Antigua, Guatemala, February 18, 2018

Sunday, the kitchen is closed at my house - Marta deserves a day off!  I walked downtown, looking for a restaurant full of Guatemalans because that way you know that it's good food and it's cheap.  I passed numerous restaurants with high prices, made especially for tourists but I knew there had to be what I was looking for somewhere- la comida tipica.  I finally asked a server if desayunos was served in the mercado.  No, he said, only almuerzo.  Liar!  I walked to the market and there were numerous places I could eat breakfast.  Chorizo sausage costs 66 cents.  Two scrambled eggs - 66 cents.  Why would one eat anywhere else?  I had this fancy looking fruit, yogurt, honey and granola bowl for $3.  I'm not sure where the yogurt or granola were but oh well-

After breakfast I wandered around the mercado and bought 5 DVDs, obviously pirated because they cost 86 cents each.  They're all Oscar contenders except for Nacho Libre which is supposed to be a funny one about Mexico.  Each tienda put the dvd into a player to show me the film on a tv screen and to make sure they spoke English.  After my shopping spree, I headed to Filadelfia Coffee Finca on a chicken bus to buy some 'good' coffee.  I toured there last year and bought coffee so I'm hoping it's the same.  Fuego was up to his old tricks-

By the time I got back, it was lunch and I was back in the mercado.  On the top left is ground pork in a patty, the bottom left is torta de carne - basically a hamburger patty and my favorite is on the right - chile rellenos - ground pork mixed with spices rolled into a ball and fried.  So good!  I also had pico de gallo-

I had my fingernails shellacked and walked home, only to find the beginning of a Lent Procession in the street in front of my home.  During the next 5 Sundays of Lent, different neighbouring villages will walk to and around Antigua to commemorate the death of Jesus.  These three fellows were the leaders-

There are numerous alfombra - carpets of flowers on the road to praise Jesus.  The procession walks right through them-

The pueblos of Santa Catherina de Alejandria and San Pedro Apostal were in charge of presenting the procession this afternoon-

The Romans carry banners-

People dressed in purple are called cucuruchos which actually means "pointed hat".  Incense shows adoration for Jesus-

More Romans-

Men carry the float of Jesus-

The bands play slow marching music-

More cucuruchos-

This little guy is getting into it early.  He's carrying his own andas of Jesus-

The cards that people wear have a number on them indicating when it will be their turn to take over carrying the andas-

Women carry the andas of Maria-

Following Maria is San Juan and Magdalena.  They always accompany her-

The last part of the procession - (it's not a parade), is another band, again playing slow and mournful musica-

Quite a few members of Marta's family were here from the ciudad and Antigua to watch the procession from right in front of her house.  Marta loves to cook and entertain.  I am very lucky!

At 5:30, I met 12 English speaking ex-pats at 6e Avenida and 6e Calle.  We went to a restaurant for supper and even though I ordered a stuffed pepper, I got a chile rellenos.  It cost 4 times as much as the one I had at noon and tasted 10 times worse!  Anyway........    Walking home, the procession was just on its way out of town!  What a long afternoon for them!

I had a great weekend.  I'm not used to having to do things like school and work.  It's kind of crimping my style but it's back to the grind tomorrow!


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