Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Weeks So Far

I still haven't got this blogging thing totally figured out, but I'm learning. So, what's happened in the past week? Here are some highlights, and I'll try to put in some photos too. I haven't figured out how to put captions with the photos though.

On Sunday, my buddies, Bonnie, Julie and Debbie and I had a potluck breakfast at Debbie's and then walked uphill for about two hours to a cool place called Earth Lodge (which you can google if you want more info). On the way, we went through the village of El Hato, where there was a health fair going on at the local school, for all the locals. It was provided by students and instructors from a college in Guatemala City. They were doing vision testing, hygiene education, dental check-ups, hair cuts...all kinds of stuff. There are so many projects led by foreigners, but it is great to see Guatemalans looking after each other.

We continued on to Earth Lodge with a few kids accompanying us. They were very cute, and as you can see from the photo, they enjoyed splashing through the puddles. Then we met women returning from the "pila" with jugs of water on their heads. Some women have to walk a few kilometers to this pila each day.

At the pila we continued down a path to Earth Lodge. It is a hostel and restaurant situated on the side of the mountain, with the most spectacular view down into the valley, to Antigua and Jocotenango. It is lush and fresh and beautiful. It is owned by a young couple from Canada and US, but there weren't there on Sunday. Apart from us, there were lots of young European guys and a few girls. They were playing a variety of active games and having a blast. We played ping pong and then had a delicious lunch out on the patio.

Then we looked at the accommodations: a tree house for two, built around an oak tree. One of the photos is of Bonnie, Debbie and Julie on the deck of the treehouse. There is also a dorm for eight and a few other cabins. Those friends and a few other Americans are going there for American Thanksgiving. I opted out because if I go there, I want to go at a more tranquil time.

When we got back to Antigua, there was a religious procession going on. Only one "anda" (float carried by about 40 people). We encountered the procession again as we were heading out for dinner with another friend, Ingrid. Unfortunately, in the smoosh of the crowd, Ingrid had about $200 lifted from her fannypack, which was hidden under her jacket. She didn't feel it happen. She was thankful that she had left her passport, cards and airline ticket in her room.

We went to Debbie's son's Italian restaurant for dinner. Marcelo was studying International Business in the states, but dropped out at 23 to try his hand in the restaurant business. He has had the restaurant for about six months, and it is doing very well. We had a great dinner, two bottles of wine, and a lot of laughs.

I'd better wrap up because it is almost time to go home for lunch.

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