In Q’eqchi Jo Wan Chik (Ho-kwan- cheek) is used as a 'see you later', literally meaning something along the lines of there will be more. Since it has been over a month since my last post I should have closed with a wambi (kwam-bee), or 'goodbye' with another meeting unknown. A week from this past Sunday while returning from a hike to a few caves we passed a sheep, to which a fellow volunteer said jo wan sheep. A sad pun, but we all found it really funny. Shows how life in the campo can go to your head (the other three volunteers having arguably the three hardest sites in my entire group). There is another pun to follow, but don’t hold your breath.
This past weekend all the Peace Corps volunteers reunited in Santa Lucia for a 4th of July Fiesta. I purchased red male traje pants which are only worn in Hue Hue out west ( I am jealous). The 4th is one of the two true USA holidays we have off for, the other being Thanksgiving. It was great to see everyone after being away and this week marks our half-year mark in country. Below are a few pictures from the event:
Lauren "Peace Corps Baby" and I
"Best Dressed" in my traje pants
Rather than a monotonous update of my past month’s activities, I thought I would recount the cave venture Brent, Jordan, Fife and I undertook (Plus I have photos). With two sites on the far outskirts of the other side of our major city, we all ventured to one of Fife’s sites where the tourism is more or less nonexistent. Having two sites (one not meeting PC living standards, hence him living in the second) we stayed the night in the one up to standards. His other site has a bird tour in a gorgeous cloud forest (See FBT visit entry "Cascada" in March). There is no electricity and they blow in a conch shell to congregate for meetings, pretty unique place. Without much of a viable product at his other site, Fife had heard there were caves about an hour and a half hike away so we planned a day trip.
After the few mile hike in the night before, we all went to a home in the village center for a tilapia dinner. Not having had seafood in months this was super exciting. The fish was deep fried in it’s entirety with little meat. I say this to lead up to the lame pun which began it all, not to complain about the quality of the food. I surely sat there in the dim room and contently ate fried fin and other various bones. Due to the lack of meat (Kar is fish in Q’eqchi) Jordan pointed out there sure was a lot of KARtilage. Funny, right?
The following morning the four of us woke early, had a rice breakfast in Fife’s house and took care of business in the outhouse before heading off. I distinctly remember this because I wiped my butt with a Justin Bieber newspaper clipping ( I have recently found out Garett has put a poster of him in my room). Us volunteers and two of the local townsmen trekked through the woods and up steep muddy hills to the first cave. The trip was long and slippery and included a hand full of slips, falls, the splitting of a walking stick between my legs and a couple cuts. After exploring the first large cave we checked out a smaller, yet closer cave to the town. Probably better suited for tourists, the small cave was amidst the forest; a descending ‘stairway’ of mud in the middle of the vegetation. It almost seemed to be a secret passage way. The trip was an exciting experience and I must say holds product potential down the line. Check out the photos I snagged from Brent and Fife:
Provecho- Kar(tilage) ut wa (Fish and toritlla)
Entrance to the large cave