Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day 2 of la escuela en Español, el 2 de noviembre, 2016

School went really well today - I learned lots and talked lots-of course with help, mucho help.  The 2 hours before coffee time flew by, then after a 30 minute break, the last 1.5 hours was done before I knew it.

My snack - a tostada costs 54 cents and is delicious-

Salsa, guacamole, shredded cabbage, cilantro, onions, all on a crusty tostada shell.  Mmm good!

As if I have to be reminded-

It's Christmas all the time-

Sheny explained about the big kites from yesterday.  Only the smaller ones fly, 3-4 feet across.  A few years ago, a 3 meter one was launched.  8 hombres were holding it and a gust of wind forced it back to earth.  Numerous people were hit and there were scratches galore.  Since then, only small kites are allowed up.  I was glad to hear that because I was feeling ripped off that I hadn't seen the bigger ones ascend.

I've also decided I'm going to splurge!  That's something new for me but why not?  Currently I'm paying $177/week US for school, lodging, Internet and meals.  My room is small and noisy because the windows open onto the street.  I'm going to upgrade to a suite- private bath, rattan carpets on the floor and A DOUBLE BED!!!  Melanie is leaving this weekend so I'll move in and be paying $217/week.  I'll see if it's worth it.

Lunch was fiambre which means 'served cold" .  It's a traditional salad served for Dia de los Muertos - November 1st and 2nd.  It takes 48 hours to make!!! Ingredients can include cauliflower, green beans, carrots, beets, cabbage, pearl onions, Brussel sprouts, peas, fava beans, chick peas, corn, red beans, edible flowers like picaya and pickled date palm blossoms, white beans, cooked chicken, parsley, herbs like Yerba Buena (related to savoury), vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, salt, Worcestershire, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, nutmeg, capers, boiled eggs, red, yellow and black chorizo sausage, butifarra (Catalan pork sausage), weiner!!!, ham, mortadella (Italian sausage), salami, shrimp, sardines in oil and tomato, mackerel, salmon, pimientos, pickled onion, cheese, lettuce, asparagus, baby corn and radishes.  No wonder it takes 48 hours!  It was sooooo good and is only available at this time of year-

Restaurants who have put in the effort advertise at their front doors.  I'm not sure what it costs but because it's so labor intensive, I would think it's expensive. We also had chicken and rice - best meal so far.  

McDonalds is everywhere and Antigua Guatemala is no exception.  Even I might like to spend some time on their terrace!  See Ronald sitting on a bench?  My roommate said he heard this is the nicest McDo in the world.  Could be!

The menu is a bit limited -

There are 5.5 quetzals in 1$ Canadian so it's not particularly cheap.  

La Merced ( Mercy) Iglesia is in Baroque style and a beautiful yellow.  I will try to get a picture on a sunny day.  You won't believe it - it's lemony.  Construction began in 1751 and finished in 1767.  Our Lady of Mercedes is in the central niche and San Pedro Arinengol and San Raymundo Nonnatus are on either side.  Yesterday a huge crucifix was hanging from the top but I missed that photo-

This is apparently where Jesus is hiding out because I've seen him twice since I've been here!

The altar-

Walking home, I stopped in at a little hole in the wall-

that sells just a few things.  Not sure how anyone can make a living doing this, maybe it's a hobby while watching tv.  I invited myself in for el cerveza.  Byron and Aura were having supper.  We chatted for 15 minutes or so and then I was on my way.  Byron Junior is studying to be a lawyer-

I think the more I can practice with real speakers, the better I'm going to get.  I'm sure they wonder "what the hell" but they all try to humour me!

Supper was again wonderful- pache- mashed potatoes, tomato sauce and chile-

All this Guatemalan food makes me wonder what I'd serve to foreign guests that would showcase my culture.  I'm not too sure I could come up with the variety I've already experienced in just a few days.

I am feeling so good about being here.  I feel like a queen - I don't have to cook or clean or shop for groceries - nada!  I love my teacher and am enjoying the others living in the house.  The family is also very kind and sit and visit with us during meal times.  I also have been scouting out tours and other things to do and have prepared quite a list, so stay tuned!

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