Friday, October 17, 2008

Danny joined us Bloggers

Check it out! Click here to see.

Take it easy on him he's just getting started:)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Day in the Life of Daphne

My day usually starts around 6:30 a.m. It is a gorgeous time here on lake Atitlan. It is sunny and the lake is calm, I enjoy seeing fishermen going to work.

As I sip my coffee that is grown here locally I can really appreciate the hard work the coffee farmers do so I can drink an awesome cup of coffee. I had a stack of papers to grade but I was doing a puzzle instead.

I have to hurry and wash my clothes and get them on the line because this is rainy season and usually by 2:00p.m It starts raining. If I get an early start I can get 2 loads of laundry done. I am so thankful that I have a washing machine. The locals either go to the lake to wash or they have a pila(a large outside sink made for washing clothes and other things). You know as many of you may think "I would die if I had to hang up all my clothes" but you get used to it and I actually enjoy now, and the kids and Danny help too.

I do not have a grocery store here, I have what you call a tienda(a small store which carries all your basics). I can get sugar, noodles, mayo, milk ect... I also get an early start to go to Market. The early bird gets the worm here!! You have to go early to get the good veggies or you get the picked over ones. I have been able to build a friendship with the lady I buy my chicken from and another lady I buy my vegetables from and a sweet little man who goes to our church sells me dried beans. Poor thing he can't ever remember my name he calls me Mrs. Daniel:)

Speaking of my name... nobody can remember it or pronounce it!! I was at a ladies meeting and they said what does you name mean anyway?? I told them that Daphne is a flower like a laurel tree. They said OOHHH "hermana Flor". Needless to say, now I have a new name. My name is Flor!

I have a house helper her name is Ana. This is her with Chloe Ann and her school uniform. She comes in a couple times a week to help me with some of the cleaning. It has been a real culture shock for both her and me.The first day she came I was trying to find out what she knew how to do. Needless to say this is pretty much in sign language because she only speaks about 10 words of Spanish. I asked a friend to tell me how to say a few words in Tz’utujil for example help me, come, clean, like this and of course Thank you very much. It has been interesting. I asked her to sweep and mop but I didn’t know the word for mop the first time so she said “no need” I was like oh well O.K. I asked her to hang some clothes on hangers. I gave her a box of clothes and a box of hangers. She said “Utz ka” Which means that’s good in Tz’utujil, she came to me and said xuban (shuban) it means no more. She did a great job for someone who had never used a hanger. Some shirts were through the arm, a few dresses were just wrapped around and around the hanger. It was great all I could say was Utz ka!! I also asked if she knew how to iron she said she had never seen an iron! She felt very bad about not knowing how to iron so I decided to show her how. That was umm hmm, can I just say I will do our ironing. Then I showed her the Vacuum and how to use it. She used it twice then came to me and said “could I please just sweep it’s not as scary and it’s calmer”. Of course I said yes, Poor thing she was scared to death of the vacuum. She has made life so much easier for me. She has cooked for us a few times which has been neat to eat typical food of Santiago. Ana wanted to know what we eat, She said she makes tortillas in the morning, at noon and at night. She said if they are not hot her husband is not happy. She asked “If you don’t eat tortillas what do you eat?” She has made tortillas for us several times, I got in there and tried to make a couple but she just laughed and laughed. She said you really don’t know how to make them. She took my tortillas and fixed them then cooked them. I have a tortilla press that a dear friend gave me and Chloe Ann and I can make great tortillas with it. Maybe I won’t be the laughing stock of Santiago.

Today for lunch we had chuchitos, it is like a tamale but different(it is corn meal wrapped around a piece of chicken with yummy tomato sauce around it then wrapped in a corn husk). A lady comes to our door and sells them. I buy them for 2 Q each (approx. 27 cents). We all like them and it is a quick meal for me. Living here in Santiago we only have a few restaurants. No fast food here:) This is a delicious treat for us when I don't feel like cooking.

We were asked to finish the English classes at the Alpha & Omega High school. The previous teacher is on maternity leave. They had about six weeks left. Danny taught the first few classes then I ended up finishing up teaching. The classes are Monday & Friday 1:20-5:40. There are 5 classes, each class has about 40 students. The kids are mostly from the church. It is neat to be able to build friendships with these kids. I have been very busy with classes, projects to grade and now exams to give and grade. Thank goodness this is the last week. Here are a few of my students.

Some days we go down to the lake for a swim. Most of the time we don't even stay in for an hour. It's a little on the cold side this time of year. Naomi and I are the life guards for the other kids. This afternoon the kids and I planted flowers. My mom sent us a whole envelope of flower seeds. We had a great time planting together. Isaac & Chloe Ann liked digging in the dirt, Titus was our official sign maker. Naomi just toddled around. It was a lot of fun reading about each flower and deciding where it needs to be planted. As I am sitting here writing it is pouring down rain. I hope the seeds are not washed into the lake:) I will let you know if we actually have any come up.

Tonight Danny went visiting with the men and the kids and I hung out here at the house. I sauteed some vegetables and made a pasta salad. As I am Blogging Naomi is sitting right beside me holding her nena and the older kids are all upstairs playing Lego's but I think they are playing hide and go seek now it is getting louder and louder. Maybe I should go check on them!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pictures promised in last post

This was one year ago on our way down here to Guatemala. As you can tell the kids have grown, here we are in our front yard over looking the lake. We still can't believe we are finally here.