Antigua (March 5-6)
Jenny and I had sooo much fun sitting in the airport for 5 and a half hours that we didn’t even realize how long it took!! Okay, funny story… so Jenny and I are sitting in the airport doing homework and being good students when out of the blue Alicia walks up and was like OMG what are you guys doing here!!… I booked her flight and I didn’t even realize that we were on the same flight to Guate from Miami!!! We got to Guate and the Jenny lost her carry on!! I wont tell her story but it was very nerve wrecking.
We got to Antigua and went to go eat at this restaurante called MonoLoco (“Crazy monkey”; they had the BOMB nachos) and there were cops EVERYWHERE! Well there were cops all over the city but in this specific restaurant the cops were patting people down left, right, up, down, side to side! The door people patted Wilmar (Emily’s cousin) down before we got in then, little did we know, the cops patted him down again!! When we got inside we went to find a table but they were all taken so Wilmar stayed upstairs (two story restaurant) to look while Jenny, Alicia and I (Ty and Emily went to use the internet) looked down stairs. While we were down there this lady cop looks at me and says something, of course in Español, but I didn’t know what she was saying so Alicia came over and translated. She wanted to see my identification! So we all hand her our passports and she looks at them and wrote stuff down. Long story short Wilmar got patted down upstairs again and we found out that they were basically doing a drug raid of the ENTIRE city!!!!
So Guatemala is not like any of the places I’ve every been. Of course I have only been to Europe (France and Italy) so it is not even the same language but it is just so colorful here. Unfortunately I forgot my camera in my room at home (I have the charger but not the camera… ¡Estupido!) so I can’t take any pictures for myself but Emily, Ty, Jenny and Alicia should have enough to go around. Today we went to get street food (it was alright) at a market type area outside of this beautiful church, then we hung out all over the city of Antigua. Everything was so beautiful and the clothes and little souvenirs were all so colorful. After walking around all day and shopping we had dinner with Wilmar, his parents, Wilmar and Emily’s cousin Tony and his friend Emilio at this really nice restaurant but I didn’t really like the food that much but it’s okay.
Antigua y Panajachel (March 7-8)
Alright so today was pretty laid back. We had to wait for Wilmar to come get us so that we could go to Panajachel to see lake Atitlan which took FOREVER but we got to walk around more. Alicia, Jenny and I got up early (on accident) and went on a walk while we waited for Ty and Emily to get ready. We went and got some sweet bread at a panaderia which was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it! When Wilmar came to get us we drove for 4 hours to Panajachel where lake Atitlan is located which was cool. I think this was the first time we experienced what you could call racism in Guatemala. If you do not speak Spanish prices get raised significantly. This particular instant this hotel manager or owner was talking to Wilmar and gave us a really nice price on a hotel. When we all finally got out of the car and we spoke to him he realized we were not from Guatemala but he had already given us a price so he could not take back what we agreed upon but according to Wilmar the owner/manager would not have given us that price if he knew we spoke English.
So all I did today was walk around with Wilmar and Ty but it was FUN!!! While Wilmar, Ty, and I were eating this little indigenous boy came up to us and tried to sell us some of his trinkets but we were not interested. Instead we had him sit down with us and he ate the second plate that Ty had ordered but could not even begin to eat. His name was Sergio and he was 10 years old. He likes school, his favorite subject is Math, but he doesn’t quite know what he wants to be when he gets older.
Instead of going paragliding, which would have been so much fun, Wilmar, Ty and I walked along the street and the beach of Atitlan and took beautiful pictures and just relaxed. It was a wonderful experience. Then when Jenny, Alicia, and Emily were done we rode a tuk-tuk back to where the paragliding headquarters is located and we hung out with the paragliding guides and little Liam!
School on Vacation!?
So Emily does not know how to keep to her own time schedule. We were supposed to get up at 7am but she just went straight to sleep as soon as Alicia left the room from waking her up. I’m sorry for her kids because they will have detention everyday of their lives because she wont get up to take them to school!!
We left Tia y Tio’s house and we went to the school (The Official Rural Mixed School of The Chupedero). As soon as we pulled up the kids went crazy. They didn’t even know for sure if the car was us but they went crazy!!! There is a gate around the school and the kids ran up to it and almost broke it because they were leaning on it so much.
I felt like a celebrity because we were up on a stage sitting in chairs and the kids were all standing around and clapping and saying “Buenos Dias” to us all at once (it was really loud). Emily gave a little speech that we prepared on the way to the school saying things like have good hyegien and stay in school (blah blah blah) then we gave out the baggies of stuff we made them. They were so thankful and some of them said thank you in English and it was so cute!! We sat and chatted (as much as possible being as there was a language barrier) with the kids until the bell rang when they all cheered and went to get thier stuff and left. Before most of them left though they came and gave us kisses on our cheeks (it is proper etiquette to kiss cheeks and say adios; bye). I have not gotten that many kisses in my entire lifetime!! haha jpjp
After the kids left we ate with the principle and some the other teachers and they told us how grateful they were and most of the teachers had to leave to go to their second jobs. The principal and one of the teachers that spoke some English explained to us that most of the teachers have second jobs. Even though most of the teachers had to leave it was still nice to sit and talk with everyone. We took a tour of the school and saw what the money was going towards. There were six bathroom stalls but only four with toilets in them and of those four, only two of them works and they aren’t sanitary at all. The classrooms, although halfway outside and not at all filled with desks and things like ours but they were cute with all the pictures that the kids drew on the walls. We take things for granted but these kids don’t have as much as we do.