Tuesday, March 22

My life in Xela.

Hey Guys! I don´t think many have been reading my blog but thats okay, my mom is a fantastic fan! If you do read my blog, and you like it.. I would like to ask you to check out Lindsay Frosts blog, Im following it and it is kind of a similar idea to mine now but a lot different and a lot better. She is living in Denmark with her boyfriend and writes about her life there and all the changes and stuff. Its really amazing and other than facebook, pretty much the only thing I keep up with while traveling.

The other day at dinner I wrote a whole page full of ideas I was going to blog about that afternoon at teh internet cafe. About 10 minutes into the walk to the internet cafe that afternoon, I realized of course, that I had left the paper back at the house. Typical Bailey! But I have it with me now and I have a bit of time to write so Im going to spend some Quetzals and catch you guys..or mom..up on my travels, experiences and observations including the food, the culture, the boys, my adjustments, the orphanage and what my plans are at this point in time.

So people always ask me about the food, is it spicy? is it good? does it make you sick? The answers to these questions are all yes and no aha. Mostly, the food is not spicy which when I first came here I was totally expecting spicy food! A lot of it is pretty bland but I havnt actually tried a ton of authentic guatemalan food, Im not sure there is much. The Guatemalan foods I have mostly been acquainted with are bachi, frijoles, plantains and thats about it.

Bachi which may not be what its called at all, was made with potato, tomato sauce, pork and some vegetables all whipped together, into a sort of compact little potatoe burger..aha. Hard to explain. It was wrapped up in a big almost sea weed type wrap but you didnt actually eat that part. I never know what things are actually called but it sounded like diana said Bachi. It was alright, but not spectacular aha. The real guatemalan food seems quite bland to me.

Frijoles are beans and we have them in an almost soup like texture, I LOVE them. They obviously are not guatemalan but just incredibly common here. Plantains are like thick bananas and they fry them up here, and usually serve them with frijoles, i also SUPER love plantains. I love having plantains and frijoles for supper, sounds crazy, but it rocks my world!

We eat a lot of frijoles and eggs. I like eggs so its alright for me. Sometimes they are scrabbled up with vegetables in thema nd for some reason this makes me sick. Things dont make me sick so much anymore but for the first week and a half I shit every 10 minutes, it seemed like if I even thought about food my stomach would explode. I think it was just the adjustment, and for the most part I have been fine ever since.

Breakfast is usually cereal or eggs with little hotdog type things, equivalent to breakfast sausages I would say. Sometimes they leave bananas for me, there is always lots to eat. Lunch and supper are usually about the same size, sometimes lunch is larger, sometimes dinner is. A few times a week we have chicken, steak or pork(maybe ahaha) and I have definitely had mystery meat. We have sandwiches sometimes, one bnight they have me four.. I was like.. I think im fat enough now. They put a sauce on their sandwiches that Im pretty sure is a mix of ketchup and mayo, not too bad, not too amazing. Sometimes there is soup, which I really like and they serve me a lot of pasta. I have been trying to stay away from carbs but its not easy here, especially with all the bakeries.

The main xela bakery is called Xelapan and if I gain any weight, xelapan would probably be to blame! They have the most delicious desserts and everytime I smell it I just want to go in and spend all my quetzals! I dont though, I have actually lost 13 lbs since arriving in Xela and that thrills me! Maybe I will be skinny and chocoately the next time you all see me, aha. I can dream!!

So hmm... I thought I might write a little about the clothes here. If your image is that everyone is in rags, its not true at all. I actually find a lot of the people, atleast in xela, are very well dressed and some even have fantastic style. With that beign said, surprisingly, I find the ones with style are the boys. The girls just seem to be sort of set back in style, not that Im a fashion guru, but still some dress really well. I find that shoes are big here, everyone wears nice shoes and there are shoe stores like..everywhere. I think the shoe stores in the mall out number the clothing stores. The weird thing is that alot of people really match their shoes to their shirts and sweaters, its almost TOO matchy! I have seen people way too matchy, like fully clad in red... not okay. but, its a different culture! I love boys in nice shoes so Im in heaven.

When it comes to school everyone wears uniforms. I think its kind of cool and my friend I met from Australia said in Australia it is the same way. There may be some schools here without uniforms but I am doubting it. When you go to the parque somedays around dinner you can see like hundreds of kids and teens hanging out in uniforms, I kind of like it. When they arent in uniforms alot of them seem to wear clothes from AE, AeroPostle and Abercrombie and Fitch. They dont have those stores here in Xela but a lot of the markets have their clothes.

