Title: The amusing electric showers Location: Antigua, Guatemala
You'd think I'd learn... I've been to Guatemala twice before, and I'm WELL aware that I'm not supposed to touch anything metal while in the shower, but every morning I keep electrocuting myself! They don't exactly have normal water heaters here, but rather some kind of heating contraption connected directly to the showerhead that crackles as you shower. Why the person who built the shower decided to install a METAL on/off knob is beyond me, but it's amusing anyway. It doesn't even actually make the water hot anyway, so all it really does is wake me up by way of an electric current.
The rest of my first week has been wonderful! My host family is absolutely adorable, and we had a BBQ at our house last night with some departing volunteers from my host family's 2nd house. Kyle made guacamole, and my host mother Alice made beans, marinated beef, corn on the cob, and homemade salsa. We had Mojitos afterwards, and Kyle showed off some of his salsa moves w/ some of the girls and a guy from New York...now THAT was a sight!
This morning my housemates and I went up to a lookout above Antigua, but we had to stop by the police station first to get an escort. We read that it's dangerous for tourists to go up there by themselves because of robberies and stuff, and sure enough, we saw two guys hanging around in the woods with machetes waiting for some poor dopes to go up there by themselves. Scary.
Speaking of scary... On Thursday Kyle took us around the different project sites near the dump in Guatemala City. It was a wonderful tour, and I saw some exciting new developments... like the new building for the early intervention program for example... but while we were walking the streets this guy pulled a gun on us. He acted like he was joking, but it was definitely a REAL gun, he was probably drugged out and lacked normal judgment, and he definitely pointed it in our direction... Kyle saw it, but didn't really pay it much notice because he didn't want people to get worked up. There was a police officer right there anyway, so I doubt anything would have happened, but it was still more than a bit unnerving.
Tomorrow we are going to go climb the Volcano Pacaya! We have to leave the house by about 530 am ...I can't find the parentheses or the colon on this keyboard... Apparently it's active, and we'll get to see lava and the works! It's a smaller volcano, so it should only take us a good 2 hours to climb it. We can't go to the top because it's too dangerous what w/ the lava and all, but it'll be awesome! Then we want to do an overnight hike up a bigger volcano in a week or two... I don't remember the name of it at the moment... but I guess you climb all the way to the top, camp out in the crater overnight... it's about 32 degrees F... and then watch the sunrise in the morning before heading back down. I can't wait! I'm just going to go volcano crazy this summer.
Well, those are all the big developments for now... I start work officially on Monday in La Casa Hogar, and I'll continue with my Spanish lessons here in Antigua in the mornings. I figure I'll follow the Safe Passage motto.. If something's worth doing, just do it. We'll find the money later. Besides, if ...but more like when... I come down as a long term volunteer, I'm going to need to have that Spanish under my belt, which is by the way improving!