Eso es alcanzar lo más alto,

lo que tal vez nos dará el Cielo:

no admiraciones ni victorias

sino sencillamente ser admitidos

como parte de una Realidad innegable,

como las piedras y los árboles.

Jorge Luis Borges

Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923)

This is the best that can happen,

What heaven perhaps will grant us:

Not to be wondered at or required

To succeed

But simply to be let in

As part of an undeniable Reality,

Like stones of the road, like trees.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Odds and Ends

I don’t think there will be much of a coherent theme to this post, just more or less a bit of updating.

Things with the host family in Guatemala are going well.  They are an older couple who speak about 10 words of English, the rest is pure Spanish.  Because they try to throw in English words sometimes I’m not sure if they’re really speaking Spanish when a word is similar to English.  Pretty much all the words they know in English I know in Spanish so I keep trying to get them to speak only Spanish.  The problem is that they blurt out a really quick stream of words and when I ask them (in Spanish) to please say it slower, they resort to using simple English words that have very little to do with what they originally said.  I have started saying “No hablo Ingles… me no speak no English!”  They laugh at that and are maybe getting the point.

School unfortunately hasn’t been going quite as well.  I’m struggling with the teacher they assigned me but I should be getting a new one tomorrow.  I hope that doesn’t mean starting over at the beginning but it will use up a bit more time and I haven’t been progressing as much as I could be as it is.

Also, I decided to use the Christmas break to go with another MCC’er to Belize.  We are going to travel around Belize and hit the beaches for Christmas which should be pretty fun.  I had saved up some money from when I was working for various things and a few vacations were included in that.  Since I don’t feel like spending my Christmas here only understanding a smattering of Spanish this seemed like a good idea.

This past weekend we went on a team retreat to Antigua, about 45 minutes away from Guatemala City.  It’s a beautiful old colonial town and I think a UNESCO world heritage site.  For anyone who makes the jaunt to Central America to visit me, Antigua (despite the hoards of tourists) will be on the itinerary.

I’m having some bouts of missing home (not High Level!) but all in all am glad to be here.  I haven’t made much in the way of friends which is a bit lonely but I do have the team here and I’m getting to know some of them.  I went to my country leaders’ house yesterday and learned to make pupusas which is the El Salvadoran national food so when I go back to Canada you’ll all be eating them.

Oh, and I bought a guitar yesterday.  It should be fun learning how to play Central American folk songs. Here is a sample of what you’ll be hearing me play soon!  It’s called All I Ask of God and it is like an unofficial anthem in El Salvador.  You can find an English translation here.

**I wanted to add/edit that when I say I don't miss High Level I mean I don't miss the stress I had.  Some of my best friends were/are there and I definitely do miss them!

1 comment:

  1. Lynden,

    Jealous of your guitar. I will hopefully get one for Christmas while in Santa Cruz next month. Is there a piano around for you to tinkle the ivories?