Monday, June 22, 2009

The Leftover Falafel burps

A rainy sunday yesterday was spent hours cooking and slaving away, quite simply because I needed to let my host family understand how amazingly amazing falafels truly are. Falafels are a foreign term to them, and I`m not too sure that even after hours of repeating it they still really get it, it`s been called farafa? femana? fafa? among many other words. Anyone who knows me knows that cooking isn`t my thing, but I put in the effort with the host sis to show them what they were missing out on.... Only problem is that half the chick peas weren`t cooked well enough, and left the falafel balls more like decaying rice like balls, nonetheless, it seemed a hit with everyone, although they still couldn`t help letting go of their chapino ways, and kept suggeting to add chile, lime, salsa or salt to the falafels.... The tortellini, also a foreign food, was a hit. Unfortunately, the day ended with a fluorescent pink Strawberry cake that quite simply tasted like the shittiest cake I`ve had in my life. I couldn`t even get myself to finish it although my host fam was gracious enough to eat it and smile while looking at me, my guess is that they just didn`t want to hurt my feelings, because I spent much of my early morning hours today puking ups the bids of the damned pink cake.

Talking of puke, I`m in a band and we`re called the leftover burps. Although a fellow bandmate classifies it as `Spanish punk`, I think it`s sounding more like an indie, hippie satire of livin life as a peace corps volunteer.... You may be wondering, what on earth is Esther doing? Yea, I`m writing tunes and playing a sick wind bird instrument. That`s right be jealous. Anyway the band is a super sweet outlet for some creative writing and music making and I think we`re debuting at the 4th of July fiesta. For those curious souls here is a snipit taste from one of our singles, the Chicken bus roller coaster:

The diarrhea is a`kickin, kickin, kacklin` at me
The bumps are vibrating me vicious, road is dusty
I can hardly see, Rain`s got me soaked and wet
Swamp a×× got me a hot mess
And I think the old senor just groped my chest

Guate.... Guate..... Guate.....

Pero sweet companys gotten me comfy
Yea, Ive got a front row seat., a Front row seat....
To the tongue wrestling match next to me.

The songs are mildly inappropriate, but it is a necessary comic relief. Other tunes include emo songs about not getting packages and of princess tigress, a mutt that follows me everywhere around town. Don`t worry I`m starting to write more serious stuff too....

On the work front, our health promotores started giving their own charlas in front of the group last week. And by start, I mean only one who was supposed to go that day showed up. And although it doesn`t seem that the promotores really get the participative teaching method we are trying to go for, at least they are trying and are even doing charlas about HIV and opening up conversation about STDs ranging from machismo, infidelity to discussing local rumors and myths about sitting on a hot rock to cure a sort of STD that if I got the conversation right, includes pubic lice? Well, you get the point. I`ve realized that much of the work and the methods of teaching we want them to use are things that they have never been taught and goes against everything they`ve learned their whole lives. So what they didn`t get the ciclo de aprendizaje right away? We can`t expect them to change overnight and hey at least they are able to talk together during our meeting about taboo topics they can´t talk about in their culture and at home. And if anything, I think the meetings are fun for them and they are able to let go of reservations, laugh, and I mean laugh a lot, and just be themselves.

In other good news! We were able to get the Mayor to provide us with refracciones (snacks) for our weekly meetings! Which is a huge deal, Guatemalans love their snacks and I think it will give a great boost to all the wonderful women that have been taking the time off from their busy schedule to come to our meetings. I`m pretty bummed we`ll be leaving them so soon.

As for self reflection: well I`ll be off to my permanent site in one month and I wish I could say I am fearless, but truth is I`m scared beyond comprehension.

Additional anecdote on some of my fav. quotes of the last few weeks:

-A fellow volunteers: I want to learn really cool s*** while I´m here, like how to weave and be a Mayan Priestess....
- A conversation between a volunteer and a local niña: -My cousins in the States are adopted Niña - Really? Where did they buy them?



  1. dude those are awesome quotes...!!!
    right on, wanna hear those lyrics sung!!!

  2. oh esther!!!

    dont get me going.... hey i met with Doctors without borders should i ship them ur way???

    are you going alone on ur site ????

    Anxious mom... hoooooo send me audio file!!!! we could swap i wanna be a mayan priestess too tell her to buy Carlos Casteneda in penguin edition! ga gaa ...