Thursday, September 16, 2010

These Moments

There are some moments from my time here that have definitely touched my heart. They are the moments where I feel at home, feel loved, or just feel like there was some kind of breakthrough in my relationships with the people here. I am not sure if I have shared many of them, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites, moments I hope to never forget.

Little Magdalena

This is probably my favorite story to tell when people talk about trying to integrate into their village. There is a little, six year old girl here named Magdalena. For my first six months or so in the village I would see Magdalena as I was walking to the school, or shop, or wherever and she would freeze. She would stare at me with her huge brown eyes and this frozen look and say to the kids with her “tyibiru li saq” which roughly means “the scary/evil white lady”. I would kind of smile, say good morning and feel really awkward as I walked away. Then one day I was walking to school and I hear a little kid come running up and they grab my hand to hold it. I look down and it was little Magdalena. I look at her so confused as she holds my hand and walks to school. I said, “Magdalena, I thought you were afraid of me.” She just looked at me and smiled. Now when I see her she always yells “Ms. Megan” and run up and hold my hand if we are walking the same direction.


This is one of my dear friends. She is 2 years old, and definitely a fair-weather friend. Thankfully “bad-weather” easily and quickly blows over, never lasting more than a few minutes. At first meeting she was scared and would not come anywhere near me (in fact she has this response to pretty much everyone, particularly white people). In the last few months, though, she requires her mom to come visit me in the mornings, and if I am at their house, usually refuses to let me leave. I am not even really sure when the breakthrough occurred, but on a nearly daily basis she will wrap her arms around my neck and say “la'at infriend!” (you are my friend!”) and it is sometimes followed by her squeezing my face and kissing my cheek. This is the girl that I could not look at without her running to her mom and hiding from me. Unfortunately there are the moments, like when I steal the jar of sugar she is eating by the handful, she will yell “moko infriend xMegan!” (Megan is never my friend!). Like I said, thankfully these moments do not last too long. :)

Xan Katerina

Xan Kat is a lady who I have started visiting more recently. At first I was hesitant to go visit her because she speaks only K'ekchi, was really shy and didn't say much the one time I went, and just always seemed standoffish to me. I don't know why I thought this, but I did. Anyway I went to her house and it was amazing. She is adorable, she smiled and laughed and talked. She tried to work through my confusing K'ekchi with me and I loved it! I have gone back another couple of times, but what happened the other day really made me feel good. I was leaving my house to go wait for the bus to town for the market. I saw her at the road and she was about to moved to wait in the shade. When she saw me coming she stopped, got a huge smile, waved and waited for me in the sun. It may seem like no big deal, but expressions of emotion like that are few and far between and it made me feel so at welcome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Very Special Day

So today is a very special day. It is the birthday of my wonderful grandmother, who is also probably my most faithful blog reader. I know that each of my blogs is printed and taken to her (thanks Jenny!) so that she can enjoy them. So I am writing this one especially for her.

My grandma has always been a great supporter of me in my life and everything I have tried to do and I love her dearly for it. I always look forward to going home over holidays and breaks to get to spend a bit of time with her. This year I am a bit far away and visiting family is not exactly easy, but I am excited for the next time I get to see her and give her a hug.

Since I was small she has been collecting Family Circus and Lockhorns cartoons out of the newspapers and giving them to my brother and I. Very few letters have I received in my life without several of the cartoons inside with her letter. So the first letter I got in Belize I whined about not getting one, and now I have several taped up inside of my house for my enjoyment :).

I know that usually when she gets an update from me she carries it around and shares it with everyone. My hope is that everyone will do me a favor and give her a great big hug for her birthday from me since I am not there to give her one myself.

I love you Grandma. Thank you for all of your love, encouragement and support. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and I will see you soon.

(I am pretty sure your cake would look something like this, but the number of candles may be off by one or two, don't forget your firetruck)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Black Orchids Football

So I played in my first Black Orchids football game this past weekend, and it was a blast. The Black Orchids is our Peace Corps Belize girls football (soccer) team. We went to Trio Village to play their girls, and the Gibnuts (the PCV guys team) played their mens teams.

We all met at the junction and waited for our ride into the village. The football field was nestled in the middle of the banana plantations by the village. They just had a big area they did not plant in and turned it into a nice football field. The girls played first, so as we ran out onto the field we realized a couple things. 1. It the rainy season, the field was a swamp. 2. The other team doesn't have shoes, so we should probably play barefoot too.

The game was a muddy, but fun time. I think it was probably best, because of the swampyness to be playing barefoot, but it was a new experience. You run and try to stop and turn around and end up just laying on the field, or continuing to slide forward sometimes on your feet. It was great when you would steal the ball and kick it only for it to land in a puddle of water and float there instead of rolling :) I am pretty sure we were a good comedy show. Due to no subs, and the amount of games being played we only played 15 minute halves. The game turned out 3-2 with the Trio girls winning.

Afterwards we all went down to the river to jump (or crawl) into the cold, but brown water to "clean" off a bit. Somehow I managed to come out muddier than I went in, I'm not sure. It was a fun Sunday :)