Phillip Moore

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My January 2009 Trip Antigua Guatemala

Posted on March 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM

 

1-17-2009 Saturday

My plane left at 6:00 am. That meant I had to wake up at 3:00 am to shower, park the car, and get to the airport by 4:00am.  It was very cold -6F. The plane arrived in Miami a little early - about 8:45 am. My next flight was scheduled for 12:45 pm.  I had plenty of time to walk and take a tram to Concourse E.  Concourse E seemed like it was mostly Latin American destinations. Miami was 56F when I landed.  It was clear blue sky so I am sure it warmed up.  The flight was 1/2 USA citizens and 1/2 Guatemalans.  When I got on t he plane, my seat was taken so I sat in the middle seat next to him. It turned out he was on the wrong side of the jet.  A very large American was slated to sit in the middle.  He agreed to the window seat on the other side. I seemed to come out ahead on that one and so did he. I am not sure the people next him would agree. The plane cruised at 36,000 feet and was a smooth ride.  I helped two Guatemalans complete their customs forms.  The forms were in Spanish but paperwork did not seem to be their strong suit. The jet landed on time at 2:00 pm. The Guatemalan airport is very modern. It took 5 minutes to clear customs.  When I left the airport a mass of people were waiting for their families.  I quickly found my ride.  It took about 10 minutes for him to retrieve his van. It took about 45 minutes to get to Antigua. By 3:30 pm I was squared away. My room is very nice.  It is about twice the size of the room I had in Playa del Carmen. The house is more like a compound.  They have a very nice garden with fruit trees. The garden is a pleasant place to sit, read or write. It is slightly over cast.  The temperature is pleasant about 69 F. In the garden I can hear music and lots of birds.

I took a walk to get my bearings. Antigua seems like an easy place to navigate but it must be learned.  Many intersections do not have street names. I first walked around the block.  Once I knew I could find the house I ventured further out. The music was a wedding in the home behind ours. I walked through an artisans market.  I purchased  a ..... for Heidisue.

As I writing this, I am watching a flock of hummingbirds near the orange tree.

There seem to be many interesting restaurants and bars.  I think Heidisue would enjoy this.  All the streets are cobblestone.  There is not a lot of traffic but what there is is very bold.  Pedestrians have to be careful. Sidewalks are very narrow. Walls are built to the property line. inside the walls are homes and gardens.

I had my first meal with the family. It was a meat dish with potatoes, tomatoes served on top of rice.  Black beans and cream were used as seasoning.  Bread was served. For dessert, we had a odd pumpkin dish.  It was served cold.  A vegetable was mixed with the pumpkin but I do not know what type.  It was all very good.  I had a good conversation in Spanish with the grandfather.


1-18-2009 Sunday

 

I slept well because I was very tired. The nights are quieter than Playa Del Carmen- but much noisier than home. At 5:30am, I hear the church bells ring. The birds quake up around 5:00 to 5:30 am. Dawn starts at about 6:00 am. The night was cool but comfortable. I was awake at 5:00am since I have not adjusted to the new time. I got up at 6:30am- took a shower.  The bathroom is a Guatemala design that would not work in Michigan.  The bathroom has three walls.  The shower and the toilet each have a stall. It works well but it is like being outside. The shower was warm but not hot. After getting dressed I met the grandmother. She is very friendly & gave me a map of Antigua. I walked to the Don Pedro Spanish School. It is about a ten minute walk. It is very close to the main church. I walked under the arch and to the plaza. I had breakfast at the Bagel Barn because they took USA currency and I have not been to a bank or ATM yet. After breakfast I found an ATM machine but I did not have my ATM card with me. I walked back home. I read a while. While reading I met an other American student staying in the compound.  She is a woman from Oregon  Because she works for the American Red Cross she needs to learn Spanish.  She has been here one week already. She plans to stay 3 months.  She attended Don Pedro the first week but changed schools this week. She has a wealth of good information about Antigua.

 

I walked back to the square.  Many more people by now. I found an ATM to get some Quetzeles. I found an Internet cafe to e-mail Heidisue and type up my notes. For lunch, I picked Cafe Rodico a Thai restaurant.

