Friday, November 10, 2006

Guatemala #1: I'm in Guatemala!

Here are a couple of short stories and quotes, and thoughts from the past few days:

-If you ever get a chance to watch a sunset from a plane, it´s pretty cool.

-The southern part of Guatemala is FULL of mountains, while the other half is much flatter!

-Quote, "En Guatemala hay mas iglesias que niƱos felices."
"In Guatemala there are more churches than happy children."

-At church we talked about forgiveness, vengeance, justice-it was a discussion sermon, which was cool. The pastor mentioned the response of the Amish community in PA as an example of faith and forgiveness, and a woman in the congregation shared her own experience of a family member who was killed.

-We´ve been talking a lot about building relationships, trust and confidence with the people we´ll be working with (I say "we" because there´s another MCC worker who´s here in orientation with me, who will be working in El Salvador) But, it´s really hard because trust and self-confidence has been destroyed by a 36 year civil war, not to mention centuries of colonization, and war.

-The MCC workers here are incredible people-loving, very concerned with peace and justice.

-There´s a mall around the corner called Tikal Futuro- Tikal is the site of some ancient Mayan ruins.

It´s now Wednesday morning. I think I´ll finally finish and send this today-I´m sitting in the warm sun by a somewhat overgrown garden in front of the MCC office. The weather is really perfect here. This whole week we´ve been meeting in the mornings, going over various aspects of life and work here- context, history, programs and MCC team, security, etc. It´s been very interesting, but also a lot of talking so it will be nice to start language classes and do something more concrete. I met my spanish teacher, and I´ll start classes Monday. I´ll also be moving in with a host family, in Zone 6 of Guatemala City. (There are 22 Zones) We went there on a bus yesterday to learn how to use the buses. I´m excited to live there, because it´s much more of a community feeling than the neighborhood where I´ve been staying so far. There were kids playing soccer in the streets, etc.

Anyway, I´ll leave you with that for now...and congratulations on the smashing elections you had yesterday!!

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