Wednesday, December 7, 2011

El Día del Diablo

Today is El Día del Diablo, or Day of the Devil, in Guatemala. In Antigua everyone gathers in the street for Quema de Diablo. At 6 pm on the 7th of December they burn a piñata of the devil, which symbolizes getting rid of everything evil in preparation for Christmas. oh by the way, the burning of the devil takes place in between to gas stations. My friend asked why they didn't burn the devil in a safer location and was told "well we've been burning the devil here since way before there were gas stations.

I was at work until 5 (well, not working, but more on that in a minute) and went straight from there with the women who works the desk at the clinic and her 7 year old daughter Katy who is awesome. She's so smart and funny and adorable and my new best friend.

Here is a link to pics of what its like:

This morning there was only one doctor, Dr. Alverez, at the clinic because the two nurses needed to make a presentation to the municipalidad about the clinic for next year. There were only 5 patients there for the first hour so she didn't really need my help for more than 10 minutes so I started teaching English to her two sons, Carolos (8) and Nesto (6), as well as Katy. It was really fun. We went over basic greetings. It was really nice to have such a small group of kids because we got in a lot of practice speaking.

Dr. Alverez invited me to a surprise baby shower after work for a nurse at a nearby clinic that the entire staff was going to (note: a baby shower is still called a baby shower in Guatemala, they don't translate it.). I accepted and we closed the clinic at 1:30 to head over. The shower was for the head nurse of all the clinics. She works in Santiago, which is a very poor pueblo about 10 minutes from San Lucas. Santiago has a large indigenous population and many girls start having kids at 12 or 13.

I drove to the shower with Carmelina and another person from work whose name I can't remember in the clinic's ambulance and helped Carmelina make tortas for everyone (by "El baby shower comienza a las dos," Dr. Alverez meant we'll start making food at 2). I missed the memo that the shower wasn't lunch so by the time we finally had tortas at 4 I was ready to die. Everyone from nearby clinics came (~20 people) and the staff decorated one of the rooms at the Santiago clinic with balloons and baby posters. I went into town with two staff members to buy a gift and both staff members got baby wipes and suggested that I get a pack of diapers, unless they were too expensive (at Q37, or about $5). I got a pack of diapers and helped set up. Just an FYI baby showers are equally as awful in Guatemala as the US, meaning we played baby bingo and watched the blindfolded mother-to-be dress a baby doll.

Gahhh its only 8 pm and I'm exhausted. Last night gatos on my roof woke me up in the middle of the night. 4 TIMES!!! Also Haley arrives tomorrow. I'm stoked.

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