When it comes to boys, there are many aha. I find myself quite attracted to the boys here but I am actually on my best behaviour this time around! The guys I meet in clubs or through friends are for the most part very nice but there are lots of, what we would call rude guys, in Xela. They like to whistle and yell crazy things at me and other girls, sometimes whatever words they know in English. It can be a bit annoying, I have no idea if they think it makes me want to talk to them. I trust most of the guys I meet out though but have had a bit of trouble, it all turned out okay though.

A lot of the boys here dance..which is very sexy. I grew up around lots of white boys who for the most part, didnt know much about dance and if they did, it certainly wasnt any sort of latin dancing like salsa. It creates a special illusion of sexiness. I have been told many guys who teach salsa use it as a way to find, teach and attempt to sleep with all the gringas aha. With that being said, I have seen it in action but not all of them are that way and I have actually met some really really nice guys who teach salsa and are perfect gentleman.

For the most part Im still having an amazing time. The thing about being away is that.. its like..the most scary but the most rewarding experience. Adjusting to life without my friends and family is hard and I cant see myself permanently removing myself to a place with no one I know but I have always told myself to do things that scare me, so this definitely qualifies. I feel everyday I scare myself a little, but at the same time I grow a little. I find myself gaining a tiny bit of independance day by day and confidence as well. Being in a place where my body time is more accepted and even sometimes considered sexy, is good for me. Not that I am taking full advantage of it, but its nice to not feel like a big chunk of shit beside all my friends when I go out.

I am seeing new things and experiencing new experiences everyday. This weekend I will travel to Antigua, Guatemala. google it! Eventually I will spend some time at Lake Atitlan, maybe learn some spanish and then on April.13 I fly to Costa Rica to meet up with Tam for a month which will be amazing. I am attempting to have the time of my life and its working out okay so far, haha. I miss all things familiar, I miss having hugs everyday and love but I am recieving so many messages and wall posts and comments that fill my heart up everyday! So thank you so much to everyone who keeps in touch!! I love you all so much!

Thats all for now.. hopefully I didnt bore you too much. Please comment and let me know what you think and what you would like to hear about! I know I didnt cover everything i said I would but its getting late and I should leave the guys at this internet place alone ahah.

Big Love!
Bailey.

Tuesday, March 15

Abroad.

Okay. I started writing this long elaborate blog the last time I was at the cafe. Then when I went to press publish, they shut off the wireless as a sign to tell me to GTFO and all was lost. So this time, instead of trying to rewrite everything I said, Im just going to talk in little blurbs as I remember things that have happened over the last week and a half.

So I left the family late the night of March 4. My flight was real early so I basically just planned to sleep and then wake up for my flight. i went to check in but they told me they couldnt take my bags til 4am, fuck, great, I love carrying around a ton of luggage all over an airport. Then the man decided that he needed to drag me into a scary back office so I could print off proof (as in my ticket to costa rica) that I planned to leave guatemala before 90 days was up. Apparently at the airport in Guatemala they would like kick me out... guess what, they didnt give a shit, they basically saw that I was canadian and pushed me out the airport doors. My flight to LA from Calgary was about an hour or more late, so by the time I got to LA, I had about 20 minutes to catch my flight to houstan. And let me tell you..the folks at LAX are not fucking around. That place is HECTIC. You have to go to different buildings and catch buses..I almost quit. I made it though..somehow.

So when I finally got to Guatemala it felt nice. I didnt feel like I was in a strange place. So now Im in xela..and Ive been here for about a week and a half. Made a few friends, mostly been at the orphanage and school. Have gone out a few times. Last friday I decided even though I was pretty sure I have no talent in the art of salsa dancing that I would go to a private'ish class with courtney, samantha and her mom Sarah. The bad news is, I still cant salsa dance and it was mortifying. The good news is.. well..there isnt any, I guess the fact that I dont intend to go back is good news for me.

After the hellish class, we went out to eat at an indian restaurant that served mostly burgers and pizza, yeah..not so indian. Then we headed to a kind of sports bar and had a drink. I had a Hawaii 5'0 and it was delicious if you were wondering. Then we headed to La Rumba for Salsa night..yes..I know.. I dont like salsa, but sometimes they put on music I like to dance to aha. Mostly we just drank and laughed and turned down most guys who even if we had said yes were probably too drunk to actually dance. I did say yes at the next bar to one guy but he was a little too handsy for my liking, onto the next one!

