Friday, March 26, 2010

Three months left.

Salutations people!
First of all I have to apologize for not blogging in a while. I have to say I was sooo much better at this when I first got to country and had a working camera, I really enjoyed posting my pictures instead of writing, but today I think I will let out some words for my personal sanity, and for the sake of blogging'.

Well I have been in country almost 2 years to the date, and there's also a lot that has been going on. First of all i am almost done with my service, which is a blessing and also sad because I will have to leave this place soon, and I have become very used to this place. I wake up every morning and I think to my self that I can not take for granted every little experience of this place while I am still here. For example, usually when I wake up in the Morning I open the door to my house and step outside in my front patio, and it is cold here at 6:00am but the sight that i get when I look up and see those majestic hills in front of me (Cerro Pache) and I smell the morning mist, or smell of lena burning from the neighbors cooking breakfast. I watch the sun rise as it clears the mist and the day gets warmer. Feed my dog Ziki Ziki after he happily greets me and let him outside to go do his necessities. Everyday that passes makes me think of how much I will miss these little experiences when I am gone. And I know my life will never be the same. Maybe I will find my self trying to duplicate these experiences in some way in the future.
I have exactly 3 1/2 months still here, one of the months which I will actually be spending in my site and two and a half which I will be spending in and out of my site going to meetings and other compromises.
I have started to give much thought to what my future will be during this past month. But at this moment everything is still up in the air. I have been studying for my GRE's which I will be taking here at the end of May. I've also begun to apply to jobs via the internet in the U.S. My plans are not to go back straight to the US when i COS, I have to visit my family in Colombia and i plan on staying there for at least 3 months if all goes to plan. The plan is to leave from here and backpack through central America until arriving to Colombia. The trip will be made with Zack, another volunteer who will be COS'ing from my group, but at this moment Zack is having some health problems and he says if his cough continues he will not be able to go with me, C'mon Zack, get well my dude!
Lately I've been keeping busy with my art. I cant believe I was capable of such talent. I have managed to paint at least four murals since last Oct. and I still have one at the Local health center I have to finish by April.
I don't know what will be harder, leaving the states to serve in Peace Corps Guatemala, or leaving Guatemala post Peace Corps. I think at this moment the latter. Really, I have been having a really hard time thinking about going back, anxious about falling into the same routine, lifestyle i had before I left. Returning to friends that have settled, have children, are married, or just going back to working the boring 9-5. I get scared just thinking about it. What I really want to do is continue to travel, expand my knowledge of different places and hopefully get paid for doing it. At times I find myself feeling guilty for wanting broaden my horizons. I feel guilty for leaving my ex and my family behind, and I feel selfish, can't call it if these feelings of wanting to explore are good or bad, really, I feel I have no one to talk about this. I've realized from my time here that i am different, I don't follow the norm, and I don't think I will ever. Am I lost, or am I becoming enlightened? can't tell. wish I had someone to guide me through this but I don't.

Well, what i do know is that in my journey of life at this moment I have started to clear a path for my next destination. Two of the jobs I applied for were to work as a recruiter with the Peace Corps in DC and NY. I like the peace Corps and I would mind making a career out of it. Let's see what happens...

Here are some Random Pics.

The ladies and children are from my town, two on top are from a women's day march I participated in with my site mate Phil.

Then there's an HIV Mural I am working on at the local health center with three of my students.

The dog is Ziki Ziki, my best friend and protector here in Guatemala.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Ever since coming to Guatemala, one of my goals has been to work on my Art, About three weeks ago I finally got the chance to begin on one of my Art Pieces. I am lucky to have a really cool Landlord. Sergio recently came back from the states, and when he returned last year around this time, I was scared he was going to want his house and was going to kick me out. Sergio had gone to the states at the age of 15 and returned on his own after the economy faltered. He is now 28 years old. When he first came in to check out the fruits of his hard American labor, he told me that I could stay in house until the end of my PC service, I was so relieved. Not only that, After telling him I was an Artist, he also told me I could go crazy with my work all over his house...I was like word?!! So here I am almost a month into this piece I took from a ceramic piece I fell in love with and took a pic of in Antigua. It is a Conquistador fighting a Mayan Warrior which I consider to be the legendary Tecun Uman, The Conquistador is Pedro de Alvarado. In the middle is a Quetzal. The characters are almost life size so u can imagine how Big the piece is. I still have much to finish so here's a taste.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Life and Times of...

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks. It kills millions of people each year in underdeveloped countries and it is known to be one of the top 5 killers. I should know all of this because I have it, Yes I contracted TB, How? Im still trying to figure that one out, could have been anywhere in Guatemala, on a bus, a micro bus, or maybe from just chatting it up with someone who was infected, SABER?! All I know is that As of August 30th Ive been taking INH or Isoniazid , and I have to take this for 9 Months. Along with the medicine, I am restricted to eat certain foods, including avocadoes, bananas, figs, (not that I regularly eat any of this stuff) what kills me is that I cant drink Coffee or I am limited to it, and Absolutelly I am banned from Drinking Alcohol, this includes beer, Dammn TB!

