First of all, I have to send out a big "Hooray!" to Dad for the fact that I am sitting in my comfy bed (thanks to Doña Juanita), eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich (for which I owe a big thanks to Chase), and typing on my new computer (this is where Dad comes in). My computer (an HP mini which I have named Black Bean), I have to say, is just the cutest darn thing with an AC adapter I have ever seen, and it works like a dream. I am well aware as I sit here that, while I still have troubles from time to time, any sacrifices I am making pale in comparison to those made by individuals like Eric's brother and his wife, Jon, and Craig (among many others) when they served in the Peace Corps in the days before e-mail and Skype. Even people serving in Guatemala several years before me didn't have the now mandatory cell phone. I am truly blessed to be in such a wonderful site (it gets more and more amazing here every day) at a time when technology still allows me to stay in touch with all of the people who are so important to me back in the United States (and even a few more thanks to the viral-like presence of Facebook ;)).
So Dad is the genius behind the computer, but even he couldn't overcome the Guatemalan Postal System. How, you ask, did my computer get here? Well, it just so happens that my Training Director at the Peace Corps is from Minnesota, and his parents and some friends of theirs came down to visit for Easter. The friends (since my Training Director's parents are living in FL) were kind enough to carry my computer down here for me (they have even been described as guarding it with their lives). It was even brought out to me in my site, the added bonus being that I had my first ever tour group. We had a great morning (although we were a little short on time). Our first stop was my house where we had a quick snack of some of the tastiest pineapple I have ever had. They are able to assure anyone who still has doubts that I am living in an above-par location. Next, we went out to Jimmy and Ingrid's house to see how they process and dye the cotton yarn that they sell and use for weaving. Of course, after that we had to go to Jimmy and Ingrid's store to see the final products (several of which have a new home in Minnesota). The store is amazing and took plenty of time so we made just a quick stop at the house Maria Elena, the granddaughter of the famous painter Andres Churuchich. Sadly, we didn't have time to listen to all of the history, but we did find a few more treasures that will be making their way back to Minnesota. Last, but certainly not least, we had an amazing lunch waiting for us at another house. The Doña there also makes textiles and beautiful napkins, one of which was given to each of the women as a gift. I have to say; my eyes leaked a little to see the wonderful and heartwarming interaction between the amazing people from my home state and the amazing people that make up my new home.
Also in this edition; before I left I made a mix that I gave to a few close friends and family members. However, I didn't have the time (or rights) to give it to nearly as many people as I would have liked. It is a series of songs that have inspired me and/or kept me going through the whole process of applying to the Peace Corps (which is much tougher than it sounds) as well as songs that have little bits and pieces of how I see the world. I can't type nearly fast enough or take even close to as many pictures as I would need to share this experience with everyone, but some of these songs bring me one step closer. I am also adding songs that were not in the original mix (in italics).
Blog Bonus: Morgan's Peace Corps Mix
Now that I Know (Acoustic) – Shannon McNally
Every Single Soul – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Little Victories – Matt Nathanson
Don't Wait Too Long – Madeleine Peyroux
Oxygen – Willy Mason
Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
Shroud – Ani Difranco
Life Uncommon – Jewel
Rise – Flobots
Hard Hand to Hold – Willy Mason
Better Way – Ben Harper
Let It Be – The Beatles
Where is the Love – Black Eyed Peas
Backbone – Wookiefoot
With My Own Two Hands – Jack Johnson
Joy to the World – Three Dog Night