Monday, October 31, 2016

Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, October 31, 2016

There are 4 Spanish students staying here with Odillia, Adolfo, Saira and Hector- 


  We each have our own bedroom-


And share a bathroom which is outside, through the kitchen-


We eat 3 meals/day with our hosts except Sunday is their day off-


There is room for a car and motorcycle in the front part of the casa-


The foyer is the 'garden'-


The backyard is bordered with a high cement wall covered in vine-


There is a nice terrace on the second floor-


which looks at Volcan Agua, unfortunately clouded over-


School starts at 8 am.  My teacher, Sheny Garcia-


is very good and extremely patient!  She's going to need a lot of patience working with me!  I heard a lot; took 8 pages of notes and will have homework every night.  

There are about 80 students at the Antiguena Spanish Academy, each with his/her own private teacher.  It costs $175 US/week for 20 hours of instruction, 7 nights accommodation and 6 days of meals.  

Tables are spread out in a large garden-



I am on a rooftop terrace.  We study from 8-10, then have a 30 minute coffee break when we can eat atol blanco salado- a savoury maize porridge.  I also added frijoles (beans) and chiles.  It cost 54 cents-


There are numerous tortilla stands around town-



recognizable by the 'slap slap' sound you hear before arriving.  

Halloween is celebrated by the children and foreigners. We saw a few people in costumes but today really begins a 3 day celebration culminating with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Today was tomb cleaning and decoration day-

The San Lazaro Cemetery serves the needs of all from tombs for the wealthy-



wall tombs for the middle class-



And places in the ground for the poor-



Guatemalans are predominantly Roman Catholics who do not believe in cremation so caskets are buried.  Here, you can see the available spots-


The mercado is a hub of activity-


featuring vegetables - 


squash and melons-


chiles-


and fruit including jocote.  Jocote is small and orange and turns red when ripe.  The pulp is a bright yellow with a sweet, tangy, juicy flavor-


The butcher-


Chicken- yellow or white depending on diet-


and fabrics-


Antigua Guatemala's Main Plaza is very touristy and most streets are cobbled-


Reminders of the 1976 earthquake-


found inside a destroyed church.

Easter is the biggest celebration and the floats are ready-



Supper was tortillas de papas, sliced pepino and crema de hongos soup-


It has been an interesting day.  I've got so much to learn but everyone is super patient.  I've met another IB French teacher from Bretagne, France and a young man who has bicycled this far from Mexico City.  The weather is perfect too.  I don't feel brain drained like I thought I might, maybe because I can get buy with English.
Tomorrow I'm off to see the flying kites!  Looking forward to it!  Buenas noches!  


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