped fill prescriptions - I'm sure that would not be allowed in the states haha. Yep, I filled up prescriptions (pills and syringes) and helped out the doctor the whole time. When it was time to go I went with my new friend to wait for the bus and we exchanged spanish jokes. All around a good time - I have reality checks every once in a while where I can't believe that I'm actually in Guatemala doing all of these neat things - yay for adventures!

Last night I finally decided to go out with my new friends (they have asked every night and I've always had some reason that I couldn't go). Well we went out and I was the designated "walker" haha... but it was actually a lot of fun! We went to La Sala and had a really good time - they had free drinks and I thoroughly enjoyed my very sugary pineapple juice. Then... we danced! SALSA! Man, these native people can dance!! It was a lot of fun and I got a good workout - I'm SORE today! Good times, good times.

Well, turns out I am moving rooms tonight so I need to go pack! I don't know if I will be able to get on the computer this weekend... but if not I will definitely make an update on Monday! Guatemalan love, Raquel

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hola hola!

I don't have much time to write today but just a few things.

#1 Guatemala is great! I am great! I have not needed to use my travelors diarrhea medicine yet :)
#2 I don't think that I mentioned something rather funny the first day... well, when the plane landed in Guatemala, lots of people sighed loudly and started clapping - I thought it was so funny! It was like they didn't actually expect us to touch down safely or something. I'm so happy we did!
#3 Yesterday I went in a TUK TUK - a little motorized vehicle that acts like a taxi but costs much less. We squeezed 4 people in the back and went to tour a beautiful cathedral and check out the more economical market. SUPER fun! I think I might become a Tuk Tuk driver one day - what do you think? The pics is of Sarah and me in the tuk tuk with our wonderful teachers :)
#4 I ate Guatemalan churros and platanos fritos in the market - super deliciosos!
#5 I found diet coke.
#6 Que chulero!!
#7 There aren't very many bugs here! I saw my first one yesterday - it was a wasp and no, it didn't bite me.
#8 Today I was left alone with 15 kids under the age of 3. It was awful! They were all screaming... eventually I got them calmed down but man it was rough. The other workers didn't even tell me they were leaving! So... I've had some other small issues with this location and I think they are going to change me to somewhere else. It's a good thing... even though the kids are super cute. Man, and I was just making headway with the pharmacy doctor - he let me work with the medications today while I taught him some English! But yeah, I requested a change and they're working on it :)
#9 I'm taking a trip to some ruins this weekend!!
#10 I got notice that I got spring/summer full scholarship! Yay!!
#11 This morning on my way to my project I accidently got on the wrong 2nd bus. I was kind of confused when I noticed that all the people getting on were small children... turns out it was a school bus. Good news though - they dropped me off at my hospital and didn't even charge me! GRATIS! Que suerte!

I have to get running before it gets darker! I don't want to walk home alone in the dark :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ok, this is a great story... So, last night I had my spanish class from 5-6. I had asked my sweet teacher the day before if she knew where an LDS church was. Well, she didn't but yesterday she came all prepared and even drew a map for me! She's so wonderful... so after class I decided to go find the church just so I would know where it was at. Daniel walked with me and when we got close I could tell it was our church (even though here all the streets are just colorful straight walls on both sides with doors every so kind of have to guess what businesses are). I could tell because there were a bunch of men in suits ushering people in the doors. I asked one of them what was going on and he said, "come in! come in! you'll get a good seat!" Well... obviously something important was going on and so we went in and found out that Neil Anderson, of the 12 apostles, was coming to speak to their ward. WHAT?! Man I'm a lucky girl! So, I went right in (a little underdressed unfortunately) and got a seat next to Marta, my new church friend. I was there about 40 minutes early and so we had lots of time to chat and she told me all about the ward and the missionaries (there aren't any sister missionaries in this area) and she invited me over to her house for dinner with her and her kids. She's so sweet! Daniel didn't stay because he "couldn't understand anything." Well... it was just this little beautiful chapel filled with beautiful Guatemalans and then... an apostle! And not just an apostle, but also his adorable wife, the guatemalan temple president and his wife, and Elder Clark of the 70. It was such a beautiful program! I was so grateful to be able to feel the spirit! They spoke about all different kinds of things but had an emphasis on diezmo. The wives also spoke in spanish - so cute! And THEN... at the end Elder Anderson said he wanted to meet every single person in there... and so we all lined up and shook his hand! It was awesome awesome AWESOME! Yeah... so my search for the chapel lasted a bit longer than planned... what a HUGE blessing. Yay :) I missed dinner, but that's ok with me.

