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First Day at El Nahual

Monday, 09 February 2009 00:00 Tracesea Slater


This morning I got up and we had cereal for breakfast before Noemi walked Johanna and I to our first day at El Nahual. The walk took about 15 minutes and was primarily uphill. Since, I am out of shape and I was carrying a bunch of books to donate to the school, it was a bit difficult. I´m sure I will be used to it after making the journey several times each day. We arrived at El Nahual and were greeted by Eva, who showed us where the coffee was. It was unlike any coffee I have ever, almost clear… It was definitely the weakest coffee I´ve had before. Later I discovered the reddish tea that is available and I think I´ll stick to that. After a brief orientation, it is discovered that my teacher is waiting for me and I am 30 minutes late for class. Eva had thought that all 4 new students were having class in the afternoon, but it turns out that I will have class in the morning. So, I meet my teacher for the next two weeks, Lilly. She gives me a test, which after witnessing my struggles, she quickly replaces with an easier one. She says that they told her I was intermediate level, but the intermediate level test is clearly too difficult. So much for my previous feeling that I was doing so good with my Spanish. I guess that being around people who don´t speak any Spanish at all can make your own meager ability go to your head! Anyway, Lilly went through verbs with me to assess my knowledge and then taught me some new verbs. We practiced speaking to one another and she gave me some tips about safety and encouraged me to try speaking in Spanish as much as possible.

Mi Maestra Lili

We took a break for about 1/2 hour in the middle of the lesson and I went to the roof and met some other students. You can see a volcano from the roof and I guess there are many more in the area.

Volcano View from the Rooftop Classroom

The street all around the school is all torn up apparently in the midst of some kind of construction although I didn´t see anyone working on it.

Construction outside El Nahual

At 12:00 I returned to the house with Johanna and we helped to prepare lunch. Lunch is the biggest meal in Guatemala and I think that they give me more than anyone else because I am a guest. Today we had chicken in a green tomatilla sauce with potatoes and peas, broccolli, tortillas and rice. This was the first meal I have had in Guatemala so far that didn´t include beans. All the food I have had here so far has been very delicious. It is similar to Mexican food, in that there are lots of beans, rice and tortillas. There are different flavors though and the food has not been spicy, although salsa piquante (hot sauce) is offered on the side.

After lunch, Jennifer showed me how to get to this internet place and now I am going back to El Nahual to volunteer. I´m not sure what I will be doing, but I´ll fill you in next time.

Adios por este momento!


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