Saturday, June 13, 2009

We're still (maybe) on schedule!

What a long, sometimes frustrating, and wholly exhausting week!

Our arrival in Guatemala has been fraught with water outages, insect bites, and the occasional (well, really one) scorpion appearance. But the overall assessment is that we are safe and having an excellent time despite these minor speed bumps.

We started school on Wednesday, by which I mean the kids started school on Wednesday and we worked in the garden. Thursday gave us our first lesson with Diego, a local musician who has been hired by the school to teach the kids solid music theory, hopefully within a year. He is young--probably about 20--and very bright; our primary difficulties stem from the language barrier. His native tounge is Kaqchikel, a local Mayan dialect entirely different from Spanish. Fortunately, he is also mostly fluent in Spanish, and knows a good deal of English. In fact, we underestimated his grasp of English, and he surprised us when, at our first meeting and after 20 minutes of laborious Spanish, Maurene asked him in English, ''Should we be having this conversation in English?'' and without missing a beat (and not without a chuckle) he said, ''Yes.''

The weekend provides more of a respit than I had anticipated. I imagined sitting around, lazing away the day, but instead I was productive at my own pace, and enjoyed some time to myself. We ate leftovers for lunch, since we don't work at the school on weekends and Maria, the woman who cooks us dinner, only comes Monday-Friday.

I have gotten a lot of reading done, and have begun to worry that I don't have enough books! Maybe I will email Andrew and ask him to pick up one or two, say the next in the Hitchhiker's ''trilogy'' or something like that.

On my next post, I will try to post a picture or two, assuming I can take some and actually upload them.

¡Hasta luego!

----Edit---- Guatemala just caught the Swine Flu scare, and they may have to close down the schools for a couple of weeks, which would impede us only in that we would have to find a new place to get lunch! But, hence the name of the post.

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