Hmmm... what else happened yesterday? It just seems like so much happens I can't remember it all! I had a lot of Spanish homework so that kept me pretty busy. It was a good day.

Today... CRAZY day again! I successfully made it to and from my project today without any help... solita! It was quite the adventure but I didn't feel too nervous. Everybody on the buses were very nice. Well... my second string bus wasn't really a bus. It was a van. But it had just as many people in it as a bus. Chicken van? I was lucky though and got a seat in the front so I didn't have to lay across anybody or sit on anybody's head. Thank heavens. My project went well - I worked in the pharmacy this morning and had a class that talked about how the hospital started and stuff. I didn't get to practice too much spanish because I was alone for a lot of it, but I am going to be rotating stations every day this week to see what I like. I did get to see the babies for a minute and they are still as cute as ever.

Something I forgot to mention... sometimes there isn't any toilet paper and you have to use newspaper. I'm not going to lie... I prefer toilet paper

Sometimes it sounds like thunder outside but it's really the volcanos doing their thing - and puffs of smoke come out of the top! There are volcanoes almost on every side that you look :)

Apparently my tostadas with beets are called enchiladas over here... interesante! For breakfast this morning we had cold cereal and bananas - the cereal really masked the gross milk taste even though it was warm. It was actually really tasty!

Apparently you can get a great price on cuban cigars and rum here if anybody is interested. Kidding. But that's what everyone else is buying!

Guatemalan phrase to learn: Que calidad

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

nuevas cosas

Yay for Guatemala! Ok today has been a very eventful day so far... a lot of firsts...

1. I woke up at 5:45 and then stood in the shower for a good 3 minutes before i had the courage to get under the freeeeezing cold water and wash my hair
2. I lost my phone, somebody found it, and now they won't give it back. Therefore I got a new phone today (thank goodness they are cheap) and my new number is 47093594
3. I found my way to the main office without getting lost even once!
4. I rode a chicken bus. Now... this is where the day got reaaally interesting. A chicken bus, contrary to what one might think, does not give rides to chickens. Rather, it is a way of transporting people around AS IF they were chickens. Basically what you have to do is wait on this "bus road" and wait for your super cool multi-colored chicken ride to come along... there is a man hanging out of the door yelling out their destination - in my case "Guate." So you wave your arms and they stop for about 2 seconds while you get on and they pull away as you are looking (usually in vain) for a seat. Ay yi yi! The roads, as I mentioned before are made out of stone... and so it is VERY bumpy. Looks like I won't have to do any situps on my trip because I get such a good workout on the bus! So, you're squished in there like sardines and then this guy walks around and asks you for your money. My first bus costs 4 quetzales... which is about 50 cents or so. Then we wind up and around the mountains of Guatemala getting thrown all around - it's CRAZY! They don't just stop at your stop either... you have to watch for your place and then you have to walk up to the front (through the masses of bodies and winding turns) and tell them to stop at your place. Whew. It was quite the adventure. Oh yeah, and then I have to get on another bus to go up to the hospital... but that one is not so crowded thank goodness! Oh yeah I almost forgot... they blast latin music along the way to make it more pleasant - it works!
5. I held babies for the first time in 1.5 years!! It was always so sad to me that I couldn't hold babies on my mission... but here I get to hold them all I want! So today I was in the nursery area. I didn't do much (if any) nursing, but I helped take care of the kids, put on their shoes, feed them, play with them, cuddle them, etc etc. They are SO STINKIN CUTE! Jen, I'll try and get one home to you. jk. They are orphans and need a lot of love. They are also generally very misbehaved. Chamacos!! But, I love them. They are going to have me work in all parts of the hospital to see what I like. Even in the pharmacy - good experience! So it was good - I was there until 12 and then I came home and ate lunch...
6. it was pretty tasty although I'm not really sure what it was. Something with beets and lettuce and tostadas. Daniel also bought some exotic fruit and I sampled some of that... I don't know the names but they were delish. Fresh fresh fresh!
7. I blew my nose this afternoon and my boogers were a greyish blackish color. I was very alarmed at first but then realized that the buses let out A LOT of smoke/black/pollution/substances that will give you lung cancer... and nose is doing a great job trying to keep it out of my body.

