Field School: Day 10

I need to learn how to cook. If I’m going to come live in Guatemala for any extended length of time, I cannot rely on restaurants. Restaurants offer food of uncertain quality cooked in uncertain conditions, which leads to certain gastrointestinal distress. I’ve learned this the hard way. On the bright side, there is a reliable 24/7 pharmacy near school that is willing to dole out antibiotics to gringas. This, too, I learned the hard way. My performance in Kaqchikel class suffered a bit on Thursday and Friday before I figured that out though. 

Kaqchikel class is amazing. We’ve learned so much in such a short time. I feel like I understand spoken Kaqchikel much better than I can produce it, however. Particularly when I’m called upon in class, all the Kaqchikel just disappears from my reach and I’m stuck floundering around like a goof with strange syllables and complicated verb prefixes. In this, I appreciate (and rue) being surrounded by linguists. Getting a handle on grammatical differences is somewhat simpler when you can ask the linguistics professor sitting next to you… You just can’t expect a LING101 level answer from them, which is admittedly what I probably need. 

I’m getting more comfortable in Patzún as well. I can find my way home from school, from the café where we meet after school, and from the director’s house where we go for lunch. I know how to find the central square, the market, and the grocery store from my house. I know where the most reliable ATM is. I can even find the skateshop and the mill where my host tía goes to grind the corn for tortilla dough. 

My host family is without a doubt amazing. They’re exactly the kind of people I want in my life. My tía went to the grocery store in the other side of town specifically to get rice for me when my stomach was upset. They invite me to come with them whenever they go out, even if it’s just to the little tiendita one street over for firewood. They’ve made me feel extraordinarily welcome in their home. I’m trying to come up with a good gift to get for my tía’s birthday tomorrow, but the only hints my hermanas will give me is that she wants a cake. I guess I’m getting a cake!

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