After we loaded all of our bags onto the bus, the first thing we did was head to a cemetery tour in the city. Before I describe what I learned in this cemetery, however, I feel like I need to provide a disclaimer that I have a weird thing for cemeteries. Whenever I go on family vacations with my family and we happen to be in a city with a famous cemetery, like Père Lachaise in Paris, I make them all visit it with me. I think there is something so uniquely beautiful about all the brilliantly intricate marble tombstones and looking to see which grave sites still have fresh flowers. Though I certainly saw some fancy marble handiwork at this cemetery too, I leaned that they only stood to mark the deaths of the wealthy. As we stood before an overwhelming Egyptian-styled grave complete with a massive pharaoh head, Jose Rolando, an amazing and hilarious human being who has been organizing our trip for us in Guatemala, described how this cemetery stands as a direct depiction of the difference between the rich and the poor. Just a couple of meters (practicing using the measurement base unit that I will soon be using with Dr. Lauri to complete growth curves in the clinic :)) beside this elaborate grave were the graves of the people who were not as wealthy, buried with just enough room to fit their coffins and their graves decorated with fresh flowers. As Jose Rolando said, even in death, the difference between the rich and the poor can be seen. Seeing the cemetery from this point of view made me see this inequality from a new and very poignant perspective, and it all happened within hours of landing in Guatemala.
Now, I think that the excitement has most definitely overtaken he nervousness and I am looking forward to seeing what else I will learn in the coming week.