Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Matt Werner: Guatemalan Adventure #5

The first four parts of Matt's journal are available here: #1, #2, #3, #4

Hello all, I hope things aren't too cold in Wisconsin. I would gladly trade a day of cold from a blistering day here. Sometimes the breese here is even hot. The combination of the sun, heat, humidity, and low altitude really add up for some sweaty days. I am enjoying the heat but miss the cold.

Well, I would like to give you a short update about one of my activities here and a Catholic ceremony I participated in. I like to help the ranch owner who is taking care of me and letting me stay with his family by helping him milk his cows in the morning. He has about 20 cows that he milks in the morning at about 5.30 am. So I get up every morning at about 5.20 am and walk next door to his corral where I help him with milking the cows. He has taught me how to milk them, tie them up, and tie up the calf so that we can extract the milk for sale to the milk processing factory. He does this every morning without fail. I have really become accustomed to this routine and I enjoy waking up at the dawn and going to sleep shortly after the sun sets. It makes for fulfilling days. I still have yet to perfect my technique but I am learning quickly how to be a good milker.

Secondly, I would like to tell you about a Catholic procession I participated in down here. Catholicism is very important in Guatemala and many of the people who live here do many celebrations of the religion. Las Posadas means The Advent Celebration. During this time a statue of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a baby is carried around from house to house as is tradition to celebrate the advent calendar leading up to the 25th. During this time my role was to make noise using my drum in order to celebrate and alert people as to the coming of Jesus. It was a fun procession and I was able to see how they celebrate Catholicism here.

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and happy New Year.

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