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ruthless compassion
11 May 2004 @ 12:06 pm
Last night, I helped the younger daughter of my host mom with her English homework. It was nice to be the one who knew what she was saying, for a change!

This morning, I went on a school outing to a nearby town, Almalonga. Almalonga is a small town a couple of km from Xela, maybe a 10 minute bus ride. You go through a little ravine and then the valley opens up onto lush, green fields. Almalonga's main (by leaps and bounds) business is agriculture. Almost every family owns a plot of land which they work to grow potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and other vegetables. Some families work together in the selling of their products, but most don't, and none cooperate in the growing/harvesting aspects. Nonetheless, as we walked through the fields, the general ambience of friendliness was clear.

Almalonga's produce gets shipped not only all over Guatemala but throughout Central America. It's well known for it's vegetables, especially for its enormous carrots! Because of all of this, it's a relatively wealthy town. Of course, all of the vegetables are huge because they use all of the fertilizers that are now illegal in the US. Yum.

The other, much smaller, industry of the town is natural hot water baths. Since my family has a good shower, I didn't feel the need to take advantage of the baths today, but several other students did. They said the baths were fabulous, but they're located in these little cement block cells that just didn't appeal to me.

I've been having wildly vivid dreams the last week or so, all of them really obviously significant. It's quite interesting.