This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I awakened to bright sun and church bells and the calls of long tailed grackels, having successfully reentered sleep during the dark hours through multiple episodes of church bells, dogs, and roosters. I spent some time on the roof terrace of Casa Cristina enjoying the sounds and smells and sights of the city waking up around me (yellow church is La Merced).
Our group now grown to 12, we shared breakfast brunch at Fernando's on the nearest corner to the hotel. Stuart arrived earlier in the week and shared with me some of his water color accomplishments - street scenes and Maya glyphs.

While we ate and inhaled coffee we got to know each other and the week's schedule a bit. Following breakfast we rounded the block to the south to meet with the folks at Academia Antigüeña. Questions were asked and answered in both directions and we made a plan for the group of 9 who will be studying there this week to return at noon to be introduced to their host families.
With an hour and a half to explore we headed toward the parque central
with stops at the museumesque Nim Po't store and for some marimba entertainment.

We made it to the parque central in time to catch a parade featuring horse-drawn floats with this year's candidates for Senorita Antigua with prom-ready attendants. The candidates posed in the arches of the municipal building along with the current Senorita in a tight red number and sparkly crown. What are the 3 Maya girls thinking?

We enjoyed a few minutes of people watching and I snapped this (full disclosure: staged) photo of the group's reaction to the large-breasted mermaid fountain.
I headed back up 7a Avenida, past La Merced church, and down Camposeco to Casa Cristina to pack my bags and prepare to leave for the lake with Molly, Zechariah, and Kim.

Our friendly, professional Adrenalina Tours driver Fidel showed up right on time. We moved out of Antigua, onto the Pan American highway, and through Solola enroute to our 1st glimpse of Panajachel and Lake Atitlan.

Fidel helped us connect with the next lancha leaving for San Pedro La Laguna. Somehow they managed to cram the 4 of us onto an arleady full boat and we were off - a nice change from my usual waitwaitwait for a boat to fill. That's Zechariah in the back and Kim and Molly in the front.

 I shared the 2nd row with - ironically - 2 people on a weekend break from studies at Academia Antigüeña who lived with the family of Eva and Cesar Sactic - my favorite Antigua family and the one 4 of our group members will be living with this week. Next to them sat a young woman doing a psychology internship at Somos Hijos del Lago, the program for folks with disabilities where Sylvia and I volunteered in 2007. Small world!

At the dock we grabbed tuktuks to the Cooperativa Spanish School where we signed in and met with members of our host families who escorted us to our homes for the week.
 The youngest 2 kids in my family. :-)

My house (my room has the diamond window)
The steps leading from the inside of the house to the door of my room
The view toward the lake from the steps outside my door

My beautiful room for the next 2 weeks - newly painted!
I settled in and walked down the street to join the others for dinner. On the way I ran into one of our Beca students - Rosa Yanira - with her little niece. So nice to arrive in a town so far from home and bump into friends right away; I expect that at the Cooperativa but on the street is an added blessing. 
 Kim and I enjoyed smoothies as we awaited dinner at Nick's Place.
The town fair was last week but remnants remain, lighting the streets for our walk home.

Happy trails!

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