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, March 24, 2013

The 2013 Adventure begins!

With happy, busy plans to reconnect with host families in Scotland (mine) and The Netherlands (Isaac's) and a focus week in Cambridge for his graduation, a summer Guatemala visit was out for me this year. Talk about landing on my feet! Here I sit gazing over beautiful Lake Atitlán in the Guatemala highlands, enjoying the warmth and a steady breeze and the sounds of birds and neighbors - music, laughter, greetings, and hands slapping masa into tortillas.

I traded to obtain 3 work days each side of spring vacation, a shorter trip for me than usual, right at 2 weeks, the majority of which I'm spending - happily - in the town of San Pedro La Laguna. My usual visits include fellow travelers numbering 1 to 20 and I'm enjoying the simplicity of visiting sola.

My focus this trip, as usual, will be the Beca Project but due to time limitations I will just be visiting the homes of this year's 13 new students instead of all 44 and will be substituting pizza lunches with each crop of Beca kids (10-13 in groups delineating by the year they became Beca students) instead of a grand celebration dinner for all the families with cultural entertainment by the students.

The cultural entertainment for this year's trip has a huge historic presence here - the celebration of Semana Santa, Easter week. The majority of our students are Catholic and participate in these events, the most important of the year. I am excited and privileged to celebrate with them.
I specifically requested a Catholic homestay and live with a fabulous family, María, José, and their son Felix. I love the family, my room, the funky bathroom set up plus the food is amazing - score!!I'll start this blog with a photo set that includes my journey to Guatemala, evening and morning explorations of Antigua, and the trip to San Pedro. Happy trails!

Rainy start in Portland

Over Texas

Lightning cloud

Leaving Guatemala City for Antigua

My home away from home in Antigua - Casa Cristina I dropped my bags and headed out to explore and find dinner.

Santa Catalina Arch
Mermaid fountain

Tourist police stroll by the catedral

La Merced (sleeper at lower right)
Dinner at La Fonda de Calle Real

Pepián de Pollo
Morning views from my room

and the hallway; my room, #6, is the last room on the left.

Real hot water, not a death head; those of you who have traveled with me know what I'm talking about.
Beloved 2-headed jaguar bench - such an indignity but at least he has a spare head.

Walking around Antigua with a breakfast brownie in my hand and a spring in my step.

I'm fond of our veterinarian but her office isn't this cool.

Many of the buildings had decorations added for Semana Santa.

Vulcan Agua

Hermano Pedro

Mermaid fountain gets a bath

Santa Catalina Arch (again)

I visited my favorite Spanish school in Antigua, Academia Antigüeña; they have a new garden campus so I hopped on a motorcycle behind the owner's son and paid a visit.

I caught up on emails at Fernando's, on a corner near Casa Cristina; my new little iPad posed for this photo.
My ride picked me up at 9:30 for the 3 hour trip to Panajachel. I don't usually shell out for a private shuttle but the options for share shuttles were 7am and 1pm and I wasn't willing to give up the beautiful morning walk in Antigua or arrive in San Pedro past mid afternoon. Part of why I choose Adrenalina Tours is the drivers are always personable and conscientious; the conversation in Spanish with the driver was interesting as well as a good way to retool my brain to Spanish for the next 2 weeks.

I made a few stops in Panajachel to buy a requested item for a beloved nephew (I think you'll like what I picked out for you, Stu!), then headed to the dock for the boat trip across Lake Atitlán to San Pedro La Laguna. Happy trails!

No comments:

Post a Comment