Don't bother me. No, not you :) That's just one of the newest phrases I've learned in K'iche' and it's really fun to say (na k'inatz'ur taj...make sure you get the k and tz glottalized, is that a word?). I have to say, living in a house with 3 boys between the ages of 15-20 gives me the opportunity to use it often!
So I'm not quite sure where to pick up, as it feels like forever since where I left off. Life has brought new things, stressful things, fun things, and random things as of late. Guatemala continues to march on as always, even though we had a time there where landslides were quite the danger in my part of the country (maybe you saw on the news? if not check here or here) and the rain seemed to never cease (10 days of no, I mean NO sun = my clothes taking forEVER to dry). Broke the record from the last 50 years; I thought I'd never be so happy to have dust instead of mud. Besides the crazy weather there have been the usual demonstrations interupting travel (protesting high electricity prices and columbus day), independence celebrations (Sept 15 is Independence Day), and the end of the school year. With the fam we've kept busy with an unending schedule of birthday parties, another wedding, babies, soccer games and so on. At work I've been busy giving trainings on trash management and recycling, general enviro education, working on a job function manual, presenting our products at an expo, colloborating on the business plan section for a community tourism manual, writing some project proposals and million other things that always seem to end up with me. As far as my masters, I've started another online class and getting some headway done on my thesis. Besides all this work stuff I still want to be investing in my relationships here so I've had to be super creative. Time is such a scarce commodity for me right now, I wish I could buy more :)
So you all know how much I love pictures and to not disappoint I've included enough to more or less depict my last couple months.
My neck of the woods. I live right in the middle, where you see the group of buildings. Where the clouds are is Lake Atitlán and you can see 4 volcanoes behind it.
At the mass for one of the cousin's 15th birthday party. My first time wearing my new corte (the fabric I have for a skirt)! I have it in the "short" style since I didn't add on...it's just that when I do I'm so tall I look more corte than anything else. With the extra fabric I'll get some aprons made.
Tanja, the German volunteer, and I with Fatima at the party.
Another cousin's birthday (16). Efrain is proudly showing his new shirt I got him :)
Mama Lena with her baby at the party...she's getting so big!
I love it when they smash your face in your cake! This time I experimented with colors to decorate the cake and it ended up looking like a mustache, nice, right?
This time it's a birthday gathering for Papa Chico. He's doing much better these days, back to his regal self!
Birthday dinner for Mama Lena...I had no idea what was going on in the rest of the picture.
Independence Day sports tournament. Our basketball team placed second, losing horribly to the most amazing team. I made all of the baskets in the championship game which isn't saying much. I'm tall but man these girls can push you around.
Watching the Independence Day parade. Not quite the same as Mandan, right Jana??
Our little cousin Frank in the parade.
I thought this little girl was so adorable, the princess of the preschool. It was super hot out and the walk long so it's a good thing they brought juice.
Tanja and I watching the festivities.
Champions again! This time in the municipality.
At the Expomueble/Expoforestal Xela 2010. Pretty much anything to do with forests, wood and furniture. We featured our tourist products and pine needle handicrafts.
The newest cousin, Cesia Lourdes, just days after her birth.
My dear friend Patty came out for a visit; always a fun time.
The world. I love that Alaska is a different color as well as the islands of Canada. At least the kids are being exposed to geography.
Jamie and I at the inauguration of a bottle school he built in one of the poorer communities in the area. They gathered over 5,500 plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash! Pretty cool stuff. And I have to throw a shout out to Patty and Molly for making the journey with me that morning (4 1/2 hours on 4 buses and in the back of a pickup). Worth it to support our hermanito :)
Goodbye party for some of our practicum students. They are super happy and smiley girls, which makes this picture pretty funny for me.
A new baby as well for the family in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Little guy came out just over 5 pounds.
Big birthday bash for Miguel Angel. He invited everyone in the extended family as well as some of my volunteer friends that have gotten to know the family.
Everyone loved watching the gringos dance duranguense.
Here's a picture from the grandparents' wedding, 50 years ago this Saturday. Of course there will be a big party to celebrate :)