Guate Guate GUATE!
Trip Start Jun 19, 2005
17Trip End Jun 19, 2006
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Each day in our new home begins more or less the same, with a pastel sky forming the backdrop for the 12,000 foot Volcan de Agua that stands sentry less than 3 miles to our south. Though Agua is dormant, though the other three, standing in a row just outside of town to the West, are very active, with Pacaya spouting lava and smoke almost every day
We go to Spanish school in a beautiful garden just around the corner from our pad. Though the lessons are one-to-one, H generally manages to make class pretty interesting for everyone in the general vicinity. Halfway through her first week she mispronounced the Spanish word for comb and, to the dismay of her maestra, at increasing volume (for everyone knows that if you can't say it right, you should just say it LOUD) she yelled in Spanish "penis, penis PENIS" until one of the other teachers stepped in put an end to the madness. For an encore, the next day, H questioned the gender of one of the people in a photo her teacher had brought to class, only to learn that the hombre she was pointing to was her own professora
After class we usually go the gym, and when that's done we construct a massive taco feast. The routine seems like a very good transition for us as our return to the U.S. draws ever nearer. After almost nine months of eating three meals/day at restaurants, we have a profound appreciation not only for home cooking, but also for the daily trips to the nearby marketplace. We walk with our little straw basket and mingle amongst crowds of indigenous Mayans, mutilating the Spanish language as we purchase fresh fruits and veggies, tangy cheese and big bottles of ice-cold Gallo. We make our own salsa, consume more avocados than two people ever should, and buy steaming hot tortillas fresh off the thing that they make tortillas on right up the street. All over town, women in traditional Mayan dress spend the day clapping corn flour and water into perfect little pucks which they keep warm in big woven baskets and sell, 10 for about a quarter. There are beautiful restaurants all over town, but so far we can't seem to find any reason to eat anything else.
We mentioned that apartments were a little tough to come by these days in Antigua. As it turns out, we are here during lent (who knew?) and Antigua is a nucleus of religious activities for people all over Guatemala and other countries throughout Central America
Though we are far more interested in establishing temporary roots than traveling around, we have started to make some plans to visit a few of the sights outside the gringo oasis of Antigua, and will take our first Guatemalan vacation next weekend to nearby Panajachecl on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The current plan is to hang out here until we head home in June, but our neighbor just let Heather borrow her guide book, and the possibility of a few Central American side-trips is beginning to look more and more likely. In the meantime, we'll both keep plugging away on Spanish and enjoying this final phase of our great adventure. Hasta luego for now...