11 October 2010
back from the campo
Well world, I´ve returned from the campo and am back in Xela and moved in with my (permanent) host family. Wow, what a week we had there... We stayed with an indigenous host family in an aldea (rural community) called Pachaj about 35 min outside of Xela.
So Andrew, Tina and I stayed with one family, and Laura and Kath with another. In our house there were 4 generations, and only the last 2 spoke fluent Spanish, and even then, it was their 2nd language-- quite a different scene than gringolandia (Antigua). During the day we had spanish classes and in the afternoon, we hung out with our families... and I´m not gonna lie, world, it was tough. For starters, there was no bathroom- instead, a pila (see below) and a BYO-toilet-paper outhouse (which was right next to the pig pen, so I´ll let you connect the dots on that one), and only bucket baths (with water boiled on the wood-burning stove). The entire community is IN the corn fields, so everything was made out of corn. Tortillas, bread, rags, food, coffee, EVERYTHING... and there was only one main road, the middle 1/2km of which was paved (??), and everything else was super skinny passages through corn and dirt paths.
So yeah. It was really challenging --a lot more so than I thought it would be-- but even so, I'm really glad that we got to experience this facet of Guatemalan life- it reallly really gave me (us) some perspective on farm-life, immigration, poverty, and rural Guatemalan life in general.
Posted by Juli's Journey at 3:55 PM