The indigenous Mayan women who often visit our clinics are very comfortable with breastfeeding and often feed their babies while meeting with us. However, they are very uncomfortable exposing their bellies as these are viewed as a private area! Since our clinics often focus on prenatal care for expectant mothers, the workers try to be sensitive to the mothers who are receiving ultrasounds but its not always possible in such small spaces. What an odd taboo!
Labor in Guatemala is so cheap that it is more cost effective for large organizations, like the Santa Elena Hospital, to hire men with machetes or small, ineffective weedwackers to mow their grounds rather than buy a lawnmower. When we visited the nearby Utatlan ruins, workmen were trimming the grass in the huge area by machete!
Apparently, a common (and possibly cool?) way of greeting someone on the street for children and teenagers to say “Adios!” once the person passes them. This is kind of disorienting because there is never a “Buenos dias/tardes/noches” or “Hola” said first. However, this might just be people making fun of the odd gringo couple that’s always walking around town!
Fresh fruit and veggies are cheap and plentiful at the local market, but we have to soak them in water and bleach before eating them. I guess this is supposed to kill the toxins that may make us sick, but even though I can’t taste the bleach it still feels weird to me!
Guatemalan food is similar in style, but noticeable less spicy and flavorful than Mexican food. It plays the same 4 cards of rice, beans, corn, and tortillas, but in a less interesting way. Maybe we just haven’t been eating at the right places though…?
Hope you enjoyed those random thoughts that needed to make their way into this blog somehow! Anthony and I are doing well. The Agape in Action house has quieted down now that the 30 person Lancaster, PA mission team left on Saturday. Sadly, Agape’s amazing CEO John V also left the country today after spending about 3 weeks with us. John is an amazing and hilarious person who was always a pleasure to hang out with while he was here. His stories about being bitten by a Guatemalan dog are stand up comedy worthy!
We spent our “weekend” going to the gringo church, shopping again at Chichicastenango (with better results this time!), watching pirated dvds from the mercado (only 15 quetzals!), and hiking around the rural country side surrounding Quiche. We tried to hike to a supposed Mayan ruin site near Lake Lemoa that was recommended by the Quiche tourism department, but never found it. A later google search of the site found no results so hmmm? Today, we had a small clinic at a new location in San Pedro today, then walked around the market afterwards. Flying back to the States on Saturday! Love and miss everyone back home!