Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SEMANA SANTA


I have bad news:

I only have 9 more days left of my guatemalan adventure!!! NOOOOOO! But, I am going to make the best of it and enjoy every moment! This week is the Semana Santa and there is lots going on. Lots and lots of people and lots and lots of parades... "procesiones" is what they are called around these parts. I have included a picture of a rather creepy parade that passed by our house a few nights ago. Look at those hats! There is also a picture of another one of those sawdust rugs. Apparently it's only going to get more crazy as the weekend gets closer... which is why a few of us are going to spend a day up at Lake Atitlan... if it isn't too contaminated we'll get to go swimming - hurray! I LOVE swimming!

Things are fantastic here... my schedule is a bit slower than I was thinking it would be because the hospital doesn't have patients this week and so I don't go to my project. But it seems like I still have PLENTY to do... I am so tired! Probably because I spent a good amount of time searching for a tarantula-sized spider in my room the other night. It was the biggest spider I have EVER seen and I screamed like a little girl. Then LAST NIGHT there was a huge beetle flying around my room and I was screaming again but this time I killed it. With a book. It's guts where everywhere because I was too afraid to get close to it so I threw the book at it and it splattered. Just thought you'd want to know. eeeeew.

GOOD NEWS! I got into my first choice for nursing classes! WAHOOOO! I hope that I have good girls in my class. It's going to be really weird going back into nursing without my best buds from before the mission.... Andrea! I'm going to miss you so much!!! But luckily I now have those friends to help me figure out what the heck I'm doing. Thank you SO MUCH Andrea for helping me pick my envelope. Lifesaver!

This spring I am taking Spanish 321, Literature and the Bible, and Self Defense. I am excited for all of them! I am also hoping to apply for a job at the MTC. Oh boy. Good things are going to happen... I can feel it!

Love you all... cuidense!

Rachy

Monday, March 29, 2010

more pics from salvador





One of the cute restaurants we went to (meals were just 2-5 dollars!) Oh, and just to be clear, that is NOT my beer!








On the beach!!







































negro y blanco



Just a little black and white photo shoot in El Salvador! Playa del Tunco. Beautiful!























Friday, March 26, 2010

adventure of the pinata

So last night we were a little bit... bored. We were just sitting in my room wondering what in the world we were going to do with our free night when suddenly... we spotted the pinata hanging in the corner.... So, he took a trip with us around town. We took pictures of him in notable spots around town... the house, the arches, the fountain, the hookah bar, the candy stands, with the police, with random kids in the street, etc etc. I carried around a bag full of pinata candy to share with everyone who agreed to be in a picture with the pinata. It was SO FUNNY. So... yes I admit that it was kind of a strange thing to do... but hey, we had to use the pinata for SOMETHING seeing as we hadn't busted it open yet. We got to meet a lot of new people from around the city and they were all very excited to be in our photos.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things are fantastic! Nothing too new to report. I learned more about prepositions in my spanish class today. I registered for my classes!! eeee! I am excited for BYU!

Here are some Guatemalan phrases/words for your enjoyment. To be used liberally...


"A la gran!" - yowsa!

"Puchica!" - darn it!

"Chucho" - dog

"Minino" - cat

"Chilero" - "cool"

"Poporoto" - popcorn

"Patojo" - guy

"Pilas" - hurry up!

"va pues" - "ok"

"pues si" - "soooo...."

"buena onda" - "thanks for the favor..."

"vaya" - "ok" or "all right"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the thief has been caught!

The thief has been caught! It actually happened 2 days ago, but I forgot to write about it. So... we all thought we knew who robbed Cory's camera and we told the mom of the house and everything and she thought it was him too... Basically Cory threatened the kid that if the camera didn't show up, he was going to kill him. Ok, maybe not kill him... but he knew that he was going to be in trouble. Wellllll... lo and behold we get home from class on Monday and THERE IS THE CAMERA UNDER CORY'S PILLOW! This is ridiculous for a few reasons:

1. The kid broke into Cory's room again to return it... but this time through the window and there were footprints all over the wall.
2. He put it where we had already looked a million times - if he was smart he would've hidden it or something in the room!
3. He thought that because Cory ha
d the camera back it was all going to be ok... but that sad part is that all of the photos were erased (because he stole it to sell it), the settings were changed, and the battery was dead.

