In Other News - Part 2

Monday 4.12.10

I’ve been in Guatemala for a little over 3 months, so I think it’s time for an updated list of things that have happened to me that don’t really fit in anywhere else or that don’t deserve a blog entry on their own to explain. In other news:

Today I rolled my ankle playing basketball and it feels pretty bad. Only once have I rolled it worse than today, and the worst part is that nobody in my town has a refrigerator or a freezer so I don’t have any ice.
It’s a sad day when one realizes she’s allergic to mangoes. I hear that a lot of people find out they have a mango allergy when they come to Guatemala. I also hear that mangoes are related to poison oak. Seeing as how nobody I know is more reactive to poison oak than I am I am not really surprised to hear this. Will this stop me from eating mangoes? No, I’ve eaten an average of two per day since I arrived.
The people here think that I’m way more knowledgeable and experienced than I really am. I don’t want to disappoint them by telling them I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I also don’t want to falsely represent myself by telling them I do know what I’m doing.
I make the meanest sandwich in two countries. Avocado, red bell peppers, onion, cucumber, carrot, radish, jalapeno, all on a toasted sheka - a type of bread here. It’s been my dinner three times in the past week.
I had a dream last night that I called my cell phone carrier Tigo to find out how much saldo (prepaid minutes) I had left and when the minutes would expire. I woke up immediately after the dream-call was made and the first thing I did in real life was call Tigo. My saldo expires today. So, if anybody wants to chat let me know because I’ve got quite a few minutes now that I’ve gotta use up.
I think my back molars are getting sharper. I’m not exactly sure how, but recently I’ve been cutting up my tongue more often on the back part, and I think it’s because my teeth are sharper.
I think my arm hairs are growing longer than normal. I don’t know why I’ve noticed this, but I have and it’s been on my mind for the past month. I don’t know why this would happen (if it’s not all in my head, which I really don’t think it is) but I’ve been trying to come up with a logical explanation for why my arm hairs are growing to abnormal lengths.
I have gotten the hiccups exactly four times here in Guatemala. Two of those times were just one-hiccup deals. One hiccup and then it’s done with. The two other times were not that interesting either. I remember some days in the US where I would get 3-4 bouts of hiccups in one day, and up to 10-15 per week! But here, less than I can count on one hand. Why? Well, seeing as how nobody really knows why we hiccup anyway, I don’t think I’m going to figure out why I stopped hiccupping.
It’s a bad idea to put your finger in your eye just after you’ve finished cutting jalapeno peppers. Because, even though you want to flush out your eye immediately, you still have to wash your hand good and clean before you can pool water in it to wash out your eye.
Guatemalans have a different way of looking at maps than we do. When I visualize an imaginary map in front of me, up is North, down is South, right is, umm, East, and left would be West. But when Guatemalans visualize maps, North is North and South is South; that is, if they want to point to a location that is North, they point in the direction that is actually North rather than illustrate a planar and vertical map in front of them. They create a horizontally planar map oriented correctly. This caused a little confusion for me recently. Luckily, I had a real map that I pulled out to clarify.
I’m going to have to get really creative with the following ingredients over the next two years: onion, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, green beans, cauliflower, garlic, avocado, radish, and then the starchy basics corn, rice, potato and black beans. I have access to as many eggs as I want and bananas year-round; other fruit seasonally. I’m pretty happy with stir-fry for dinner and omelets for breakfast now, but, it has only been a week of cooking for myself.
I use just about twice the amount of water it takes to flush an average toilet to bathe. And I don’t even do that daily.

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