As my time is winding down in this great city, I am feeling sad. I love it here but I'm not sure if I'll ever be back. I've enjoyed living with Marta - my room is nice and so is she. She's also a fantastic cook and has done an excellent job making healthy meals - lots of meat and vegetables. She's friendly and likes to visit and help me with my Spanish. If I came back, I would definitely stay with her again. Even though it's a half hour walk to school, at 7:30 in the morning the walk is easy because there are few vehicles and fewer pedestrians. The sun is always shining and the winds are calm. Coming home is a different story. Sidewalks and streets are busy and even though it should take more time, it seems faster. I usually stop at the mercado and wander a bit. It seems I always have something to check out.
Also, because I'm in a homestay, all meals are prepared, except on Sundays. This is good and bad. It's cheap but it hasn't made much sense to go out during the week to eat in a nice restaurant, something I really enjoy. Even though prices are inflated in Antigua, I've missed that aspect of travelling.
Because of where I live, I've done a much better job of understanding where everything is. Last time I lived in the north and going to school was only a 10 minute walk west. I didn't have to pass any churches or scenic sights. I had to make an effort to see them separately. This time, I live right beside Iglesia San Francisco and it is the call to worship at 6 am that wakes me. I don't mind.
Patty, my housemate, has been looking for a different homestay; one with a garden view and/or terrace. She has found a few but they are more money for less. Most don't provide any meals and cost the same as here. To stay here a month is 3000 Q = $520 Can. That includes all meals except Sundays. I figure it would almost cost 3/4 of Marta's payment to eat and that's not eating in gringo/tourist restaurants but eating from local food stands and the market. I guess the way I look at it is that if I want to be able to stay away from winter, I need to be able to live as cheaply as I can and Marta's fits the bill. Maybe I will be back after all!
Tomorrow will be my last day of classes and slaving!! at the biblioteca.