21 January, 2008

First Week in my Training Site

Things this week that made me realize I was really, truly, and honestly going to live in Guatemala for two years:

1) Watching Volcan Fuego send out a plume of ash while I was standing in line for a rabies vaccine.
2) Seeing a rat that looked to be bigger than a small cat take a walk through my bedroom.
3) Hoping into the back of a truck to hitch a ride up the mountain to my training site.
4) Laughing my head off as I had my first go at tortilla making. I dropped two on the floor and made three horribly thick ones before I turned out one that was palatable. Meanwhile I had four grown women, and three pintsized ones enjoying the show and commenting how funny it was that the three year old who was afraid of me a week ago finally warmed up to me because her tortillas were better than mine.
5) Sitting on my host family’s porch watching fireworks from a village across the valley as I played with my host mother’s granddaughters that live in our compound.
6) Going for a run with Joey around San Miguel’s fútbol field while watching the sun setting in between Agua and Fuego.
7) Walking the streets of San Miguel selling vegetables with my host mother and her two granddaughters and meeting almost the whole town because everyone is related.
8) Talking with Jesse, Joey, and Brianna, the three other trainees that live in San Miguel, and realizing that the whole town not only knows our names, but probably our pooping habits.
9) Finding out my childhood was a bit of a sham because I never learned how to spin a top with a piece of string, and finally learning how to do it from one of the special education kids up the block.
10) Watching the AFC championship game at a gringo bar in Antigua and having to go home before the NFC championship game because I wouldn’t have been home before dark (our “gringo curfew” during training) and if I had been late my host mom would have gotten mad and probably sent me to bed without supper… yeah, I feel like I am 12 years old again.

I really love it so far. Jesse and I met with Bill Rose and Flavio Linares on Thursday to discuss our placements, and it looks like unless something crazy happens I will actually be taking over Adam Blankenbicker’s site at Las Marias on the slopes of Santiaguito volcano, just south of Quetzaltenango/Xela. Finding this out makes me the first in our training group to know their assignment, only about two months ahead of schedule. On Friday we had a chance to visit Jem (another Michigan Tech student who got here about a year ago) and her site in Panimache near Fuego (that she took over after John) on Friday and all it did was get me really psyched to get going in April. We also got to see the last Tech delegation of Greg, Rüdiger, John, and Lisa, and I got to meet Adam for the first time as well. More when I get it, but as for now, here’s the first set of pics. http://augustana.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2030286&l=dd257&id=33102227


Anonymous said...

happy MLK day to you! we had no school. :)

Kyle Brill said...

Funny, and I'm the one working for the U.S. Government... Have a great semester!

westcott said...

tech sent you a letter with important tax information inclosed. um.. want me to send it to your parents... if so, you should e-mail me an address.

good luck to you.


jcvertin said...

I'm gunna get a 4.0 this semester just cuz you inspire me, Kyle. ;)