From Suicide Shower to Bus Breakdown


Sometimes life here is rough; take for example these recent turn of events.  Just after the break of dawn I boarded a chicken bus for a four hour ride from Momostenango to Amatitlan (where we have our FTF staging house).  On that bus I was greeted by the loud, obnoxious sounds of dub step, playing at what seemed to be full volume.  I sat for more than a few moments praying my ear drums would withstand the decibel level, and that my patience would withstand the dub step. All around me sat people who seemed to have nor issues with sunrise dub step. In the end, just as we pulled off, the driver changed the music to Banda. Ah. 

And then we snapped an axle. 

Clearly not the best day ever.

But despite my grumblings, people around me were offering advice on what to do and how to make it through this minor catastrophe.  Their smiles, self assurance that things would work out, and general lack of concern went a long way towards calming me down.  I learned that often we are not in control and rolling with the punches and working with those around you is often all one has to do.  And why was I so mad anyway? Why was I taking it so personally?

I arrived home no worse for the wear and realized that helping each other out in those little times of crisis, of doubt, of confusion...those aspects are so beautiful, so human.  I realized, that maybe even beyond learning culture and language for my first 8 months, my job is also to learn again how to be a friend to those around me.  To stop worrying about what I can't control and start worrying about those around me.  After all, the world is only getting smaller and those buses more cramped.

And, yes, I realize now I never fully explained the "suicide shower" in my last blog. As  I mentioned earlier, we live and work in the sticks near  a place called Momostenango, a mountain town where hot water is rare. But the mountains are cold! To fix this problem our host family rigged an old shower head in such a way that coils in the head heat the water as it passes out and onto my morning bed head. The wire sometimes get wet. And sometimes there are sparks. We call it the suicide shower. Hot water with a price!

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