Suffice it to say that he has now been kicked out of the house but because he was so angry he broke his door (so funny when Eddy opened the d
oor to see if he was gone and it fell over - look at the picture). So, I figure that he was the one who stole my phone too. Boooooo. Too bad I will never get it back :/

I had a great evening last night! I invited Eddy to institute and so when he got off work we headed on over... little did we know that it wasn't really
a class last night but rather a FIESTA. There are a few people getting married this weekend and so we had a party for them - complete with delicious food (I made the guacamole :) ) and games. It was pretty fun - I won a piece of gum! We had a small class at the beginning and everyone just went around and talked about how studying 1 Nephi was helping them and what they had learned so far in the class. Last night I did my mountain of homework and went to bed late... and then got up nice and early for the gym this morning! The project went well this morning - a lot of the kids were grumpy for some reason, but I guess everyone has their good and bad days.

I just got out of Spanish class - my teacher is so adorable. Her name is Odilia and she is SO full of energy - I love her!


Next week is the Semana Santa here in Antigua and it is a HUGE deal - people come from all over the world to see it. Basically it's a huge Easter celebration with tons of parties and parades and who knows what else. They have been doing things for the past month or so to lead up to it... Here are a couple pictures I took on Sunday of what was going on. You can see in one of them something that looks like a rug - well, the people here get up at aroudn 3 or 4 in the morning to make these rugs in the streets... they are made out of colored sawdust, flowers, pine, wood, fruit, and whatever else they feel like using. They are HUGE and I believe they are supposed to represent the palm leaves that the Jews put down when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday... because then they have "procesiones" - which are parades with giant figures of Christ that they carry around and they walk over and smash up all of the beautiful rugs. It's kind of sad that they get destroyed, but at least they are celebrating a good thing! There are also tons and tons and tons of priests walking around in purple. Maybe I'm bad, but it makes me think about Harry Potter... cloaks and all. Quiddich anyone?

Well, I hope you all are wonderful! I only have 2.5 weeks left :( !

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

cajita feliz

Our trip to McDonalds! We got kidsmeals of course :) But here it is a "cajita feliz" Really really tasty! And the toys were pretty fantastic as well.

Oh how happy I was to have a hamburger. It was probably made out of beans, but I couldn't tell the difference.

TEMPLE TRIP!
The entrance

I like this one - it has the Moroni tower and the Guatemalan flag!

Feliz :)

This is yogurfruz... amazing frozen yogurt with fresh fruit! Brenna and I just had to try it (we shared) and of course had to take a picture to document the deliciousness.

Mmmmmmm!

Cool picture at sunset yesterday... I LOVE the cobblestone roads here (except when I trip and fall... which happens, on average, 3x/day). This is close to central park. That is a volcano erupting in the background. Kidding... but it is a volcano.


Here is another volcano! And all of those cars are taxis that you can ride in. Everytime I walk past here I get attacked by hopeful taxi drivers. "You want ride? Special price just for you. Cheap price. Ride?"

video And here is a video of the lava from the volcano... enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

noticias

Updates!

* The temple was amazing - I loved it! It was a nice ride up there with a bus full of people going to the temple... and Cory - he also hitched a ride. The temple is beautiful and there were people there from all over central america. We were there for a really long time - we arrived around 3 and didn't physically get out of the temple until around 7:30 or so... and then back home by 9:30. Some interesting things happened on the trip home - no I'm not going to talk about it on the blog...

* Cory's camera got stolen and we think we know who it was...

* Church was fantastic (like always) - I love that little ward

* I have decided to develop my talents - I am now painting and drawing on a regular basis - I love it!

*Started Spanish lessons again with a new teacher - I think it's going to be really good!

*I found another new project taking care of premature babies... I might start next week :)

*Today was a really fun day at the hospital - I was in pediatrics and the CUTEST babies came in. One was only 8 days old... cute cute cute...beautiful dark skin, long long eyelashes, tons of fluffy hair, little cute hands and feet... oh I just wanted to steal her and bring her home! She has a cleft lip and they are going to fix it up for her :). The doctor always tells the parents that I am willing to take their children to the United States if they want. I have yet to have someone say yes :/ We ended early with the doctors and so I went to help in the physical therapy department - I'm so glad I went instead of going home early because it was so much fun! We danced with them to some great spanish music and then played with a parachute and ball... even though I got clawed in the face and about ran over by a few wheelchairs, it was a great time.

