[an error occurred while processing this directive]

| Jan. 2002 photos | Feb. 2002 photos | March 2002 photos |

Postcards from Guatemala

Dear friends and family, One of the biggest challenges I've faced here is taking a shower without mishap. My first shower was not only freezing cold and outside, but when I had finished, I discovered that the two dogs had taken off with my clothes and towel. This morning I went to shower and discovered that the showerhead was gone, with only bare wires sticking out. I managed to fill a bucket with water from where the showerhead should have been and dumped it over my greasy head. However, somewhere in this process, I hit my arm on one of the open wires, which sent a rather forceful jolt up my arm. I never knew showering could be such a shocking experience. With love, Becky

!Saludos de Guatemala! I wish you could be here yourself to see this country that, as one teacher described it, is full of contradictions... Like the vibrant red flowers spilling through the barbed wire on the wall of someone's house... Like the fragrance of a street vendor's fried chicken, and two steps later, the stench of pollution and urine... Like the huge, lavish, new North American mall that is a five-minute drive from sheet metal squatter settlements in a ravine... Like movements for social justice mixed with hundreds of years worth of discrimination and oppression... I wish you could see it. Melinda

Dear friends, Martin Housers, and family, I've been washing the dishes every night at my casa (a privilege for which I had to beg). It's much more fun with a pila than in a sink! We use enormous amounts of water - something I can't quite understand because sometimes there's no water. Sunday night we left for church without washing the dishes because we didn't have water. When we returned, water was rushing out of the faucet, and the middle sink of the pila was overflowing! I can't promise that I'll wash all the dishes when I get home, But I love you nonetheless. Karen P.S. I feel at home here, partly because we have a cat. His name is Mish, and he lives off of leftovers. One night we didn't have meat for supper, so Mariela (my sister) and I sneaked out to buy him pollo frito and salchichas. Our mom would be a bit disgusted if she knew.

Dear Mom and Dad, Hola! I hope all is well at home and that my absence hasn't caused too much depression in the house. The beginning of this week was a bit uncomfortable--not because I couldn't understand the language but because I got that thing we joked about before I left. You know, that thing that travelers to other countries often contract because of the different food? Thankfully, my new family here understood and was quite accommodating when I occupied their bathroom for 80% of the day. At the very least, I owe them a few rolls of toilet paper! Other than that, life here is fantastic. The people here are so friendly. When I walk down the street, everyone stops and stares at me. Professor Jantzi tried to tell me that it's because I'm an American and that Americans tend to stand out, but I know the real reason. I have finally found a culture that recognizes and appreciates true beauty. Muchos abrazos, Jimmy ( Jaime)