Guatemala: Expectations


I like to know what’s going on. Unfortunately, I don’t always in my host family. I have a couple of instances of this that come to mind. The first is with my host brother Jacob. He is in the army but comes home for weekends. Two weekends ago, I went along to take him back to the army and was told (I thought) that he was going to be gone for a month to take some courses. Then we came back from Antigua and Chichicastenango. I found out that he had been home that weekend, but now has left for a month. At least I am fairly certain, but I could have misunderstood.

The second was again when we got back from Antigua and Chichi. My host parents picked Caroline and me up from Semilla, and after we dropped Caroline off, I assumed we were going home. But then we stopped at a convenience store to pick some stuff up, after which again I assumed we were going home. But then we stopped somewhere else to buy bread before finally going home. Usually, I enjoy going along to run errands and don’t mind making unexpected stops, but that night I was tired and just wished they would tell me where we were going.

I am used to being an at least semi-independent adult in college, and not knowing what’s going on makes me feel like I’m a little kid. I don’t know if these experiences were caused by different cultures, different families, or just the challenge of communicating in a different language. But in any case, I’m learning that I expect to be told what’s happening but also that I won’t always be told. Hopefully, I’ll get used to it eventually and maybe even start to enjoy having a few more unexpected detours.

And here is a summary of the week’s events:

Monday 27th: free afternoon – some of the group checked out “Guatepaca,” a nearby thrift store.
Tuesday 28th: guest speaker Ronaldo Similox, a professor at the Mayan University, taught us about Mayan history, culture, and spirituality.
Wednesday 29th: EMU classes – celebrating October/November birthdays
Thursday 30th: visited Mayan ruins at Kaminaljuyu
Friday 31st: went to the ethnology and archaeology museum *banner photo of the group on the museum steps
Saturday: spent with host families
Sunday: visited Casa de Dios megachurch

-Verda Zook

Chichicastenango vendors