 

I returned home.  The family was holding a large family birthday party. I did not want to intrude so I read and studied. Around 6:00 pm I decided to get something to drink.  The first place open was a bar with an open court yard in the back.  I chose the courtyard. I ordered Gallo cerveza or chicken beer. I noticed the TV.  I asked if I could watch the Steelers' football since there was one else in the bar. The waiter said sure. To my surprise, the game was tape delayed and dubbed in Spanish. I thought I might catch the last few minutes but instead I caught the first kick off. After a few minutes, a father and son entered.  They asked to join me. They wanted to practise their English and I wanted to practise my Spanish.  As a RESULT THEY SPOKE IN English AND I SPOKE IN Spanish. after A while, his wife joined us. They decided to order deep fried calamari and beef stomach stew. Both were good. Soon the bar owner, a Spaniard, joined us. They decided to play a poker like game with dice. I never really understood the rules. Somehow the football game became less important.  The gentleman and his wife offered to rent their apartment to Heidisue and I when we return in June.  For safety reasons, I took a tuk-tuk home.  A tuk-tuk is a three wheeled taxi powered by propane.


1-19-2009 Monday

I woke up very early. I must have set my clock wrong again. Breakfast was served at 7.30 am Big plate of fruit and honey plus eggs.  It was very good. During breakfast I met the other students staying at the house. A flight attendant (male) who lives in LA and Argentina. A young women from Sweden who seems to want to find her roots. A flight attendant (female) from CO.  She is not a student but attempting to adopt a young child.  After breakfast the Swed and I walked together to the Don Pedro Spanish School.  We are attending the same school and she has been here for one week.

I enrolled for five hours of instruction per day. My teacher is a women who has been teaching for 20+ years. She is very friendly.  We do not speak in English at all during class. The school is small but very pretty. The class is held in a garden setting at a small table. The first hour was spent just conversing. We then moved to vocabulary and verbs. She decided that I needed to work on the preterit tense.  She is right.  I never spoke in the past tense.

There was one break.  I met a Dutch man who lives in London, a couple from Vermont, several German nuns, and a young women from Sweden. They all seemed excited about Obama becoming President.

After break I was distracted in class by the hummingbirds.  There is a large avocado tree that grows very large avocados all year round. At noon, I was the only student left in the school. Wimps.

On the way home for lunch, I bought a ..... for Heidisue from a young Mayan women in traditional Mayan wear.  I paid ..Q. The young Mayan spoke excellent English.   I ate lunch by myself since my class took longer. I had rice, a ¨salad¨, another dish and fruit “ANONA”. I have no idea what I ate but it was very good. I was afraid to ask because I was afraid my mind would not approve. I really like the anona but there is not English translation.

Later I walked to City Hall and took some photographs. Rather than a City Council chambers, they have a chamber for the mayor. It was very formal and very old. In 1976, an earthquake damaged t he city hall. Many Latin American cities helped repair it.  I then ducked into an Internet Cafe and send emails and typed up my travelogue. When I left I was slightly disoriented so I just headed towards the right mountain top. It worked.

At home a discovered at least four tortoises roamed the garden.  For dinner, we had a pork dish, Swiss chard, rice, black beans, bread, fried plantains, and tea. It was great.  I loved the fried plantains. At dinner all conversation is held in Spanish.  I believe I held my own.


1-20-2009 Tuesday


Last night was a cool one.  I am glad I asked for another blanket.  At 7.00am, it was 56F.  Sweatshirt weather for the morning. Breakfast was bananas, oranges, star fruit pancakes and tea. It was my first taste of star fruit.  It was good.

 

In class we dove right into preterit tense followed by the imperfect tense. At break, everyone huddled around the TV to watch the changing of the guard.  Overwhelmingly the staff and students favored Obama.  The local newspaper´s headline read,¨Today the Dream Begins¨. Many students skipped class to watch the swearing in. I did not. After break we worked on my pronunciation. I need work.  I need to slow down.