Well, that's it for now! I have my language class in a few minutes so I better go! Love you all lots!

Monday, February 15, 2010

guaty - mi nueva casa

Well... I am officially in Guatemala and I absolutely LOVE IT! It is sooo beautiful here and the people are so welcoming and so nice. I am living in a volunteer house with people from all over the world - it makes our meal conversations very interesting! My flights were pretty uneventful... I sat next to some French people on my last flight who were busy celebrating their Valentines day with a lot of PDA... but I just turned on my music and ignored them (it's not like I would've known enough french to ask them politely to cut it out anyway...). I met some really cool people in the airport - Leslie a Guatemalan chica who just got engaged in Vegas, Orian who was coming out to Guatemala to study spanish, crazy people in the Guatemalan airport... my shuttle driver Erwin - oh he was so adorable! So I managed my way through customs and security... found my bags (after stealing someone else's for a few minutes - an accident! I promise!) and then I went outside to find my ride. Now this was an interesting moment. I am the only white person in sight and I walked out of the glass doors to a MOB of taxi and shuttle drivers. Luckily amongst all the shouting and pricing offers I located my man. He had a little handwritten sign with my name on it (spelled wrong of course) and I just had to trust that he was legit and he went and got his bus - pronounced "boos." I was SO grateful that I could speak spanish because this man didn't speak a word of english. We had a lovely chat for the 45 minute drive up and over the volcanos.... he told me that you can always tell when you get into Antigua because the streets turn from pavement to cobblestone - and it's true! ALL of the roads are made out of stone here! Interestingly enough all of the cars are low-riders. I imagine that the bottoms are all scraped off of all the cars. There are people walking everywhere but the vehicles don't yield to pedestrians. If you get in their way I am pretty sure that they will just run over you. So... "look both ways before you cross" has even more significance now.

Anyway... so I actually got into Antigua at about 10:00 where a very worried "mom" of the house told me that somethings had happened and my room arrangements weren't going to be ideal for the night. Apparently somebody got sick and had to stay longer and blah blah blah... end of story I had to share a room with a guy for the night because there really wasn't anywhere else to go at 10 o'clock. Don't worry... it was a very laaaarge room and there were 2 beds. But, he is very nice and respectable and we had a good chat. I didn't feel threatened or weird or anything. It was actually kind of nice because even though I am moving out today I now have a built-in bodyguard for at least the next 3 weeks!

I have met some really awesome people - including 2 girls that are going to be here just as long as I am... yay!

Food notes: For breakfast I had fruit and pancakes (who would've thought?) and milk. Well, if you can call it milk. I think it was once something else but I'm not too sure. Lunch we had chicken, rice, tortillas, and enselada. Rica! Who knows what's going down for dinner - probably something along the same lines.

I am doing LOTS of walking - my feetsies aren't used to sandals! I got a phone today and I have 70 minutes for the month. It was super cheap - 150 quetzals... divide that by 8 and you have the price - including the minutes. When I went to the bank to exchange my money today I felt very safe. Want to know why? Well, because there was a man holding a GIGANTIC rifle guarding the line. That thing was huge. So, as long as I wasn't trying to rob the bank, I was ok.

I also took a picture of this man. At first I thought he had crashed his bike and that he was dead... but then he moved and I felt better. I was thinking it was pretty rude that people just left him there on the sidewalk... but I guess that was his napping place of choice. Maybe I should try it out.