At first I was a bit depressed when I was diagnosed with it, which was done through a regurlar TB skin test, I tested positive and I felt defeated, I have learned to Adjust and deal with what it is, and I am taking it as a challenge, Dont worry people, I am not going to die, The meds will do well and I will be TB free by May of 2010. For the mean time I have dedicated these nine months for reflection, cleansing, my art, studying for the GRE's, work, my community and other things.

Oh on a side note, I have bought a Turkey with site mate Phil, He's a Big Boy and were planing on having him over (to fill our bellies) for Thanksgiving/my birthday. Cant Wait.

Peace Out Yall!

Fly Loving.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More Vagabonding...

I have just passed my one year mark of Peace Corps Service. I have reached the time in my service where I need to start thinking about what to do after post Peace Corps, and up to this moment I havent got a clue! I have definatelly toyed around with the thought of Grad School through hopefully a fellowship provided by the Peace Corps, Working for the Peace Corps in the States, or maybe just maybe extending to another country for a year or serving in the Peace Corps Response in another country for less time. Then there´s the question of where should I move to in the States? NY or FL? those are the 2 choices.

But sure it will work itself out.

On another note I got to meet the U.S Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland this past weekend July 25th at a press conf in Momostenango Totonicapan. Four of us PCV´s were invited by the Peace Corps to meet him and have lunch with him, it was really cool, he is Learning the indigenous Dialect K´iche like I am and gave a brief speech in the dialect at the Press Conference. He seems very Fond of Peace Corps and also supports The PC and its Cause.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dammn!, life in the Peace Corps can be tough!

Really, not only do you have to have a strong stomach for all the tropical intestinal diseases you acquire during your service, but you also need the patience of a saint and the mental capacity not to go insane, really.

I have been in Guatemala 15 months and in my town of service for 1 year, and to me this is a big accomplishment. Havent posted in a while but I try my best, plus sometimes I feel none of my friends or family back home reads this stuff anyway (Except for the lovely person in PC whose Job it is to read all blogs for unwantedness, dont worry, only positiveness come out of this Blog, Promise). I have managed to remain on top of work and at the same time sane. Let me see, some of the latest... Had to be evacuated out of site because of an on-going rivalry between my town and a neighboring town, (all under control now). Celebrated 4th of July Peace Corps Style with a Volunteer departamental B-ball tourney, (which my department got third place in! GO ToTo!), Volunteer Vs. PC staff Soccer match , Which the U.S Ambasador to Guatemala participated in, Barbecue w/ Burgers, hot dogs, Music and beer, after parties gallore.
In addition I have also been on the grind with AIDS workshops in my town, everyone including their mother plus the Mayor of S. Vicente and his buddies.
Happy Happy, Joy Joy! I also have someone to share my solitude with. I will be getting a site mate who will be working at the town´s health center. She is cool and fun.
So its another year and counting... I will dedicate the next year to remaining Sane of course, and ameoba free. Maybe a trip to Belize is waranted?, cuz Honduras is off limits and Mexico has the Flu. Also have been trying to study for the GRE´s which I can take here in Guate. I have several books, but TV is a major distraction and even though I dont have cable, bootleg DVD´s are very accesible here in C.A and us PCV´s love to trade them, so I will be looking for someone to borrow my DVD player within the next month, (only after Im done with the new transformer´s movie and the Breaking Bad series I am currently addicted to). Also Researching Scholarships through Peace Corps or anyone who would like to pay for this boy´s Grad school after his service for his country (preferably International development, or Political Science).

Well with that I will leave u, Holla if you read this, show a brother love. As always, ¨Will teach english, Aids Awareness, life skills, counsel your kid, or just show you around my town for food! ¨ Silly Motto.

Peace Out.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some Pics...

Here are some snaps of Vicente fernandez concert 3-27-09 (right), plus
some more of a beauty paegant dia del carnaval in April, and some cute puppies my dog fathered.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Hike up the mountain.

An hour hike up the mountain from my village gets you up here, over 3,000 meters above sea level, a waterfall, and a large rock they call the ¨cow¨ because of its resemblance. Not too mention also some beautiful views as far as Mexico, some volcanoes (Santa Maria, Tajamulco), and Mayan Alters that are scattered on the peaks of the highest points in my village. Yes Mayan religions known as Cosmovisiones are still practiced here by Mayans priests.

I usually like to hike these places by myself, but on this day I went with my Kiche teacher and his kids. We left one Friday morning at 6 AM and didnt return till 3 PM, It was sooo worth it, not too mention the glimpse of the Quetzal we saw on our way back. Yes, Quetzales do roam the woods of my site, Believe it or not!
I tried to snap a picture of the Quetzal but she left after it saw us. Bummer.