Back home

"Home is not where you live but where people understand you." (unknown)

Isn't it strange how home can be so far away from everything you know as your own world? Today I arrived home again. I always get the same warm feeling of welcome when the bus drives over the last part of the mountains from the south of Guatemala and into the green, rolling landscapes of Alta Verapaz. I will try to show you some photos later but I think it will be very hard to catch the real feeling for you anyway.

I've been in Guatemala since Thursday night now (Friday morning Swedish time) but it feels like much longer. I've spent a couple of days with some great girls and women. Indigenous women, single mothers with well payed jobs. I've seen the rich part of Guatemala. The shopping malls (with cinemas and United Colors of Benetton), the gated communities (that are not very gated, but at least a bit more secure) and the culture of having lunch and dinner at McDonalds and TacoBell.

Now I'm beginning something new. Also here in Cobán I'm staying with a well situated family with tv, internet and hot water in the shower. But the city here is small and with a majority of indigenous people. That means less trafic, a big mix of languages and a beautiful textile culture. It also means I can get closer to the marginalized people in another way than in the capital. There I couldn't even go through the poor areas with a locked car... I allready arranged a small "office" in my room and tomorrow I'll try to start "working".

For you to get a closer look at my Guatemala without seing any pictures, here are some things I almost forgot about:
# There are roadbumps EVERYWHERE in the roads. And they're high, slim and made out of asphalt. Somehow, everytime you have to pass one you hold your breath, waiting for the car/bus to collapse.
# The female mannequins in the shop-windows have HUGE asses, and they pose a bit more than the Swedish ones.
# Frijoles, huevos and tortilla. Never forget that! Beans, eggs and (corn) tortillas made the Guatemalan way is just the best food in the world!
# When you go by bus there will always be salesmen getting on and off, trying to sell you everything form food and drinks to sissors and strange medicine.
# Along the high and winding roads there are a lot of memorial places to someone who died in any car accident.
# The men just HAVE to whistle after every woman they see in the streets, they just can't help it...
# And the best of all (maybe that's why I like it here...): I'm tall here! At least almost all the indigenous women are shorter than me...


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