Monday, June 22, 2009
Just Kickin' Down the Cobblestones
My first entry from Antigua, Guatemala! After absolutely no sleep on Friday night and a huge whole in the ceiling (don’t ask), William drove me to the airport at 4am. Two boring plane rides later, I was in the Guatemala airport. After finding the person there to get me, meeting another volunteer, Lisa from Oklahoma, and waiting two hours for another one to show up who never did, it was off to Antigua.
We were checked into our hotel room (3 beds and walls), which Lisa and I would be sharing with another volunteer arriving that night, given a map, and off to the main part of town we went.
Lisa and I decided to get dinner, even though it was only 4:30. We went to a really cute place called Los Palmas, which had excellent Spanish music, aka Buena Vista Social Club. It’s seriously the only music sung in Spanish I know besides La Bamba, so I thought it was ironic that it was playing. The waiter was very impressed with my musical knowledge.
So Lisa and I walked around a little, and I was instantly amazed with this city. Back to the hotel we went, and were joined by Esther before quickly falling asleep. (Thanks Ambien)
This morning we were up bright and early, had a breakfast and presentation with the other volunteers who arrived, I think there are 9 of us, met our host families, and took a quick tour of the city.
After the short tour, three of the volunteers and I walked ALL around the city. I seriously don’t think we left a single street untouched. We checked out the outdoor market, the grocery store, went into travel agencies, looked at lots of Jade, and even climbed a hill called Cerro de la Cruz where you get a view of the whole city and one of the volcano’s that lies behind it. It was quite a workout for me, but well worth it.
Antigua really is amazing. Imagine all cobblestone streets, not a single traffic light, brightly colored buildings all attached to each other, and volcanoes pretty much everywhere you look. No building is higher than two stories and all the buildings are attached. They do have places here like Domino’s, but you would never know it was a Domino’s because it’s just as pretty as all the other building with only a teeny tiny sign letting you know it’s just an American pizza place.
The number one thing I’m thankful I purchased for this trip is my raincoat. They seriously weren’t kidding when they said it’s the rainy season here! It’s pretty much poured all morning, until we decided to walk around and it magically stopped. Then, just as we were headed back to our host families, it started up again.
So, I’ve already met people from Ireland, Austria, Wales, and then of course a girl from Deerfield. Small world.
Tomorrow starts Spanish school so we’ll see what, if anything, I remember from my days in Spanish class. Mostly I just remember taking some good siestas….
"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" Simon and Garfunkel