Friday, August 5, 2011

Saturday, July 30th

We began the day with a walking tour of the town of Chajul with one the LHI scholarship students, Domingo Axel  Caba Asicona – he goes by either Domingo or Axel . We all look like giants compared to the local people. There are a few streets with concrete on them, but mostly they are dirt/mud. There are pigs wandering the streets, eating whatever they can find in the gutters. Three cows were tied up on a little hill in town and will be slaughtered for a big political rally & feast tomorrow. The President’s wife wanted to run for president, so she divorced her husband and is running. She’s supposed to be in town tomorrow. Wow! That seems messed up! Axel showed us the animal jail yard, where they put animals who have gotten out and gone on a crazy eating rampage in other people’s yards, and they hold the horse or cow or pig until the owner pays for the damage done. Then we saw the church – the doors were ornately carved with symbols that are typical in the town, many can be seen in the designs on the women’s juipilas (blouses). We made our way to the big sort of “town hall” place where we played futbol and basketball with about 40 kids for about an hour. Then we crossed the street and went into the LHI office and played games with them – several of the boys I’d played soccer with had to leave to work. I taught a few kids how to juggle with 9 kick-sacks that I bought for 40Q at el mercado de artisans in Antigua. One girl named Micaela and a boy named Axel, both picked it up really quickly. Some of the others struggled with it more, but still had fun.

After that, we all separated into groups of about three and went out to different students’ homes for lunch. We took a tuk-tuk with Josefina to her house. There we helped make tortillas and I also tried my hand at making salsa on with a stone rolling pin and curved stone platform – I’ll have to learn the name for these. Lunch was tortillas, black beans, salsa, a boiled egg, and atoll, a hot drink made from corn and a little sugar that is grainy, with a texture kind of like watery malt-o-meal and a taste much like very smoky creamed corn. We met her mother, an aunt, and two cousins, one was a boy who appeared to have Down’s Syndrome and autism and the other was a cute little girl who will grow up speaking Spanish because Josefina will teach her. Josefina will graduate from “high school” this year. She is currently doing the equivalent of student teaching and will be able to be a teacher after she graduates. I was amazed that they had a TV in their little two-room shack of a home. She said that she likes to watch soap operas and The Discovery Channel. No one else in her family understands Spanish so sometimes they watch and she translates for them.
Photo : Melissa & Angie making tortillas with Josefina cokiing tortillas in background...)
 Photo: Josefina's mom making salsa...

After lunch we walked on a winding, hilly, muddy trail back to our posada and had a couple hours of down-time while we waited for a guy to come and talk to us. He is a former guerillo from the civil war here. Eduardo Cruz Cruz told us his life story. It was both fascinating and disturbing. It is amazing that he is still alive and has no injuries from it all. Then he answered many very sensitive questions in great detail, about the war and politics, both past and present, in this area. My head is still swimming with the stories and issues that still exist today and the seemingly endless cycle of it all.

No comments:

Post a Comment