Photos: Some Friends - part 1

I'm going to introduce you to a few of the better friends I've made in the past couple months. A bunch of young people came back home after studying farther away in September/October/November so I've had some more friends to hang out with. This is part one because I still don't have photos for everybody.

1) Gaspar aka Kax (caash), 17 yrs
First and foremost my basketball buddy. He plays soccer well also, but doesn't like it as much as basketball so he's always up to play with me. If he was another half a foot taller he'd be able to beat me no problem, but, as he is probably 5ft or shorter he doesn't have a chance. Second, I think he has one of the most genuine and friendly smiles I have ever seen in my life. This coming year he'll be in his last year of diversificado (like high school, but only three years and you have to pick a topic of study). He chose magisterio (training to become a teacher) and he studies at the institute where I work. Once he came into my office as I was reviewing some pictures and told me he wanted to learn how to use my camera, so, little by little I've been teaching him what the different buttons mean, what aperture and shutter speed and focal length are and he seems to be picking it up pretty well. Hopefully someday soon I'll actually be able to show you guys some photos with me in them!

2) Luis Castro aka Güicho (whitch-0), 18 yrs
The son of one of my counterparts, he just finished his diversificado in agriculture studying in a department called Quetzaltenango, but most commonly refered to as Xela (sheyla). He returned home in October after graduating and is looking for work in the Aldea, possibly as a teacher at the school in subjects of agriculture. He plays guitar, bass, and keyboard and we've played together a few times, even though he's a little shy about playing in public. He wants to learn how to read sheet music so I'm going to try and teach him when our schedules mesh better. He also plays soccer really well.

3) José Itzep aka Chapa, 17 yrs
A nephew of the family a live with, he also finished his diversificado this past October in architectural design, studying in a town called Chichicastenango in my department of Quiche. He and Luis Castro are neighbors and good friends, so I often run into them together. He and his brother Jorge Luis (next) are also guitar buddies. When we were playing soccer a couple weeks ago I had possession of the ball and Chapa was defending me, I dribbled up court a little, looked around for open team-mates and upon finding none, tried to drive right past him. I knew this was hopeless because I've seen how he plays, but, with no better ideas I just went at it. To his surprise more than mine, I shot the ball right between his legs and advanced myself to a nearly open shot on goal. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL our friends and EVERYBODY on the sidelines started laughing uncontrollably. They couldn't believe that he got beat by a girl. By a girl that sucks at soccer no less. I'm building my credibility slowly.

4) Luis Itzep, also Güicho, 15 yrs
Chapa's little brother, he just finished his Basico education (middle school) at the institute where I work and is going to study in Xela or Chichi, can't really remember, starting in January. This family has the largest store available in my town, and it's also somewhat indoors with a bench. If I have nothing to do I head over there, about a 4 minute walk from my house, to chat with one of the kids (There's 7 from age 22 to age 4) or see who else is there. Luis is also a good friend and cousin of my host sister Selena so he's at our house a lot.

Part 2 to come when some other friends return within the next week and I can snap some more photos.

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