Saturday, July 10, 2010

How About Some Fried Ants?

My brain hurts.


My Spanish is elementary at best, and so for me to converse in Spanish, it takes a monumental effort on my part of first, thinking of what I want to say, and then thinking of the correct Spanish words to say it...then, when the person speaks back to me in Spanish, I have to think of what they are saying and translate it back. Got all that? I have been immersed in Spanish all day, and my brain hurts from too much thinking.

Thursday night, I slept very well...a noise machine and an eye mask will do that to you...and...oh yeah, an Ambien helps. My friend, Ely, has a neighbor, Maria, who I have met on a previous trip. Maria comes over Friday morning and the three of us take a walk through the neighborhood, on our way to the supermarket for some groceries. The store is called a "dispensia familia", and I thought perhaps they were giving out in despensing families. Um, no, Ely says...well, I tried.

I laughed inside the store when I found a 2 liter bottle of Coke, a liter of Rum, and a bag of chips...all wrapped up in plastic...a party in a bag, if you will....

We left the store at noon, which turned out to be a big mistake....A nearby factory has begun their lunch we walk by, the gates open and dozens and dozens of men, women and seemingly, children, come running out into the streets at breakneck speed. Apparently, they only have 30 minutes for lunch, so speed is of the essence, and God help you if you get in their way...they will knock you over. It was intense and it was crazy, and just a little bit scary. Imagine Walmart when the doors open the day after Thanksgiving, and you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, I had taken my camera on the walk, intending to get some neighborhood photos...but Ely and Maria about had apoplexy when they saw it and insisted that I hide it for the duration of the walk.

For lunch, we had delicious aguacate (avacado), mashed potatoes, fish sticks, tortillas, and a wonderful cheese called queso de was wonderful.

During lunch, Ely told me of a delicacy called zompopo...which are large, giant ants...the body of the ant is fried and then eaten. Ely says its pretty good, but I politely told her I would take her word for it.

The rains began around 1 pm, and did not let up the rest of the day. I spent a very quiet afternoon watching Spanish television...The Three Stooges are a hoot, and you do not even have to know Spanish to laugh.

A good second day in Guatemala...on Saturday, the rest of the mission group arrives, and we will discuss the project, which begins Sunday. It was nice to acclimate and immerse and relax a bit....



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