Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rainy Sunday musings

Like a lot of Latin American countries, and countries in the third/developing world, family-planning is a big problem in Guatemala. Guys still have issues with using condoms but I've also been surprised to learn that there is considerable pressure from the women for their daughters, daughter-in-law etc to have more children. Gender roles are interesting here. In the family, it seems like the women totally crowd out the man/men e.g. a man can't possibly know how to feed or dress a baby. I admire how important family is here, how close boys are to their mothers, but the lack of personal space would drive me crazy.

One thing that I love about Guatemalans is how nice and polite they are. Given how tough life is here (you could get shot at a traffic light in Guatemala City, say), people never fail to say Buenos dias, Buenas tardes, Muchos Gracias after they are done with their meal. A beggar comes by the house every afternoon and is fed the same lunch we have, although he sits outside. I'm not sure what rural Guatemala is like. Antigua feels just like the 'burbs.

I was surprised to learn that all that is required to be a primary school teacher is a high school diploma. That's it. What 18 year old knows how to teach anything?? I see all these weekend activities that schools put on e.g. a party... I wish they would put that kind of effort into teaching the kids something.

The rain continues to fall. In the States I just hop in my car w/ my raincoat. Here, I hunker down inside (as do most people) and go a little loco. As I've  mentioned before, the rain presents a lot of challenges walking-wise (and I don't have my wellies with me here). It is worse when one is in a wheelchair. It's interesting how quickly I've forgotten that the people around me are disabled at all, even those with the most visible of disabilities (e.g. missing limbs).

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