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-what the afterworld will be saying about these days


Posted by Pia på torsdag 27 december 2007

”You’ve gotten fatter!” ”You are so pale!”

I am in Guatemala again, at a project called Casa Guatemala where I worked for 6 months in 2004. It’s incredible how it can feel like everything is exactly the same as four years ago. Flying here I realised how far Finland is. Also, the bus broke down on the way from the capital, so we had to wait by the road for 2 hours, but fortunately I got to play with a 4-year-old and his toy soldier. People at Casa have grown older but they are still the same, even sitting in the same corners of the riverside bar. They are still playing Caraluna by Bacilos and the Beso a beso-song. Some of the orphan kids are now a lot older and run the hotel reception and the internet place. It’s really fun to see them.

I went to have a strawberry shake this morning and got to talk to a preacher man from a village close by about his job -and obviously, about me not being married- and about the situation in his country, and why it seems so hard to fight corruption. I will write more about this later, about the new president, about the ”mano dura”-campaign and about the migration to the US, which now seems to be a lot harder than before, the price for getting the needed documents is now at 5000 dollars. The priest anyway said that with the help of God, Guatemala will one day change its name to Guatebuena.

I thought I remembered everything about this beautiful country, but there are at least two things that I had forgotten: that there are normal road signs, plus signs telling people to obey the signs. And that if you ask for an ”agua” you get a coke. For water, you have to say ”agua pura”…

8 svar to “HEL-AMS-MEX-GUA”

  1. Becky said

    Pia, thanks for the update – it is amazing how I can feel an ache just thinking of Casa Guatemala when I haven’t been there in what, two and a half years? I hope I can visit again. I wish I had known you were going to be there, I have a friend from college who will be there after the first of the year.

    Enjoy it and share all you can with us!
    Besos y abrazos, guapa!!

  2. Erin said

    Eh Muchacha!!!
    Juancho and i are extremely jealous of your now 3rd(?) Casa visit!!
    I am looking foreward to hearing about your adventures!!
    Make sure to give up dates on chiquitos (of my era at casa) and of course varones pequeños!!!!!!!
    Good luck, have fun, and give Hijinio a big kiss for me!!!
    xo Erin

  3. pia said

    queridas cuatas,

    thanks for writing! actually certain things have really changed and others are exactly like always. There are no more chiquitos! and no more guatemalan orientadores! fewer volunteers too, I was kind of surprised but it seems to work anyway. I thought I wouldn’t know what to do but I’ve been really busy since I got here. Have been taking care of varones pequeños and niñas grandes, worked one long day as a translator for a pharmacist who came down, we had the waiting room full of people from villages, will write more about that. It’s been a lot of fun. The food is better. There’s been a lot of happenings with x-mas and all, we’re gonna have a fiesta with the grandes for new years, but I doubt that anyone will be awake until midnight since the electricity goes off at 8pm.

    I will tell you more and post/send some pictures later, you won’t believe how big the kids have grown! Hope to see you soon Becky and Erin, I sure will! Cuidense!

  4. Daniel said

    Hi Pia,
    it’s really great to hear something firsthand from the casa. I have the impression that there’s always changing a lot and at the same time it’s always the same. You said that Jorge’s running the internet at backapckers – you mean Jorge Armando, Esmeraldas brother? Is Yoselin still there with Yobani and Angelo? And how are the terrible Achivi brothers doing? Please give them all a big hug!
    Take care and write a lot!!!

  5. pia said


    Yes they are, and it’s him! Los Achivi are as smart but calmer! It seems really tranquilo all in all, but as you know it’s summer holidays here now and everybody is chilling. We celebrated new years by serving the kids good food from porcelain plates and glasses made of glass(!) and treated them as if they were in a restaurant. They liked it a lot. Then there were two parties, one for little ones and another for older ones, in the boys’ house. There was a lot of punta and merengue dancing and the electricity was actually on until almost 11pm, when the youngest ones had fallen asleep on the floor and had to be carried to their beds…

  6. Muriel said

    Hi Pia
    Thanks alot for all the update.It’s great to hear all that. I’m really jelous of you, being there at the moment.
    How are the varones grandes? Do you remember the group in 2004? Are some of them at the casa?
    Les mando muchos saludos and a hug.
    Have fun, take care and again thanks for updating us. Write more.

  7. pia said


    Aron was asking about you, saying that he had missed us both. Love! He is puro hombre working in the kitchen. Went for a long walk with him and we talked about the ways of the world and religion. He is so smart. Also talked to Sra Bea for ages, sitting in the little office above the chicken pen. She has a lot of stories!

    I think there are a lot of the kids there that you remember. Elmer was also talking about you, and they were all there since it’s summer holiday: Milton, Jaime, Oliver, todos…

    Am going home now ( 😦 ) and will upload some photos soon. See you soon!

  8. Muriel said

    Hi pia
    You’re the best. Thanks so much. Looking forward to see your pictures. Hope you’re not too sad, because you have to leave. But well, I think one has to be sad, when leaving the casa.
    See you soon!


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