Today’s topic: My house and family in Antigua. Since there are so many volunteers here right now, most of us are two to a house, some even three. The first person I met when I got here, Lisa, happens to be in my house with me. So, the houses here, not quite like those in the US, not that I was expecting them to be.
You walk in to what doubles as a front door and a garage. Pretty much the car is parked right next to the dining room table! Next there is a typical dining room and a tiny kitchen. My room and Lisa’s room are next, with a bathroom between us. However, outside our doors is the courtyard, so once you step out of the bedrooms or bathroom you are pretty much outside. There is an upstairs and multiple other bedrooms, and I think a family room, yet I haven’t actually been in any of these yet.
Our host mom is named Beatriz and is very nice. She definitely engages us in Spanish conversation. Lisa and I both brought her gifts from our hometowns and she was excited. Then there is her housekeeper, Carmen, who cooks our meals and cleans our rooms. She may or may not live here with her 4 children, two sets of twins! Still haven’t quite figured that out yet. What I do know is that she makes amazing taquitos and some damn good fried plantains. Her daughters also cook homemade tortillas!
So far, I can compare living here to overnight camp. I wear my flip flops everywhere, I have a set of very rickety drawers, my feet are constantly dirty, I have several mosquito bites, I sleep with a flashlight next to my bed, the shower is cold, and whether the toilet works completely or not is questionable. But still, it’s great! There is definitely a bit more to see and do here than Eagle River, Wisconsin.
So, I already have a bad cold, which is never fun, but even worse when you are somewhere unfamiliar. Thank God I brought the mini packets of Kleenex, although at this rate they won’t last long. I’m doing my best to not let it get me down, but I definitely need to get some rest! It’s only eight here, but I’m absolutely exhausted. Nyquil here I come!
I´ll leave you with another picture. This is the famous and beautiful Arch of Santa Catalina in Antigua:
“You’re My Home” –Billy Joel