Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guatemala City

Here we are in Guatemala City...the one place that we were just sure we would avoid like the plague. Thankfully, the family that we are staying with are as sweet as can be and are doing everything to make us feel very comfortable. Our room gives us privacy and we have a tv.

Guatemala City is amazingly huge and it is as charming as the guidebooks promised...which is not charming at all. It is divided into a bunch of zones...all numbered. The book says 15 zones but someone mentioned Zone 22 so I'm not sure. We are staying in zone 6 which isnt mentioned at all in the guidebook. We walked around this afternoon for a while. The streets are just packed with cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses and tuktuks. They are all honking and the traffic is terrible. There are huge plumes of exhaust coming out of many of them. The sidewalks are full of people going about their day. The city has all the usual fast food...McDonalds, Wendy's, Pollo Camparo, Taco Bell and Burger King (where we ate lunch today). They are huge...all with a playground, the McDonalds has a McCafe and most of them deliver.

We spent most of the day just resting, while my cousin took care of some important paperwork that we did not want to distract her from. We watched endless footage about the earthquake in Chile. I knew that Central America is a big earthquake zone, I mean, there are a ton of volcanos but it has been getting very "real". I'm not someone to worry about natural disasters. I've always secretly wanted to be involved in something crazy like that. I know, I'm terrified of heights but secretly hoping to be in a hurricane or earthquake..sorry mom. I have been thinking a lot about the reality of the amount of earthquakes that have been happening in the past few months and its pretty strange. Then we climbed Pacaya which is so active. I'm thankful that Chile's buildings were better built and that it wasnt another Haiti and I pray that the buildings here are well built because I know that eventually a big one will hit here and its just different when something happens to real people that you have met instead of just people on TV. I would like to get a better understanding of if there really is an unusual amount of seismic activity lately or if this is normal and the world didnt start paying attention until the huge tragedy of Haiti happened.

Thankfully, we have the ability to change the channel and stop obsessing about this. Tomorrow will be a day of hope for the future. We will wake up early to go to the opening of the school. We will meet children whose futures have been changed by the actions of some selfless people. I'm really looking forward to it and plan on taking a lot of pictures.