Monday, July 18, 2011

We'll Watch the World From Above

It’s been very busy around here and I’m trying my best to keep up with the blog, but I am finding myself quickly falling behind. Rewind to last Wednesday. All the muscles in my body were aching from the bike ride and I could still barely sit down, so when I found out the afternoon activity was a visit to a museum requiring very little physical excersion, I was very happy.

We visited La Azotea Cultural Center. All the afternoon activities have been 100% in Spanish. I have been finding as time goes on I am able to comprehend more and more. (Hand gestures and facial expressions from the guides help a lot too).

La Azotea is a museum that has an area dedicated to Guatemalan coffee, music, and textiles. It is also a working coffee farm. We got a tour of each section and I actually understood most of what was being said, although I got easily distracted with so many opportunities for photos.

The next day the afternoon activity was going to Cerro de la Cruz (The cross on the hill), a place with some of the best views of Antigua. I was still aching but I was determined to climb all the way to the top to get those great views of Volcan de Agua. So we get in the shuttle to take us to the base of the hill, but then we keep driving and driving. I soon realized we were not climbing at all, but being driven to the top. I felt like it was kind of a cop out and the spectacular views weren’t quite earned, but I enjoyed them anyways. We got very lucky with a perfectly clear day.

On the top of the hill I started talking to our guide, Claudia. She has been working for my Spanish school for 8 years, but it turns out she is soon moving to the Chicago area! Her husband, who she met while he was on a trip to Guate, is from Illinois and they are going back there in a month or so. She knows nobody and needs to learn more English. I need to learn more Spanish, so we are going to be exchanging information and hopefully will be able to meet up and practice together. Here we are:

After taking in the amazing vista, a few of us walked (not drove) down the hill for some excellent coffee. There is nothing quite like it here.

As I said, the days have been busy, but that hasn’t stopped me from going out at night. Riley’s, the Irish Pub here (which caters to a very international crowd) tends to be a favorite. Here I am with Kelsey, Thomas, Sharon and Alex.

"Rhythm of Love" -Plain White T's

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