Dos Semanas (Two Weeks)

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This weekend has been interesting. I get pretty lonely when I’m not busy–like yesterday while doing laundry. The best part about laundry day was these three random pairs of undies I found out in yard. I finally asked my roommate about them and she said she thought they were mine. When I left I found this young couple outside. To make a long story short(er), they were the neighbor’s upstairs. She was so nervous and embarrassed. It was really funny.

We went downtown yesterday. My roommate pointed this out, and I think it’s amazing and worth sharing. As you know, the Mayans once inhabited this area (I can’t wait to see the ruins!). Well, the roomie bought this book that is a translation of a Mayan history. I remember seeing this when we studied the Mayans in school:

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I can’t find info about this online, so I’m trusting my roommate’s translation. She said it was a map of the Mayan’s world–with them being the center. What I want to share is that our city is organized the same way. There is a Centro of town, with the streets growing in number from there (Much like King Street). They use the directions to label the streets too. I thought that was cool.

I am dying to buy these bags I found at the market yesterday. I’ve been assured that I can find real indigenous bags in San Cristobal, and that I need to wait. I am hoping they’re super cheap. I find that I think people ask more for things from me because 1). I am white. 2). I don’t speak English. I’ve left the local fruit stand twice because they’ve quoted prices higher than the Bodega. Grrr… Today I was told eggs would be ten pesos for six. I pay 44 pesos for 30. Sorry, local farmers. Make it worth my while please. I’m not made of money!

Oh! So the market was amazing. It was so many street blocks I can’t even describe it. There was a cafeteria area there with piles of shrimp (camarones). They were accompanied by someone shooing the flies away. That is unappealing enough on its own, but add that I had shrimp the other day when I got sick and I say again, “No Thanks.” We did buy coconut milk that was served in a plastic bag with a straw stuck inside. It was delicious. I could have stayed downtown forever, but alas, I was not alone! (Of which I am grateful…)

Today I bused it by myself to Ocozocoaulta (hooray!). The bus wasn’t too bad, but it smelled like fish and fresh produce. Meeting was small–just three of us for the first meeting and four for the second. I remember a worker at convention in VA saying, “When you pray, remember the Skeleton Coast.” I feel like I need to ask the same for Tuxtla Gutierrez. It brings a smile to my heart to sing songs that have been translated from English. I loved that a young mother gave out “Teach Me How To Choose” today. Her sister labors in Panama or Costa Rica. I tried after meeting to explain that the hymn was written by a sister worker for her younger sister. I don’t think I said it correctly…

My Spanish is improving everyday! I just can’t wait until I have a better grasp. I want to get more from our little meeting! I did understand the oldest woman (who also leads the meeting) when she asked that God would speak to our hearts. Reading the hymns is a little easier (because I can take my time), and yesterday I found that I can read children’s books. I use the same clues I have taught for years: look at the pictures, look at all the words you do know to figure out the words you don’t know, break words apart, etc.

Ahhh… And on that note, another week is beginning, and I need to get my head in the game. All the thinking in Spanish made my cerebro muy cansado. Sigh.

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7 responses

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I dont think the farmer’s price for eggs was too excessive: 10 pesos for 6 eggs, means 50 pesos for 30 eggs. I think he was asking for 1.67 peso per egg, and your other egg vendor was asking 1.47 peso per egg.
    Having said that, I don’t doubt they try to get a little extra money out of the gringas! A few (or several?) years ago, I had a very similar experience, where the price of grapes increased by 10-20% every time we asked the lady in the russian market to clarify the price.
    I’m sorry for the loneliness. I remember that feeling very well. I took advantage of the fact that every time I went out on the street, there was lots to learn in language and culture!

    • No, you’re right–I just really want to buy from the locals and I’m having to pinch pesos everywhere I can! I seriously need a tutoring job so that I can stop stressing.

      The loneliness is a pain, but I’m all good when I’m busy. It’s when I lay down to sleep, or when I am doing something like washing clothes or cooking. Ay ay ay! I keep hearing it’s totally normal–and I am lucky my Internet has worked most days. Today is a day where it’s been crappy all day.

      I love it when I am able to have conversations, but they need to stay pretty basic! 🙂

      Miss ya–and would love a visit.
      Nina

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