Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't Burn the Day Away

This week has been very busy, not unlike the others. It unfortunately started with a sore throat and stuffy nose, many mosquito bites, and some other strange bites (possibly spiders?). I, however, was not going to let any of that stop me from doing all I can while I’m here. It is, after all, my last week before my return to reality.

Monday I had Spanish class and took it easy before going to Riley’s for trivia night. I’m pretty darn good at music trivia, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to officially participate in the contest, but it was fun none-the-less.

Tuesday was a jam packed day. After class and lunch, I headed back to the school for a cooking class. We made tacos and doblados. Almost anywhere you walk here, you will see Mayan women making tortillas, using their hands to perfectly flatten a ball of dough into a circle. At this class it was my turn to try. I did a pretty good job on my first one, but my second one hit the ground while attempting to flatten it. It was certainly not the only tortilla casualty of the day. Many a tortilla hit the floor. The ones that survived were filled with a mixture of peppers and deep fried in oil. The final result was taco and doblado deliciousness!

Pretty good for my first attempt!

The final product...delicious!

After cooking class and a quick walk around town, it was back to school for another lesson, this time Salsa Dancing. We started with the basic moves, which I picked up very quickly. Then it was on the turns and spins, which were slightly complicated. When it was time to partner, it got much more difficult. It was easy dancing with the teacher and I think I did pretty well keeping up, but when you put two beginners together it’s not a very pretty sight. It was definitely a workout, a lot of fun, and worth the 10Q ($1.25) I paid for the class.

Yesterday I went to the jade factory/store. Guatemala is known for its jade and is one of only a few places where real jade is found, Burma being the other major area for jade. I’ve always thought of jade as being green, but it actually comes in many colors. After the tour I ended up buying a necklace with a circle of green, black, and violet jade. The violet is my favorite and besides the newly discovered orange jade, is the rarest.

Black, Lilac, and Green Jade

One of my favorite things to do here is wander around, capturing great photos and checking out interesting places. I had not yet been to the McDonalds this trip and wanted to make a quick stop. I am not a big fan of McDonalds in the states, but here it is absolutely beautiful! I ended up staying longer than expected reading my book in a shaded area of the gorgeous garden. I also had to hang with Ronald for a while.

I am now living with a group of anthropologists at my house. They run a field school here in Antigua each summer. They are all have different backgrounds and are very interesting. Last night they had guests come in for dinner, so Annette, our house mom, set up a very special dinner. It was beautiful.
Annette did a fabulous job!

Last night was an open mike night at CafĂ© Rainbow followed by a short stop at La Esquina to listen to a Salsa band and practice my newly acquired moves.

I’m very sad to only have a few days left here. This city get closer to my heart each day, and it will be hard to say goodbye.

"Pig" -Dave Matthews Band

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