 

For lunch we had pinto beans with meat balls, beets, guacamole, rice, and small orange. It was all very good.

 

By 1.00pm, temperature had increased to 79F and was increasing. I studied a bit.

 

Then, I walked towards the school to the Internet Café. I wrote some emails and updated my travelogue.

 

At 3.00pm, I attended a salsa class.  There were five students the two Swedish women, my friend from London, and a gentleman from Seattle. The two women had taken salsa classes before. None of the men had.  The men had little rhythm.  The women put the men to shame.

 

After dance class, I walked back home to study and read.  Dinner was fried broccoli, something tail soup, rice, black beans, cream, bread and tea.  After dinner, Robert and I watched the evening news with the grandparents and talked until 8.30pm.  They said I was making remarkable progress.  I then studied and read until bedtime.

 

1-21-2009 Wednesday

 

I slept very soundly but woke up at 5:45am. The morning was cool but the sky is clear so it should warm up.  Breakfast was bananas, mangoes, pineapple, watermelon & mush (I am not sure what kind) & tea.

 

I class we chatted in Spanish for the first hour. We mostly talked about the Alma energy park.  We then reviewed my homework and the imperfect tenses., the use of the perosnal "a", pronunciation, and Guatemalan culture.  We also talked about USA politics.

 

For lunch I had chicken, rice, beets, tortilla, veggie salad.  I recognized cauliflower and carrots.  I tasted boiled egg but there was plenty of other stuff.

 

I hurried back to school.  They had a trip planned to an organic macadamia orchard by chicken bus. The chicken bus is an used USA school bus that has been brightly painted.  It cost 2.5Q each way or about $0.30. The orchard was 13 km outside of Antigua.  The bus was very crowded.  Along the way, I chatted with the Guatemalan gentleman who sat next to me.  He pointed out the sights like coffee farms, historic churches, and volcano. There were six students and the school director on the tour. The tour guide gave of a choice of English or Spanish.  We chose Spanish.  We learned about how macadamia trees were good for the environment. reduce CO2...  The processing of the nut is very simple.  One machine to de-husk.  This can be done with an electric motor or a guy on a stationary bike.  The motor was broken so they were using a bike. They offered women free face massages with macadamia oil products.  During the day they have a restaurant that serves macadamia pancakes.  But it was after 3:00pm We rode the bus back.  We walked past the market.  I wanted to spend more time but the school director insisted that I escort Paula, the Swed from our house, back to the school or home.  I agreed. We did stop once so I could buy a small Guatemalan flag.

 

Paula told me about TACi phones. For $15 the cell phone works on a prepaid basis.  They are great for within Guatemala but not for international call.  For international calls, she recommends SKYP which is an Internet based product and available at most Internet Cafes. She said she will show me .

 

We got back home around 5:00pm. I used the Internet Cafe close to home but I did not have much time. Dinner was Mayan tamales, Mayan potato , black beans with cream, bread, salad, and tea.

 

I studied mostly and read a little in bed.

 

1-22-2009 Thursday

 

It was 52ºF inside when I got up this morning at 6:00am.  Outside was cooler.  The outdoor shower really woke me up.  Breakfast was banana, pineapple, melon, cornflakes and tea. Some had toast.

 

In class, the locals were wearing their winter coats. By the time class started, I would guess it was 60ºF. It was not too bad with a sweat shirt.  By break time it was 65º. I went into the street to walk in the sun for a bit. Later when Jack, fellow from London, and I were talking, Paula told us about a store that sold donuts and croissants.  Jack got a ham and cheese croissant. It looked very good.  Maybe tomorrow I will try something.

 

In class, we worked on pronunciation, imperfect and future tense, direct pronouns, indirect pronouns.  We ended with work on vocabulary.

 

For lunch, I had tomato soup, fish, pasta, and an unknown fruit. It is an expensive fruit that grows high in the trees. You have to climb the trees to harvest the fruit by hand. The fruit was purple with several big seeds.  With white and light purple pulp. It was very sweet.

