Sunday, May 12, 2013

Three Reasons Why Living in the USA is Great

1. Water safety: Many of my friends and family have traveled abroad but one of the worst things about developing countries is the lack of safe water. Microbes vary by area and people can get sick from water in the USA if they are from another country. However, our water is purified, filtered, tested and standardized by law. In most developing countries, water safety is a real issue. It doesn't just affect what you drink, but what you eat. As a vegetarian, it is hard to find safe fruits and vegetables. Many people from our group, including myself, got sick this year in Guatemala.

2. Plumbing: In Guatemala, as in many countries, plumbing is made up of clay pipes. This is the original plumbing that the Romans invented and Spanish brought this plumbing over to Guatemala in the 1500s. Due to earthquake and shifting of pipes throughout the years, the system can only handle water and bodily fluids- no toilet paper. This gets old quickly. Thank goodness for good infrastructure in the USA and other developed countries.

3. Safety: Although Antigua is one of the safest cities is Guatemala, there are still major security issues. In Chicago, I feel safe letting Gracie out at night or walking back from the bus after dark. In Guatemala, it's unsafe to walk around at night, even in a group that includes men. Cabs don't drive outside the downtown area after dark and hospital workers have to stay at the hospital overnight if a surgery ends late. The only thing I worry about at night is drunks on the L, which is a whole lot better than what Guatemalans worry about. To allay most of your fears, Antigua is safe during the daytime- there are lots of police who watch out for tourists, there are safe restaurants and hotels, and the people are nice. Although you have to be smart and prepare yourself, Antigua is a beautiful and relatively safe city that I recommend visiting. 

All in all, it was a great trip and I'm glad I went. I love helping others and the group I go with is amazing. Thank you for reading this blog and supporting me. Thanks as well to those who donated money to Faith in Practice or La Casa de Angeles.

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