Though I was not quite ready to be awake when my alarm went off this morning, I was excited to be awake and to have my Spanish class. I finished learning all of the irregular verbs today in present tense, which means that tomorrow I get to begin learning the past tense. This is very exciting, as it is very difficult to have a conversation only in the present tense. I’m sure that I’ve been sounding like a dumbass every time I talk, but my family and everyone I’ve spoken with has been incredibly helpful, encouraging, and has taken me seriously. After class, we played charades with most of the students. Though I was not looking forward to it, it turned out to be quite useful and very affirming that I am, in fact, learning the verbs I’m being taught.
After the activity, Daniel and I walked home, and stopped by Maggie’s house. We didn’t stay for long, but did come in long enough to meet Diego, her six-year-old host brother. He is just about the cutest thing ever to walk on two legs. I went home, ate lunch with my mother and sister, and read for ten minutes while I waited for Daniel to pick me up.
This afternoon was much more productive and rewarding than the others have been. Daniel and I worked with Gilman (sp?), who is doing most of the construction. We helped him build and set up a gutter system, organize all of the wood and other stuff lying around, and readied the ground for a floor. There was enough work to keep us busy, and at the end of the day, we felt accomplished.
Instead of going home for dinner, we stayed at the school to take a cooking lesson, taught by Patti, who does all of the odd jobs at El Nahual. We learned to make fried broccoli, breaded with whipped egg, and doused in salsa. It had been cloudy all day—very unusual for this time of year—and as the sun was setting, it peeked out beneath the clouds, dousing the city in a gorgeous warm light. Daniel, Maggie and I went up to the second floor classrooms that are being built to get a better view, and were met with stunning rays of sun, and the volcano burning reds and yellows. This is a beautiful place. I decided then that I need to begin bringing my camera places and taking pictures, which I have yet to do here in Guatemala. We ate dinner with the other students, and talked mostly about how to teach the little ones who come to El Nahual in the afternoons.
After dinner, Daniel and Maggie and I stopped at Daniel’s house, said hi to Jose, and grabbed Daniel’s Lonely Planet book. We went to a café right at the parque central, which has a balcony overlooking the park and the very European buildings around the park. Over a very expensive beer, we discussed our plans for the rest of our time here, and then talked about how things were going, what we hope to achieve, and just took the evening to talk and be with each other. After our little date, we went back to Maggie’s house, and played with Diego. Daniel played War with him, until we stacked his deck when he wasn’t looking so he’d win. Throughout the game, he began exhibiting some very David-like behaviors, which climaxed with a noise-making showdown between him and me. It appears I have found a soul mate.