Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Culture Shock, Ramblings From Jessica´s esposo

We got more than we bargained for as far as culture. Our school is full of various nationalities, fortuately they all speech english, but it has been an adjustment relating to them all the same. Many europeans as well as Americans from the north east, they have been somewhat worried at the increasing number of Texans, as they should be. It has been an unexpected and pleasant surprise that I´ve enjoyed being able to interact with them. I was talked into playing soccer yesterday (if you´re asking yourself "does Cory play soccer?" the answer is no) because they were short a player. So here I am with a group of europeans, guatemalans and a few other americans who have played soccer, I basically ran around trying to get the ball and then got rid of it as soon as possible. It was fun and had a chance to pretend like a knew the first thing about the upcoming world cup. School is fun but tiring- we are both improving quickly, I think, and having a great time with Garrett and Lori ( Irwins South). This weekend we are going to a large lake named atitlan and will have various adventures there. Hope everyone is well and don´t worry Jessica will be posting next. -Cory

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bienvenidos al Antigua

We made it! The plane ride was wonderfully smooth- thanks everyone for praying for us. It was rainy when we landed in Guatemala, but we were able to fly around the storms. Our house is fabulous! It´s kind of dorm-style, with all the rooms only accessible through an open air courtyard that is filled with gorgeous flowers and foliage. We met Garrett and Lori on Sunday morning for brunch and they guided us around the city. The families don´t cook for us on Sundays, so we got to try out a few of the restaurants, and today is our first day to get to eat with the family and study at the school. There are 3 other students in our house, two are Dutch and one is German, but we all speak English (even the mom of the house, but she is very good at trying to make us all speak Spanish to her).
My Spanish is better than I thought it would be, and I talked to the house mom, Angelica, for almost a full half hour when we arrived. Cory is awesome- he understands almost everything we say, he just has trouble speaking back. I think he was wondering what I got him into at first, but he seems to be enjoying himself this morning at the school. It´s pretty nice to have Garrett and Lori here, as they serve somewhat as our own personal tour guides. They´ve got everything figured out already, and we´ve had fun galavanting about the city.
The weather is beautiful. It rains in the afternoons or evenings, but the sun is shining otherwise and there is a cool breeze. It is almost the perfect temperature, and none of the buildings have air conditioning because they don´t really need it. Antigua is nestled in the middle of several mountains/volcanos which provide not only a beautiful view, but also help us with orienting ourselves in the city.
Thanks for your comments and encouragement- keep em coming! Let us know what all is going on with you guys!

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Journey Begins

There's a knot in my stomach that's about 10 % nervousness/fear, 10 % anxiety, and 80% excitement. We're driving to Dallas today to spend the evening with my folks, and then we leave for Guatemala Saturday afternoon. In case you want to pray for us while we're flying, we'll be in the air from about 5:15 to 8:30 if everything is on time.
I'm feeling a bit sentimental, so I'm going to go with it. It's so amazing to me how this trip has worked out for us, and everyone has been so helpful. You've encouraged us, helped us financially, prayed for us, helped us plan, and kept us excited about this trip. Well, some of you just looked at us with a crazy flash of fear in your eyes and swore to us that we'd get kidnapped or mugged.
It's funny the reactions you get when disclosing the fact that you're taking a vacation in Guatemala. If you announce that you're going to Hawaii or Europe or even Canada, you get "Wow, how exciting. You'll have a great time." When you declare you're going to Antigua, you get a perplexed twisting of the face and a blunt "Why?"
Because we want to learn Spanish.
Because we'll get to experience a new culture.
Because there are trees, and water, and Mayan ruins, and coffee plantations, and volcanos.
Because it feels like an adventure.

Hopefully the next time I write, it'll be from Antigua, Guatemala. Can I get a whoop, whoop?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dixie Chicks

I know everyone's been waiting to see what I have to say about the new Dixie Chicks album (released today). Really, though, most of you are aware of my love of the band, and the thought of debating the issue once again seems exhausting. They are getting so much media coverage that even I am getting tired of it. (See cover of Time, yesterdays episodes of the Today show and David Letterman.)
So, did I actually purchase an album which includes a song bashing my hometown?! Yes. Yes, I did. Does that mean I like Lubbock any less? Nope. I am happy to report that I can keep both Lubbock and the Dixie Chicks close to my heart.

If you're interested, you can listen to the entire album here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Miniature Mugging

I happened to catch a news story during my lunch hour today. Two grown men jumped out of a van, threw a small boy off his mini-motorcycle, put the motorcycle in the van and drove off. In Lubbock, Texas! I mean, you'd probably expect this sort of atrocity to happen in some third world country, but apparently children can't even play with their toys in peace in Texas. I think there is definitely some missing information in this story. It must've happened one of two ways:

1) One vital piece of information when considering this story is that no one saw it happen except for this boy, maybe 9 years old. He said, "They just threwed me off my bike, and I stood up and yelled at 'em. I said, 'I'm gonna call the cops!' and they said, 'Well, you just go ahead and do that then.'" With this bit of info, he could have easily made the whole thing up. I think he was bored, tired of dragging himself along his drive way atop such a small machine. He starts to plot a near-death experience in order to win himself a new and larger bike. He climbs the fence, throws the extra-tiny toy into the alley, and scrapes his knees on the way back over to his yard. He contemplates confessing the whole thing to his mom in order to get some simpathy for the injury, but his tears quickly turn to a deviant laugh as he realizes that it is the perfect completion to his plan. Only a bump on his head could make this scheme more believable. Mom comes running out of the house when she hears the racket of the boy slamming his own head against the wall. "Mom! You'll never believe what just happened!..."

2) The two guys were driving around, looking for jobs (they were obviously hard-up for cash, or they could've just bought their own mini-moto) and lamenting the price of gas these days. They turn the corner and see the answer to all their problems: a small vehicle, powered Flinstone style. The two men look at the boy, then at each other, and holler simultaneously, "Lets get 'im!" The boy only requires a small pounding, since he is less than 1/4 the size of one of them. They race home, goods in the van, laughing and slapping each other on the back.

Whew, it's true. Real life is stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

High Fidelity Style

Top 5 reasons why I should have a blog:

1. I can keep everyone updated when I'm in Guatemala for a month. This way I can aviod the hassle of mass emailing, and I can try to remember how to speak English occasionally.
2. Practice for my new journalism job- except that will be objective and this is mostly my opinion. And they're going to pay me.
3. Sometimes I take myself too seriously and think that what I have to say is really very important.
4. I needed somewhere to display the picture of me and my girls at Graceland.
5. All the cool kids are doing it.