 

After lunch I dropped my laundry off to be washed for 32Q. By now it was 78º. I walked to market.  It is very large and needs to be seen to be believed. There were many small booths. You can buy just about anything.  Pirated current movies dubbed into Spanish sell for 15Q each. I talked to one vendor for a while.  I ended waiting while he made a bracelet for Heidisue in Mayan colors for only 10Q. I took a different route home.  I met and chatted with a restaurant owner.  We talked for about a half hour. He gave me a piece of cake to sample for free.  He made me promise to return and recommend his business to friends.  I will.

 

I was a little early to pick up my laundry so I wandered over to a small park where kids were skateboarding. I sat and chatted with the old men.  I took some photographs of the kids doing some of their tricks.  They loved it.  They would do a trick and then run over to see the photo.  I ended up with a small kid climbing on back to watch.  The old men told me I should return tomorrow.  I might.

 

For dinner, we had tomato soup, potatoes, two types of black beans, bread, rice and tea.  During dinner, Robert and I talked about going to Lake Atitlan together on Sunday.  After dinner I watched the news with the grandfather. While watching the news I noticed a tortoise walking across the room.  I pointed it out to the grandfather.  He went to get the grandmother to see the tortoise.  They decided to let the tortoise stay inside for the night.  I then went to study and read.

 

1-23-2009 Friday

 

Last night was warmer.  It was 58ºF in the room at 6:00am.  Breakfast was scrabbled eggs, toast, strawberries, little bananas, and big unknown berries.

 

We started class with a long discuss in Spanish about Obama and McCain and the American political system.  We also talked about Mayan culture, the 23 Mayan dialects, their dress and the fact they make up 70% of the population. For grammar, we moved solidly into the conditional tense both past and future.  The vocabulary section had lots of body parts and basic medical terms.  My teacher added a section in dictation.  She would read an article from the newspaper and I would transcribe. No questions about the words until it was over.  Then we concentrated on my pronunciation.  I must be getting better.  She stops me less often.

 

The two Swedes left for the weekend to go to Pana.  Paula´s godfather has a house near the lake. The two Vermonters left to travel.  Jack signed on for another week.  The Germans left for mission.  Sounds like five are returning for next week. 

 

By lunch time it was 78ºF. For lunch, I had pork chop with a sauce, beans, rice, radish salad and bread.  After lunch I went to an Internet Café to email Heidisue. I uploaded a few photos to share.  It proved difficult to attach the photos to an email. 

 

I went back to the restaurant to have a piece of cake.  It topping on the frosting included strawberries, kiwi, melon plus unknown fruit. It was very good. I went to Citi Bank to exchange dollars into Quetzales. I did not have my passport with me so I had to walk back to get it and return. Lots of paperwork to exchange cash.  The airport would have been much easier. 

 

I sat in the park to read.  The municipal band played a concert while I read. 

 

Dinner was a pork chop, rice, beans, broccoli, bread, custard and tea. Tomorrow Robert and I will return to the market.  I think he and I are the only two guests for the weekend. 

 

I forgot.  This morning I saw the volcano puff smoke. I tried to take a photo but it was difficult. It was kind of neat to see.

 

At around 9:00pm, Caroline knocked on my door.  Apparently she will be here for the weekend. She asked to join me Saturday.  She said I do fun things.  I did not have the heart to tell her that most of what she believes to be happened within three block of the house. While others sight see, I tend to talk to people.  I am not sure that this can be replicated in a group.

1-24-2009 Saturday

It was a balmy 58ºF in my room when I woke up at 6:00 am. Breakfast was cornflakes, scrambled eggs, bananas, strawberries, unknown berry, 1/2 large orange and one small orange plus tea. Caroline want to study in the morning so at 9:00am Robert an I went out.  First stop was the Internet Café.  He showed me SKYP.  It would require installing a program on the home computer and both Heidisue and I creating SKYP accounts including a deposit. It would work only if both were connected at the same time. Sounded to difficult for one week to go. Next we went to Robert´s school.  It is very nice.  The classes are much more structured.  It cost 50% more but it appears they have much more overhead at CSA.  Robert decided to sign up for a Volcano tour tomorrow.