*I'll post pictures tomorrow! Love you all :)

Rachy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

goin´ to the temple...

I´m going to the beautiful temple today! Taking a bus at 1:00... the session starts at 3... and then I´ll get back around 7:00 tonight! So, I´m not going to get a chance to write more. But I hope you all have a grrrreat day - and if you get a chance, go to the temple today!

Friday, March 19, 2010

CABOOM

Hey hey hey!

Last night it RAINED! Oh boy I was so excited. I was walking Brenna halfway back to her house and suddenly CABOOM! Pouring rain!! We had to run inside of a little shop and buy some Guatemalan chips - what a shame... not! My project today was great fun - little Perlita fell asleep while I was holding her and starting giggling in her sleep. Oh my heart just melts every time! The doctor today had a patient in there for almost 2 hours because she was freaking out so bad about having some fibromas... it was quite the scene and quite the experience! I didn't do anything much except give the patient an encouraging smile every time the doctor took a breath from lecturing her. Wheweeee... I am definitely learning a lot about how to deal with people! You have to be firm and yet very understanding... these women are afraid that they are on their death beds! It's going to take a lot of patience to be a good nurse.

We're hopefully going to go out and do something fun tonight - maybe salsa dancing again?! OH, and I forgot to mention - I think I am going to the temple tomorrow! As long as I can figure out how to get there it will be great. Everyone is going to the city on Sunday to go see the new Alice in Wonderland and go shopping... which means I am going to have to get creative and find something else to do with my time all alone here in Antigua. Any ideas? Love you all!!

Rachy

pics: giant cockroach and dog in the street - cutest one I've seen!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

llorona

I can't believe that today is already THURSDAY - these days are passing by so so fast. I guess it gets that way when you get into a routine. I guess that means it's time to SHAKE IT UP! Well, I can't really shake it up too much but I am going to start taking Spanish classes again - this time from a different teacher. I start on Monday. I have also been going to the gym :) I didn't realize how much I missed it! This morning was great because I was in the gym when the sun came up and it was SO BEAUTIFUL - I could see it come up by the volcano and it just made me so happy. I am so blessed to be in such a beautiful country experiencing so many wonderful things.

Sad story though: I woke up yesterday morning at 5 o'clock to go and then when we got there the power was out. NOOOOO! Luckily I didn't have any problems falling back asleep. Even though I now have nightmares about the LLORONA. You might wonder who this Llorona character is. Well, there is a legend here about a woman who's kids were all murdered and that she now appears in Antigua and in the surrounding villages. She wears a long white dress, has long dark hair that covers most of her face, and she cries. She is usually found around water because her kids were all drowned. Here is the creepy part: If you hear her crying and it sounds really loud that means that she is far away from you. However, if you hear her crying and it is really soft that means that she is right next to you!! Ok, but it gets scarier. I only heard about this story last week. About THREE weeks ago I was walking home with Cory pretty late at night - there weren't many people out and about. Well, we walked by the fountain and saw a woman in a long white dress, long dark hair, crying.... we were pretty creeped out about it and got goosebumps - so creeped out, in fact, that we ran the rest of the way home! So then, a couple weeks later somebody told me about this "legend." - BUT WE ACTUALLY SAW HER! I think. I mean, it seems to add up. Creepy.

There is also another legend about El Sobreron... it's about this little short man with a HUGE sombrero that sings beautiful music to lure women to him. He likes women with long hair and sometimes he sneaks into their rooms at night and braids their hair. CREEEEPY. No, I have not seen him :)

I'm getting in good with the cooks here - it's taken some time but it is starting to pay off. No more gross pieces of meat!

The projects are still going great - I spent some time in pediatrics again this week and that was fantastic! It is a much different vocabularly than gynocology haha. The doctor is really cool though - we get along great!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

helado = amor


I love ice cream
I love naturally made "homemade style" ice cream
I love ice cream on a stick
...dipped in chocolate
...with huge chunks of real fruit in it

that only costs 45 cents.

YAY FOR ANTIGUA!