On Saturday, with the same crew.. actually most things I do are with those people, we headed to the hot springs. If you talk to me, you probably know that I have already been there but it was worth the revisit. This time we caught a chicken bus (like an old school bus) just barely to Zunil. We almost missed it but started running really fast and hopped in the emergency exit. Hoisting myself up wasnt as hard as I thought it would be, must be growing some serious muscles.. but also a half developed teenage guatemalan boy was there to help..im not sure if it helped or not. Once in zunil we hopped on the back of a truck for the ride up the mountain. It was a beautiful, and sometimes alarming, ride up and the hot springs were amazing and hot as ever. They looked a bit different as they had to reconstruct after a mudslide but was still awesome. Tried the bean soup , wasnt too bad except, like most things in guatemala, they decided there needed to be coriander in it. WHYYYY?? Coriander is the worst. They put it in everything that should be good here.

So what else..hmm. Ive had ice cream twice here, although Im trying to diet. Ive decided the minimum 1 hr walking a day, eating very little and shitting out everything I eat makes me deserve ice cream sometimes so.. I buy some. its sooo good. The cones are sooo good ahah. Its all so good. Today i decided I needed an ice cream AND chocolato banano, which as you may be able to guess, is a frozen banana, covered in chocolate with nuts, sprinkles, whatever sprinkled on it. SO GOOD. Although I have treated myself with these things, and a few things from Xelapan (the most delicious bakery ever invented) I have managed to lose probably about 10 lsb already, fitting into pants that did not fit me when I left. This is exciting, but Im a little worried about my nutrition. Oh well, whatever will be will be.

I always think of things I should write about and then once I go to write, its gone. It has literally taken me two hours to get this much in because Im so ADD and have a million people I need to email and blah blah blah. If you have any questions or want me to write about somethings specific, tell me. I would be happy to write things that would actually interest people rather than blabber on about nothing which is kind of what I always do.

I suppose I could fit in a bit about the orphanage since I get alot of questions about it. For the most part, the kids are all different, especially the one I work with, the babies. There is one, Luis who I love, that is still there but he attends school now so I rarely see him. he is in one of my guat albums from last time so you can go look if you wanna see waht he looks like. I promise to upload pictures at some point, I just need a computer that I can put pics on first aha. Some of teh older boys are the same, which is kind of sad. I worry they will justbe ther euntil they have to be on their own and I wonder if they will be ready.

Juan, or Juanito aha, is a really violent but irresistably cute little boy. He reminds me of Henri alot, but more violent aha. He seems to be a bit attached to me and is super posessive. If he sees me holding another child he decides that simply beating them will solve the problem but it usually just gets him put in the crib..which he knows how to climb out of. The other day he fell head first out of the crib..that sucked.

Alex is this little, really heavy, 2 year old I would say. He has the craziest but cutest rotten toothed smile. He wines and cries and is almost always grumpy but you cant help think hes cute when he laughs. He likes to pass out..anywhere really. In someones arms or under a bed, doesnt matter much to him. When I upload pictures you will see aha. He also has the most rotten poos Ive ever deal with in my life.

Jorman, Marta and Lupe are all from the same family. Jorman is a boy and he is about 4, probably almost 5 and sooo adorable. Marta is 3 and she kind of looks liek she may have down syndrome but she is absolutely adorable. Lupe is the baby girl and my friends Courtney and Sam are sooo attached to her. Today, without warning, they all left. It was sad but really happy because they get to go, surprisingly to us, all the way home to nicaragua. We had no idea the kids could come from so far but it kind of sounded like the dad may have had them in Guatemala and there was some trouble and thats how they ended up in the orphanage. I was lucky enough that for the first time today I took pictures so I got a few of them.. they were all so adorable.

Alicia is this little tiny girl. She is probably close to 2 but she honestly weights about 15lbs. She is just so teensy and adorable.

Isaac, Stephanie and Gabriella are another family. Isaac is sooo cute. One day he cried for his mommy and I just wanted to cry with him not only for him but because I missed my mom. They all got to see her today on a short visit, so that was nice. Gabriella is definitely the leader of the pack not only in the family but with all the little kids. She is smart and cute but she seems to be in charge.

I think thats about all I have time for right now. The friend making process is slow but things are looking up! Im enjoying myself for the most part and really enjoying the warm weather. I hope everyone at home is happy and having fun and hopefully a bit more warm soon. I love and miss all of my friends and family and cant wait to see you in the summer!! xoxo.

Bail

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