We went to the market.  It was very active on Saturday.  I bought a couple of small things.  Robert purchased a bit more. 

For lunch we had stuffed green peppers, I think it Lima bean soup, rice, black beans, and if I translated right pig knuckle salad.  I enjoyed it all.

In the afternoon, Caroline, Robert and I went to the Jade Museum.  They make and sell jade as well. Several pieces have made the cover of the National Geographic. It is expensive but cheaper than Chinese jade.  We then walked towards the plaza.  We stopped at an art gallery with some very nice art.  It was expensive but reasonably priced.  We stopped at a travel agency so I could buy a ticket to Lake Atitlan. Round trip the ticket cost $10. Robert continued to the market.  Caroline and I headed back. She wanted to find an stationary store but they were all closed for the week end.  Once back, I went to the Internet Café to update this document and send some emails. On the way back to the house, I found and open stationary store.  I told Caroline about it. She left while I focused on studying until dinner. Dinner was basically a repeat of lunch. plus the best Lima bean dish I have ever had.

After dinner, I watch a soccer match on TV with the grandfather.  Later we watched a movie dubbed in English with Spanish subtitles. I went back to my room to read at about 9:00pm. 

 

1-25-2009 Sunday

 

I woke up at 5:45 am.  It was 63º in the room.  It will be a warm day.  I decided to study a bit before the bus came.  The bus arrived 45 minutes early.  I did not have my shoes on.  I scrabbled to get my act together and made the bus.  I forgot my hat. I was the first on the bus.  A half hour later we pick the next passenger. The van was packed full when we left Antigua at 7:45am.

 

The road to Lake Atitlan is through the mountains.  We travel 2 or 3 times on the road compared to as the crow flies.  Because of the steep grade, we rarely went faster than 40 mph. It was very scenic.  We stopped once on top of a mountain to take pictures of the lake.  We arrived in Panajachel about 10:00am. A group of us decided to team together to rent a boat for the day.  We had breakfast together to get organized.  The key organizer was a Dutch engineer and his wife.  There was also a farmer from Illinois; a physician, physician´s assistant, and practicing nurse from Colorado.  They work together in a free clinic in Denver.  Their Spanish class will be continuing education.  They plan to study Spanish in Xela at the Woj Pa school which Dr. Lang attended. The ferry cost 70Q each and it was ours for the day.

 

During breakfast a small boy came to the table.  He wanted our left overs.  I gave him a couple of pieces of pineapple.

 

Our first stop was San Marcos.  There were few tourists there.  The market was open air with a plastic sheet to provide shade.  There was a huge crowd. Literally wall to wall people. Every imaginable thing was for sale. The people wore their Sunday finest.  Women in colorful skirts and blouses.  Men will white shirts and gaucho-type pants--white with thin blue lines. We visited the church high on the hill. There was a plaque commemorating the locals massacred in the guerrilla war in the 1980´s. The church had colorful saint dolls dressed in bright colors along the wall.  A local girl explained the saints were carried through the city in a parade once a year. 

 

After the church we went to visit a shrine to "Saint" Simon- the smoking and drinking saint.  He has never been approved by the Church and the Church strongly disapproves. But, he has huge local following. Walking back to the boat I bought mother a scarf for 10Q.

 

Next stop was San Pedro.  It has more of a hippie feel. Many more tourist.  We decided to have lunch only.  Serve at the restaurant was very slow. We spent 1.5 hours having lunch.  The service was slow but the food was good and the company was interesting. During lunch we heard lots of fireworks.  It was some saints day. The farmer stayed in San Pedro.  The rest headed back to Pana. The wind had kicked up.  There was some wave action.  Being in the bow, I got a little wet.

 

Once we were on shore the medical team went to catch their bus to Xela. The Dutch and I went to catch our van back to Antigua. The van was late.  It was suppose to leave at 4:00pm.  We left at 5:00pm.  I sat next to a young man from Grand Haven Michigan.

 

We got back in town about 8:00pm.  They did not drop us off at our doors as we expected but in one spot instead on the south side.  I had to walk back to the north side.

