I’m really tired (I ran a 15 km race today), I’ve been doing Spanish homework for the past couple hours (subjunctive, indirect/direct objects) and it’s late (10:24 pm as I write this). But here’s what today was like:
First of all, it was clear this morning, overcast in the afternoon, maybe around 70 degrees for most of the day? It was definitely a little hotter at times – I did have to bust out the sunglasses and sunblock at one point - but pretty comfortable weather for a tucked-in dress shirt with no underlayer + nice jeans, topped off with my dress shoes. I woke up, washed up, put some pomade in my hair and had my regular breakfast of instant coffee and sweet rolls. Then I went down to the central plaza to watch the parade begin and take in the day’s festivities.
What I’m leaving out is that today is September 15th, which is Guatemala’s independence day. 189 years ago, the country’s Ladinos (citizens of mixed Indigenous and European heritage), Xinca (an indigenous group linguistically unrelated to the Maya), Garifuna(Afro-Guatemalan communities spread along the Caribbean coast) and Mayaclaimed their independence from Spain. I helped celebrate that independence by heading back home in the afternoon, changing into shorts and sneakers, then running a 15 km race up and down the mountains that surround the community in which I currently live.
Here are things I like about running a race on Independence Day in Guatemala:
- Everyone claps, shouts, points, smiles andlooks at you like you’re crazy (in a good way.)
- Volcanoes make great scenery
- Purified water comes in sealed baggiesthat you’re supposed to bite the corner off to drink.
- Kids throw regular water on you because you look funny.
Here’s what I don’t like:
- Exhaust (from cars, tuk-tuks, camionetas and motorcycles) and
- Smoke (from roadside trash fires)
Here is a tuk-tuk: (ok, two)
Here is a camioneta:
There I am off in the distance with Carolina, another trainee, who actually won the women's division....awesome