Ok, enough of that little tangent. I am just so grateful for Jochen... our German friend who discovered possibly the best find in all of Antigua.

Updates from Guatemala...
*we are breaking my other pinanta tonight I think!
*I have started going to the gym... 5 o'clock this morning!
*I was in pediatrics all day today and it was fabulous - even though the doctor wouldn't quit telling me that I needed to marry a Guatemalan man and live here forever. What do you think mom and dad - want to come live here with me?
*The kids were adorable again today (like always) - I brought them all of the candy from my pinata and boy were they excited! I got to play disney princess memory game with them - wahoo!
*Ok I have been meaning to write about this for a long time but I always forget... Apparently I sleep walk. About 2 weeks ago Cory comes up to me in the morning and says, "what in the world were you doing last night?" or something to that effect. Apparently he was woken up at about 2am by a sleepwalking me. I supposedly hit open his door with two hands, looked inside, and then ran away back to my room. Weeeeeird. I don't recall having a history of sleep walking but hey, I guess I can learn new skills every day.
*I am developing a rather disgusting farmers tan - reminds me of the good ol' mission!

Things are fantastic! I hope you all are doing great :) xoxo

Rachy

Monday, March 15, 2010

public restrooms

Things are as you can probably guess.... grrrrreat! I haven't had any food poisoning (or Montezuma's revenge according to mom) since Wednesday - wahoooo! Sunday was another beautiful day - I love going to church here! On my looooong walk over there I got picked up by a friendly couple that was taking a tuk tuk to church - and good thing because I was running a bit late. The only problem with sacrament meeting is that the room echos. A LOT. And there are screaming kids. A LOT. I was explaining to jennifer that when a kids screams we get to hear it at least 5 times because of the echo. But, it's ok - I'm glad that they're at church! There was a baptism after church :) - I always love those! Later on I went with my friend Byron to a YSA broadcast out in Chimatenango (about a 40 minute bus ride)... that was fun. I learned lots about lots about many things because he is a tour guide. Very interesting.

Last night we just hung out and had a good time - I still haven't busted open my other pinata but I did manage to steal some candy out of it's head yesterday. Mmmm Mmmm! I also bought some paints so I could do some more painting - thanks for getting me into painting jen - I love it!

Today has been great so far - although I haven't eaten beans yet and that is weird. I think something must be wrong in the house! I mean, NO BEANS?! What is going on?! Usually I have had them twice by now. I guess we'll see what happens at dinner time. The kids were great at the hospital and I had a good time with the doctora too. Nothing new today, but I got to do some more exams! Soon I'll be an expert! The kids are SO CUTE at the after school program. I just feel so needed and loved there... everytime I get there they come RUNNING to the door yelling "raquel! raquel!" Oh it just melts my heart. Same thing happens when I leave except they yell, "gracias!" instead. I helped a 9 year old learn the alphabet today... it is so sad that they are so far behind. Well, I'm off to the library to return my books and get some new ones! LOVE YOU!

Rachy

side note: there are so many public restrooms here... like anywhere you want! Yep... just walk down the street and pick your sidewalk square. No shame no shame. Watch where you step and don't splash in puddles around here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SORPRESA

Well... I don't have much time to write but I just wanted to give a little update... Yesterday was a fabulous day - I was back with Doctora Quinonez and she let me do the cancer exams and then kill some more cancer. Sometimes I pretend I am a superhero when I am there... killing all of the stuff that is hurting other people (aka burning off cervical cancer with a really cool freezing gun). Life is GOOD! I studied a lot of spanish ... man I can't wait to take the classes at BYU when I get there. So after studying and hanging out with Brenna for a while we got ready to "go go Nancy's house to see what it looks like." Little did I know that it was all a ploy. We got on the most crowded chicken bus I've ever been on (I had to practically sit on somebody's face!). Before we got to her house though, Magdiel asked us if we wanted to see what the new volunteer house looked like. Of course we said yes! Well... we got there and suddenly... SURPRISE!! They threw a surprise party for me! Complete with another pinata! Oh happiness :) I have the best friends ever! We had a delicious cake and mmm mmm mmm... so fun.


Eddy and Brenna with the pinanta, Nancy!, the dead pinanta,
... at the very end with a few of the people who came, and Fernanda, Magdiel, and another friend!

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