 

I had dinner at the same place I did last Sunday.  The same people were there so I joined them. The owner bought us all a round of drinks. The family invited me to join them to watch a movie next Saturday night but I have to be Guatemala City. They said to call when I returned with Heidisue so we can have dinner together.

 

I got back to the house around 9:30 pm.

 

1-26-2009 Monday

 

It was 58º in the room when I woke up at 6:00am. Breakfast was much, scrambled eggs, fruit and tea.  Kelly is back.  She brought Caroline and Robert fleece blankets because they were complaining of the cold nights. Paulie has not returned.  Apparently Sophia got sick and they spent the entire weekend in Guatemala City. She said she would return later today.

 

At school, there 4-5 new students.  Enrollment is slightly down.  

 

In class we worked on conversation skills, conditional and future tenses, written translation, pronouns, vocabulary and pronunciation. There were few new words for me in vocabulary so we moved to cognates. 

 

Lunch was chicken, corn on the cob, and potatoes. After lunch, I needed to cash my travelers checks to be able to pay tuition for this week.  I walked back to school to pay the tuition and used the Internet.  I walked around a little.  By the time I reached home it was 4:00pm. While reading, Robert asked if I wanted to walk to the store with Caroline and him.  I agreed.  Paula asked if she could join us. En route, Robert decided he wanted to stop at his school to check his email.  We agreed and then he decided to stay.  Caroline, Paula, and I continued to the Bodega but first we stopped at the McDonald's.  Paula wanted her picture in the garden there.  It was the prettiest dining area I have ever seen at McDonald's.  It was very scenic.  Nice enclosed garden with great view of the mountain.  Next stop was the Bodega at large department store.  It is Guatemala´s answer to WalMart. Caroline purchased some flash cards. From there Paula wanted to stop at Sofia´s house to see how she was recovering. Paula gave her some comfort food' candy bars and chips. She did look pale and thin.  We stayed about 10 minutes and then left. The house and room that I am in is much nicer. 

 

Dinner was squash, rice, black beans, farmers cheese, tomatoes, bread and tea. I had lots of homework so the balance of the evening I studied. 

 

1-27-2009 Tuesday

 

It was 59º F inside at 6:00 am.  Breakfast was fruit, pancakes, and tea.  I saved the apple for later.

 

In school, we started with conversation, reviewed my homework, worked on direct and indirect pronouns.  I had to translate some passages.  I did very well in vocabulary.  The sheets had very easy words.  So my teacher upped the ante. We switched to idioms. They are much harder. They slowed me down. Lot s of homework was assigned today at my choice.

 

Lunch was sausages, black beans, fried cheese tacos, and rice.

 

After lunch I went to the Internet Café to work on email and to confirm my hotel reservations.

 

I went back to the school to attend salsa class but they had been canceled. So I went to the church to see what it looked like inside.  The I found a small shop that sold Guatemalan chocolates.  I bought a small box but they were expensive.  I will save them to share with Heidisue.  I bet they are a lot less sweet than USA chocolate.

 

I went to the plaza to read.  I left after just a half hour.  Too many Mayan kids trying to sell handicrafts or shine shoes. So I headed towards home.  I stopped to watch kids in the skate park.  There was even a girl with a skate board today.


Dinner was sausages, green beans (fried in egg and flour batter), rice, black beans, bread and tea.

 

After dinner I watched Fractured on TV with the grandparents. Caroline loaned me her telephone so I could confirm my hotel reservation.  I then studied until bed time.
 

 

1-28-2009 Wednesday

 

It was 63º F in the room at 6:00am. That means it will likely be a warm day.  Breakfast was fruit, cornflakes, eggs, and teas.

 

In class we discussed movies, traveling, and many other topics.  We spent time on pronunciation, pronouns, reflexive verbs.  We talked about all the verbs that are used to express the English word ¨to become¨. We worked on idioms- particularly those that looked like an English word but mean something completely different.

 

Lunch was pasta with tomato sauce and pieces of meat and cabbage salad.

