My last week has been interesting and full of activities - and speaking spanish! Okay, so I´m usually doing that, but I think I´m speaking and understanding more. I´m quite proud of myself.
Tuesday Juan and the other computer lab guys invited me to have some pizza with them at lunch. We sat around for an hour chatting and laughing and joking. In Spanish! I´m still amazed.
Wednesday night I went out to dinner with the Guatemalan director of Child Aid and the volunteer coordinator. Thursday I had lunch with the founder and director of Probigua and his wife and another couple. This meant a half day at the library since I had to take the bus back to Antigua, wait a half hour for everyone to show up, then travel to Jocotenango for lunch. It was apparently a typical Guatemalan meal. First they cook a chicken, a really tough little chicken, in the soup broth so it has the flavor of chicken. They take that out and serve it on the side, all dried out and tough, with rice. So you put rice and the chicken into your soup. But apparently most people don´t get chicken often. It was an interesting meal.
Today was my last day in the library. It was somewhat frustrating for me. The computer would not work this morning. I kept restarting it and trying everything and it just got to a startup screen and wouldn´t go any farther. I was disappointed to lose time cataloging, but I could wait for Juan to arrive. Well - Juan was really, really late today. He had been in the process of buying a motorcycle and he got the call this morning that paperwork had gone through and he could come get his bike. So he motored into work (literally wheeled the motorcycle into the library!) after 12:00!
While I was waiting for him to arrive and fix the computer I taught myself the numbering system in Kaqchikel then I watched the students out in the field next to the library. There were dozens and dozens of students out, rough-housing and playing games and cutting the grass.
Yes - they were cutting the field... with machetes. I think every person around here has a machete, big 2 or 3 foot long blades. They bend down close to the ground and hack and hack and hack at the grass and grass is flying everywhere.
Loud music was blasting out into the field - I could feel the bass vibrating in the library wall. Students were doing handstands, walking on their hands, doing cartwheels, playing soccer, salsa dancing, and playing hackey sack with soccer balls and bouncy balls. Every now and then some guy would go down and a dog pile would commence - with the last several guys taking running leaps and jumping onto the top of the pile. Then the guys would all go crashing down and the guy on the bottom would get up and go chasing after the guy on the top, running through the field, past the library, all through the campus.
I looked over to another side of the field and saw many students gathering up piles of grass and throwing it in a pile on top of another student. Three pretty girls in tight jeans and pink shirts walked by, chattering and swinging their machetes.
It was a sight to see.
Juan finally showed up and came over to help with the computer. I´m really quite embarrassed. A student had left a disk in the computer and that´s the only reason it wouldn´t turn on! I knew disks left in the computer caused problems - which I learned back in the age of the dinosaurs when I still used disks. I mean, come on - who out there has used a disk recently? Anyway, by the time it was fixed it was time for lunch. The two librarians and Juan bought lunch and we all ate together. We were all too stuffed to eat the chocolates I had brought for them - but I´m sure they´ll be enjoyed next week.
Anyway, now for the moment you´ve all been impatiently waiting for!
I finished today with 1,096 books.
Congratulations to Andi at OHCS who wins her very own chicken bus! This chicken bus comes complete with fruit and a chicken, but you´ll have to provide your own people. With approximately 3 adults and at least one child per seat and the aisle packed, you´ll need about 40 some people. Good luck!
I also decided to give a runner up prize. This prize isn´t for the next closest guess though. I realized I was having you all guess how many individual titles I was cataloging. But I´ve had to touch a lot more books than that because of all the duplicates. I´ve had to make sure they all had the Dewey number in them and had a codigo (spine label) printed. The total number of all books, with copies, is 2,108.
Congratulations to Phil, who wins his very own Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala!
Thanks for playing everyone. Stay tuned and I´ll post pictures next week after I return home!