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Journal 7

CASAS Poem

Hard to believe our time is almost done
Remembering just stepping into CASAS
Tired from all the flying and delays
Smiling faces excited to experience new things
Meeting families, scary, but curious how it will go
Soon coming back and telling each other about their house conditions
The adorable children, but then again very nosy and annoying at times
The small rooms or big ones
Bucket bathes cold, hot, lukewarm water
Markets, Money, it seems like money is not a thing for us Gringos
Skirts, bags, paintings, machetes, blankets, Jewelry
The list could go on and on
The relaxed weekends and free ones also
Monte Rico, Gringo Perdido, El Volcan, Santiago, Chichi
So many memories that our group has made
People getting robbed Aubrey Q.20 and Rachel A. Q.400
Girls getting cat called constantly
3 rd week, worst week ever, everyone got sick
The days of someone’s birthday, we got cake, ice cream, and we would sing
The dance parties, Oh wait not dancing
Just some salsa and meringue
The homesickness that everyone feels at one point in time
The frustration with each other
Excitement people feel leaving
But sad to be parting with their host families
All this happened in 6 weeks time
Closeness of the group
Ready to seek out
What ever is in front of each and every one of us.

I wrote this poem on March 1, 2006 it seems like so long ago. Today March 19, 2006 we came back from Semes Che. That was the most challenging service projects I have ever done. Here I will try and explain what it was like. There are very bumpy roads that lead to this little village. They all speak K’Kechi and most of them don’t know a word of Spanish. Rob, who was the man who helped up though these 2 weeks, told us to look at it like Survivor Guatemala. And he was not kidding. Our houses were smal,l some had tin roofs and others had straw roofs. The bathroom was down the hill a little bit. Latrines, blah. What Lisa King, who was my “roommate”, and I slept on was 3 plywood boards and then there was a straw mat on top on that so we didn’t fall though. That is all we had to sleep on. You talk about sore the next day, it felt like you were hit by about 3 trains at the same time. What we ate was tortillas every meal. We ate meat on market days (Wed and Sat) then we would have mashed potatoes but with onions and tomatoes in them. I personally didn’t like them. We had beans plenty of times. My house was a pretty nice one. Across from Lisa and my bed was another bed. We never really knew who slept in that bed because we were always asleep before they went to bed. My host mother was named Dominga and my father’s name was Juan. They had many children. I didn’t really understand the whole family situation, there was so many people coming in and out of the house. There was a woman who was their daughter and she had a 2 yr old girl. She was the cutest little girl I have ever seen. When I looked at my “sister” Lydia (her name) she looked so sad, but has a drop of happiness and curiosity in them. I just wanted to cry sometimes, and I would get tears in my eyes because her face was so dirty and her hands were so cold it was as though she played with ice all day . Her little feet would pitter patter around whereever me and Lisa were. Her little giggle makes me wonder if that’s how I sounded when I was a little girl. Enough about the family; let me tell you about the food. Every meal we had it was spicy -it was called eek. These people love spicy things . And for us it was alright; some liked it and others didn’t. I was in the middle, but you know when you had too much when you eat your supper and then about 5 min later you are out in the bathroom and it hurts going in and coming out . One of our meals I ate spicy soup, tortillas, a hunk of meat, and a tamale. This is how I described it later. I drank a bottle of oil, ate a half of a cow and an eraser. That is what it tasted and looked like.

These are a few things about our 2 weeks in this village but since I have gone I have learned lots about myself that I can do something if I put my mind to it even if it means pushing my way out of my comfort zone. God really helped me get though those two weeks but it is two weeks I will never forget.

- Rachel Hershberger