 

After lunch I dropped off my laundry on my way back to school.  I was joining the tour of a local coffee farm 30Q. It was close to the school.  About ten of us took the tour. The tour guide spoke mostly in Spanish. He was very easy to understand. Guatemala ranks number 7 in world production of coffee and number 3 in the quality of coffee. They produce higher quality coffee due to their elevation, the use of shade trees and because they pick the coffee by hand. Shade trees help protect the coffee from the elements. Coffee trees produce for 40 years.  We saw the processing of coffee removing the husk, fermenting the bean for two days, sun drying for a week, and roasting.  One tree makes about one pound of roasted coffee or about 40 cups.  The local farm has 500,000 trees on 100 acres. The farm also has a museum on Guatemalan culture and music.

 

It stared to rain.  The rain lasted for about 30-45 minutes.  It was not a hard rain.  The streets usually have no storm drains.  The streets have a “v” contour and all the water runs down the middle of the street.  It means areas of the street can be quite deep and hard to cross on foot.

 

1-29-2009 Thursday

 

I woke up to 59ºF weather at 6:00am. Breakfast was fruit, mush, eggs, and tea.

 

In class we talked about Guatemalan birthday celebrations.  They include firecrackers at 5:30 am. We moved on to the imperative tense or command form of Spanish. Intelligently I understand it but I struggle with pronunciation of the pronouns at the end- particularly with the nosotros tense.  We practiced reading and pronunciation.  Class ended one hour early so we could participate in making a Mayan meal.  It was tortillas, fried cauliflower, fried green beans, guacamole.  Jack supplied two bottles of Chilean wine.

 

After lunch we moved right into salsa dance lessons.  I am still terrible but I am improving.

 

After class I bought my ticket on the shuttle to the airport.  The shuttle will drop me off at my hotel because it is so close to the airport $7.  I then bought a teeshirt for myself so I would have a souvenir of the trip. It cost 40Q. On the way home, I stopped at an Internet Café to email and update this document.  I reached home by 5:00pm.  I worked on homework until dinner time.  Dinner was squash, fried mash potato patties, beans, rice, bread and tea.

 

After Caroline declined to go with Paula to a musician show because she has a test tomorrow. Paula asked if I would go with her. We left at 7:30 pm by foot to go to a pizza type place.  We were joined by Sophia and Jennifer (A laid off United Pilot that started our school today). The musician was a friend of Paula´s cousin. The women ordered dinner.  I just had one Gallo beer. After dinner, Sophia and Jennifer walked home.  Paula and I went to a restaurant that our house mates planned to use for a little good bye celebration.  We got home at about 9:00 pm.  I then read until bedtime.


1-30-2009 Friday

 

It was 61ºF this morning.  Breakfast was fruit, yogurt, juice, sugar frosted flakes and tea.

 

In class we talked about cooking and nutrition.  Apparently tortillas have lime (mineral not the fruit).  For people that make tortillas a mainstay of their diet, osteoporosis is very uncommon.  In grammar we worked on the Command forms for tú. Vocabulary was mostly idioms. We worked on pronunciation.  We then spent some time on Por and Para.  I will need more time before I truly am versus in the nuances of the two words.  At the end of the class, I gave my teacher my book.  She seemed very moved.  Real Spanish instruction books are hard to find and if you do they are very expensive.  She told me to keep practicing Spanish and the she looked forward to seeing me in June.

 

Lunch was ribs, rice and tortillas. 

 

After lunch, I walked to the Handicraft Market.  It struck me as over priced and the same stuff in the rest of the city.  I went back to the plaza.  Along the way I bought a milk shake at Pops for 16Q. Pops has a good reputation. I sat in the park for a while.  Later I went to the Internet Café.

 

I returned home around 5:00pm. I read until 6:15pm.  Then Caroline, Paula, and I went out for dinner.  . We went to a restaurant that served quality Guatemalan style food.



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2 Comments

Reply Gydayensusync
7:41 AM on September 4, 2010 
Very Interesting!
Thank You!
Reply carol jean
5:53 PM on November 12, 2014 
once again I enjoyed reading your post. I realize these prices are 2009 so I will double the amounts perhaps to know what to expect in 2015