Friday, November 11, 2016

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-

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.  

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.

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-

This afternoon's field trip was to el Ciudad Vieja, the former capital.   I'm glad I didn't pay because there wasn't much to see!

The Ciudad Vieja church was built in 1527.  

These hanging flowers are bonita-

Navidad decorations already????

After a visit to the gym, I enjoyed a cerveza en mi balcon, watching the sunset amongst the clouds and the volcans!  

Supper was something new again-

Of course it was fried with supposedly some pollo inside but the bird must have flown right over mine!  The avocado, however, was excellent!

Looking forward to a day of nothing to do tomorrow!

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