Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Friday, November 04, 2005

¡Si, todos!

For another perspective on this story, feel free to check out Crystal and Simon´s webpage (a married couple working as YD volunteers).


Part of FBT is working 4 days in an aldea organizing activities for the youth in the community. I was originally in a team of 5 but it was broken up into a team of 3 and 2. 2 people went to work with an Evangelical group and Crystal, Delfo, and I went to work for a Catholic youth group.

We were dropped off at the house of the group leader by our tech trainer and they just left us there. We looked at each other and entered her home. She greeted us and pulled out some chairs for us to sit on. We sat. We looked at her and she looked at us.

"So why are you here?", she asks.
"Well we´re here to help you with whatever you need. Youth groups, we can give charlas, we can organize a soccer game, etc.", we say.
"Well I have a youth group that meets on Saturdays and Sundays after church."
"But we´re coming here on Tues and Thurs", I say.

"Well what can you guys do here then?"
We all sit there for almost 5 minutes in silence. I´m looking at Delfo because he has a quick mind and the best Spanish and hope he comes out with an answer. At that same time, he´s looking at Crystal and me with the puzzled look on his face.

But that didn´t compare to the look on my face! I sat there and had a nervous smile on my face. Looking back, Delfo said that my face reminded him of old cartoons when a character is portrayed as a fool and their face changes into a "Sucker" or a donkey and returns to the smiling face.

A few more minutes pass. Delfo finally says, "Well we can give charlas"
"About what?" she asks.
"Anything you want. We know everything!", Delfo says. (foolishly)
Crystal chimes in, "¡Si, todos!" (Yes, everything!)

So now you have a smiling jackass and we all appear to be know-it-alls in all under 15 minutes.

According to our tech trainer, she wanted our help and asked for it, but once we were there, she had no idea what to do with us.

We stand around looking at her outdoor area. "Can you show us the town?", Delfo asks.
"It´s raining."

She makes Lenca pottery for a living and was working on various projects. Crystal picks up some pottery and says, "My sister makes pottery in the U.S." and the lady just stares at her. She begins making rosary beads for a gigantic rosary (that she is probably using now to pray for our souls). A neighbor comes by and she goes out to talk to him.

Crystal, Delfo, and I look at each other and start to freak out. "Is this what it´s supposed to be like? I´ve never felt so stupid in my life!"

She comes back after awhile and says "Let´s go to the Catholic Church." We walk to the church with her 3 legged dog that had been hit by a car twice and ran out into the road and almost got hit again! (Is this really happening?)

The church was fine and we start to walk back as it begins to rain. This poor woman is wearing a light fleece and flip flops so she was soaked by the time we get back.

She pulls out the three chairs and places them in the cage where she stores some of her pottery for sale and says, "You can wait here until your car comes". Our car isn´t coming until 3:30. "But it´s 2:40", Delfo says. "That´s fine", she says. Then she pulls out a chair and puts it in front of the cage and sits there, stares down the road and waits for the white Land Cruiser to pull up and get us out of there.

We sit in the cage and look at each other. School lets out and kids pass by the cage and look at us. Yes, COME AND SEE THE BAD GRINGOS SIT IN A POTTERY CAGE!!! They walk by slow and stare. So this is what it feels like to be in a zoo....

After awhile we finally accept her offer of coffee and she disappears for 25 mintues. But she has a neighbor sit in her chair to make sure we don´t get loose (?).

Then Crystal made the call of the day, "Watch the car pull up as she´s bringing out our coffee."

And that´s exactly what happened. Delfo was adamant about having the coffee (But so were Crystal and I). We sat, drank the coffee, ate some crackers, and continued to sit in the cage. Finally the car came back. We got into the car and once we sat down, the three of us laughed so hard we started to cry. Telling the story only made it more hilarious/embarassing.

So that´s how we were placed in a cage and made fools out of ourselves. You gotta love it.


  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger Adrianna said…

    Ha! I read Crystal's story as well. Poor thing! Your day made me laugh out loud...being in a cage....haha.



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