Well... I gotta go have some more adventures - hasta luego!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here we go!

Well... in 12 hours I will be in the air! Here is a lovely map of Guatemala with a point of where Antigua is (if anybody was wondering). I spent my last day in the US enjoying some of my favorite things - cookie dough, movies, and my family.

Anyway... I'm excited for all the crazy adventures ahead! Keep in touch... I won't have a phone for a little bit but you can text me to "" - I'll text back whenever wi-fi is available :) Let me know if you want anything from Guatemala!!

Hasta luego cuates!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

hug an abuelo

Sometimes I really just want to go hug my grandparents... like today. Betty passed away and I got to thinking about how awesome old people are and how much I can learn from them. Like on my mission - the old Mexican ladies were the coolest people ever! My favorite one, Josefina Santillan was incredible - she was always telling me craaaazy stories. For example, she had a baby in a river. The way she puts it:

'So, I was just out washing my laundry in the river when I realized I need to have my baby. So, I sat down and had her. Then I found a sharp rock and cut the umbilical cord. I washed off the baby (with detailed explanation on what is the best way) and went home. My husband came home and looked at me and said, "what happened?" "I had the baby." "Oh, that's nice." '

Then a few years later she had another one on the side of the road.

So, naturally I'm excited to meet all the Guatemalan abuelas also. I leave in four days... Exciting!! Haha... everybody is giving me advice. Let's see... some of my favorites...

1. Don't die
2. Put your money in your shoes
3. Don't drink the water or you'll never leave the bathroom
4. Get a tan and dye your hair black
5. "Bring me back a Guatemalan man" - Jen

Anybody else have advice? But yeah, things are great - had some adventures today packing and getting ready (who knew it would be so much work?!), baking cookies, and PAINTING with my sis. I'm really going to miss that girl - and everyone else!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

1st nursing night shift

Well... it's 6:20am and I still haven't gone to bed. It is a very weird feeling - the days just kind of blend together. I'm still getting ready for my trip but in the meantime I'm taking care of Betty and she needed someone with her all night last night... and I was the lucky girl to do it! Last night my amazing little sister came over to practice blood pressures and pulses (she's studying to be a nurse too) and then I went back to Betty's at midnight. It's been a real blessing to be able to be with her during these last weeks of her life. She took a turn for the worse a couple days ago and we're just making sure she is comfortable. For all of you nurses out there, she has a Kennedy Ulcer the size of a CD on her back. The nurse says that they aren't from lack of turning but that they pop up a few days before death... They're supposedly very rare. Yay for learning new nursing things. So, it's been good - I've learned a lot about life from Betty and now a lot about graduating from this life. She is probably the sweetest lady I have ever met. We'll see what the rest of today brings. But, now... I'm going to bed!

Friday, February 5, 2010

and then BAM... life changes!

Well, I woke up this morning and just thought that starting a blog would be a good thing to do! I am leaving on a trip to Guatemala in 9 days and I am REALLY ridiculously excited. It's kind of crazy because a week ago today I had no idea that I was going - or that there was even the slightest possibility that I would go. It's crazy how life works. You think you have everything figured out and then BAM it all changes! A week ago today I was on vacation in Utah with my amazing mom and we got a phone call from my employer... who informed me that the lady I take care of for my job was in the hospital and things weren't looking good. They gave her 2 days. 2 days more of work... Well, make that 0 days because I was in Utah and she was in New Mexico. Nobody is hiring in New Mexico and I don't start school until April. So, exploring alternate options my mom suggested I go for my lifelong dream and go on a volunteer trip :D. Ohhh! EXCITEMENT! Having just got back from a mission I am eager to use my Spanish and brush up on nursing - exactly what I will be doing in Guatemala. Hey, you only live once, right? So... now there's just 9 days to go and so much to do.

However... there is more to the story. So, I returned from Utah and what do I find? The lovely lady that I care for is still kicking... rather forcefully! So, I guess I do have a job for the next 9 days. Life is funny like that. But hey, take what it gives you and run with it! I'm going to run to Guatemala.

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