I’m hoping my pictures will speak for me because I could write for hours. Since my last update a lot has changed. As I said last time “the adventure is about to begin” and that’s exactly whats happened. I’m in the Polochik Valley in a little town called La Tinta (Santa Catalina la Tinta). Something special about the Polochik area is the Kekchi (Q´eqchi) people and the Kekchi language. About 90% of the people are indiginous (Kekchi)(real statistic). Which means yes you guessed it I have to learn Kekchi on top of Spanish.
As you get farther from the center of the town more and more Kekchi is spoken. I am glad to be in La Tinta for my first area because I can keep working on my Spanish but really most of my efforts are spent trying to learn this unigue 3rd language.
An average day in La Tinta gets up to 100 during the day with 80% humidity and usually as I get in bed the rain and thunderstorms begin. The sun is draining and the thunder shakes me from the inside out. Nevertheless its easy to sleep through the thunder when we’ve walked miles that day. Their isn’t really a time where we aren’t sweating which you’d think would make us want to shower in nice cold water all the time but honestly its still hard to force myself into the freezing cold water every day. Oh and of course I love showering with the spiders… but actually I think my fear of spiders has somewhat diminished and most likely will be non-existant at the close of my mission. We cook all our own food (which means cereal for breakfast) which Ive never had to do, so Ive been experimenting and I’m sure I’ll be able to make a killer omelete eventually. Also we have to wash our clothes on a washboard (which takes forever) and hang dry.
I keep saying “we”, I mean my two companions and I, Elder Taylor and Elder Gonzalez. Elder Taylor is from California and will be done with his mission in 3 weeks. He also surfs and went to BYU Hawaii before his mission, so we actually have quite a bit in common. He’s a stud at Kekchi, so Im lucky to have him to help me learn. His Testimony is strong and even though I can’t still really understand Kekchi I can feel the Spirit strong when he teaches in our lessons. We´ll have to be good friends when Im back so we can talk to each other in Kekchi.
Elder Gonzalez is from Pueblo Mexico and has been in the mission for 6 months. Hes going to be my trainer and Companion for the next 3 months probably. His Kekchi is already great so there is hope for me! He’s an awesome dude and I’m blessed to have a latino companion to teach me both of these new languages. They both tell me that once a missionary is called to the Polochik he’s basically there the whole mission because they need Kekchi Speakers. I’m also told that I’m one of the last Nortes (northamericans) that will be put in the Polochik it will eventually be only Latino missionaries. I’m a dying breed (not that I’m close to being fluent yet lol).
Its so humbling being invited into these peoples homes. They are made of sticks with either a tin or thatched roof, dirt floor and maybe they had enough money to put mosquito nets above a bed or two. I love these people their humility and humor is unparalleled. They can’t really pronounce my name, so my Kekchi name is K´ante (like mcentee but in kekchi its a type of tree so it fits since I’m like twice their height). So when they ask “Ani laa K`ab’a?” I say K`ante!
Alright that’s all for this week back to work!
Hope you enjoy the photos.
Pict of our house.
My desk and closet
Elder Gonzalez and I
Visiting with an investigator.
Walking the footbridge
Edler Gonzalez and I