Showing posts from November, 2016

Santiago La Laguna, Guatemala, el treinte de noviembre, 2016

Walking to school this morning was so nice because Christmas music was blasting in the streets.  So many of the songs are familiar, just the lyrics are in Spanish of course.  Today has been a better day.  Is it because the sun is shining?  Is it because I went to Santiago so wasn't bored to death?  
Rather than go in a lancha both ways, I took a chicken bus there.  It cost 10 Q - $1.79.  The first third of the way was great - new pavement and the bus was just ripping.  Then, the second third was rough gravel and I honestly could have walked faster than the bus.  The last third was back to pavement.  
Santiago is a lovely town on the laguna-

with many typical tourist shops selling textiles-

wood knick knacks-

and now because Navidad is approaching-

nativity scenes.  But who buys this stuff?  And when there are numerous shops in a row, all selling the same???   
The Saint James the Apostle Church was built in 1547 by Franciscan friars who came to settle and convert the Tzutuhil - Maya indi…

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, el 29 de noviembre, 2016

Not much happened today.  School was okay - as a language teacher, I have issues with the way I'm being taught.  This week I've been learning about the past tense, but how do you do that in an effective way?  I don't think by writing the exceptions on the board and assigning phrases where the verb must be conjugated into the sentence, at least not before the concept has been exhausted orally.    I think there has to be a lot of talking using particular verbs with all subjects:  I, you, he/she, we and they.  Unfortunately we don't do that.  We did, however, spend a lot of time talking, although Mynor did a lot of it.  That's okay, I need to listen and try to understand.
After lunch, I decided to go to Santiago via lancha.  I waited in the boat for 30+minutes , then decided I didn't need to go that badly, especially when it cost $5 each way.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow on a chicken bus.
Due to the rising waters of Lake Atitlan, this former home-

the trees and…

Mi cumpleaños, San Pedro de Laguna, el 28 de noviembre, 2016

So now I'm 55!  Freedom 55, isn't that what they say?  Well, I had a good day, but everyday seems good - lucky me!
Last night coming home the Catholics were having another procession, making their way to the only Catholic Church in town-

Men carry the float, shuffling along.  It's lit up with big spotlights that are powered by a generator that is pulled along too.  Traffic is backed up but no one seems to mind; it's just part of life in Guatemala!
Today, being the big day that it is, I met Mynor, mi profesor at school and we went out for breakfast.  I had a very fresh croissant stuffed with bacon (my first since leaving home), eggs, tomato and avocado!  It was excellent!  
I started learning the past tense this morning.  It's going to take awhile!
After class, I helped Maria make tamales.  The potatoes were already cooked and mashed and the carne was soaking in a tasty sauce-

First, we put potatoes on the leaves-

Then carne on top-

And then a slice of pepper and 3 raisins-

Panajachel, Guatemala, el 27 de noviembre, 2016

After café and huevos, I headed to Panajachel, the largest town on the lake.  The easiest way to get there is via lancha, a small boat that waits until it has 15 passengers.  It cost $5 for a 25 minute ride.
Panajachel is a typical Guatemalan pueblo with a market for the residents-

If I wasn't paying for my board and room, I would be buying fresh vegetables and making my meals, but that's why I pay the big bucks, to not have to do that so....
La Iglesia Católica San Francisco de Asis-

 was originally built in 1567 but has been restored.
It has a wooden roof and combines Christian statues and Maya paintings-

Closer to the lake, in the tourist part of town, there are a lot of booths selling apparently the best priced crafts in the country.  I didn't buy anything, except I did have a michelada, which was gross.  
First, the bartender who was about 12, salted the glass and squeezed 2 large lemons into the cup-

Next, he added a tomato type juice that tasted a bit like Clamato.  It was …