Again this year I lived with a local family; this was my 5th host family in San Pedro and I've loved them all. I requested a Catholic family who would be willing to include me in their Semana Santa festivities. That played out well for me; in addition to making the most of Semana Santa, the food was wonderful, the house comfortable, the relatively long walk good exercise and the people were fantastic: María, José, 7-year-old Felix, and fellow house mate Jon from England.
Here's a shot of the neighborhood from a distance
and a zoomed in view of the house: kitchen and dining area left of the black water tank, open laundry area to the right, and the cement level beneath that housed the bedrooms.
Here's a view of the businesses near the house
and the house from the street.
This metal gate opened into the lane leading to the house.
Here's my room, complete with Spiderman decor.
Here's the shrine in the hallway
and the view straight out of my bedroom door: exit door on the left, and stairs leading up with the sink area, bathroom, and shower beneath.
This served as all the water for washing clothes, dishes, hands, and hair; you scoop what you need from the well on the left into plastic bowls and the waste water drains out the back. There's a schedule for which days of the week they can fill the well.
Shower water is pumped from the well and heated on contact with what is known as a "death head" or "suicide shower" - take your pick.
Here is the kitchen door on the top floor.
María and José enjoyed receiving pictures from my friend Rosie and her son Jesse who lived with the family last summer.
As mentioned, the food was wonderful. Note the fruit licuados (smoothies) and fresh squeezed orange juice. :-)
Felix loves ketchup on everything.
In this photo he was mixing cream, ketchup, and refried black beans a bite at a time. He said, "¡Parece poopoo pero es delicioso!" (It looks like poop but it's delicious!)
Felix loved looking through my photos, especially if they were photos of him.
I brought puppets and toys from home as gifts
and enjoyed playing cards and "Pass the Pigs" with him.
Housemate Jon was a great sport - Felix couldn't get enough wild time with him.
Here María, José, and Felix are heading out to the kids' procession.
Felix nabbed a palm pod and carted it all the way home.
Here's another view of the same street, looking up
and here's the gate at the top of the lane, a favorite play ground for Felix and his cousins.
As I mentioned in my highlights post, here you see Felix and cousins with a handmade Semana Santa procession complete with fruit decor, an anda to pack along the parade route, and a swinging yogurt container to represent incense.
This photo kind of sums up the joy I found in living with these wonderful local people who were willing to share their culture and their holiday with me. Happy trails!