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“For yourself? For your boyfriend? For your husband? For your enemy?”

 
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Walking through the San Andres market you hear so many languages, see so many vibrant colors, and are immersed into the fun-loving culture of Guatemalans. Make-shift booths lined the narrow streets of the small city where countless Guatemalans were selling their beautifully crafted handmade goods. The options of goods to purchase were endless. There were handbags, backpacks, woven blankets, scarves, trinkets, hammocks and so much more. Walking throughout the market vendors were quick to approach you to buy their products, similarly to a car salesman in the USA. Often, they would use humor with their sales pitch. For example, a person would say “Buy this for yourself? For your boyfriend? For your husband? For your enemy?” After evoking a chuckle from the customer you better provide a firm answer, whether it is a “yes” or a “no.” “Maybe” is not an option. If you say “maybe,” then you will be followed down the street until your “maybe” becomes a “yes.” If you are ready to purchase an item, be ready to barter with the vendor. In a way, bartering is a game to the vendors. It is obvious they enjoy the process, but at the same time it is important to remember this is their method of obtaining their income. 

Whirlwind Adventure

 

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to go to the beautiful Songyang, China where I learned how to make tea (it is harder than it looks!), ride bikes through the tea fields/mountains, and see some ancient towns. I had such a great time! A day after my roommates and I got back from Songyang, it was off to the next adventure – Beijing and Xi’An. What a whirlwind!!

Exciting Excavation

 
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I am really enjoying my time here. The area is just beautiful and I am so excited to travel and explore the country. Excavating is tiring, but very rewarding and I am finding that once getting into "the zone" I can just keep going and completely lose track of time!

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