San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala, el once de noviembre, 2016
My morning didn't start off so well. While I was flossing, (who said flossing was good for you? Cindy? Darcy?), I heard a funny noise and much to my surprise? Shock? Horror? I saw this-
Half my tooth fell out! I think it is the same tooth that was paining a bit before I left, so I saw my dentist who X rayed and checked me out. Unfortunately he wasn't able to see if there was a crack inside, but I think I know that there was! Luckily it doesn't hurt and hopefully lasts until I get home. Sheny, mi profesora, said it costs $50 to $100 US just to speak to el dentista so I think I'll wait, or at least try to. A good thing is that one can't really see it when I smile, so that's a bonus. Imagine if it was near the front!
I also wanted to show off my shower-
Rather than have classes today, I opted to go to San Antonio Aguas Calientes, a pueblo about 20 minutes away by chicken bus, to see Maya culture.
The electricity comes from somewhere else (there's a small hole drilled through the wall) and if I run the water slowly, it heats up quite well. I'm not sure if I've got the 'upgraded' version with a handheld possibility but the hose takes a lot of water away from the shower head, so showering feels like I'm standing under a hose. Not the best but it is quite interesting how the hot water heater is in the shower head. I also like the safety features- electrical tape! Anyway, so far so good!
In the kitchen, there is no hot water, so the dishes are washed with cold. They have a super pasty kind of dish soap that they use with a green pot scrubber so nothing is greasy, even though just about everything prepared is fried.
First, there are 5 familias living together and trying to keep their history alive. Textiles are a big part of that and tapestries like this take 6 months to make, all by hand. The bird is the quetzal, also what the money is called-
The smoke is from 3 burning fires, in the casa!! that were cooking our pepian, arroz and pollo. It got soooo smokey inside I had to leave for awhile and wandered down the calle. There are a million of these tienda, all selling the same things, for the same prices-
Corn stalks grace the outside of one of the oldest/original homes in the town. The corn stalks are changed every couple of years-
Back at the presentation, we were shown how weaving is done. Noviembre y deciembre are summer holidays, so kids as young as 6 spend time learning to weave-
They wear a belt across their backs to hold the weaving tight-
Seems like a lot of work to me, but I did buy a piece because I am guaranteed it is handmade-
I will use it as a table runner. On all my trips, it has been a tradition to see who can barter the best and therefore, pay the least. Everyone else paid 270 quetzales, but I paid 275 so I'm not the reigning queen anymore! I offered 270 but she said 275 was as low as she would go so..... What's another dollar?
We were told that once a couple becomes engaged, they must wait one year to marry because the bride must make 4 weavings: one for her mother in law, one for her father in law, one for her husband and one for herself. Traditional costumes are worn at weddings-
Lunch was pepian, the third time eating it and I have to say that Odillia's, mi madre a qui, makes the best!
Tortilla making was popular too-
There are a lot of coffee beans grown in Guatemala but apparently they export the best and keep the rest. Grinding the beans the old fashioned way-
Today's lunch en mi casa was no disappointment. Avocado cups held a tuna/cheese concoction and they were delicioso-
Vieja, the former capital. I'm glad I didn't pay because there wasn't much to see!
Supper was something new again-