What a busy, full, fun week! This is a patchwork post that I hope will give you a sense of our time here in San Pedro La Laguna.
Some of the most precious moments for me - and they happen every day, a lot - are when I run into Beca Project kids and family members in the street or when they're checking in at the Cooperativa Spanish School. I don't usually take photos but here are a few.
I also enjoy seeing other friends on my wanderings, like Delfino, the Cooperativa Spanish School's garden artist with Lorencito and Elena, the 2 youngest kids of our friends Lorenzo and Andrea.
We have spent about an hour each visiting this year's new Beca Project kids; this deserves their own post but here's a taste.
Also meriting a separate post are the Semana Santa - Easter Week - celebrations which are just getting started. We enjoy seeing Mynor and Josefa and their boys in the processions and look forward to more, beginning at 5am Sunday morning.
We happily spend quite a lot of time shopping for and preparing food - such a joy in a place with beautiful, interesting markets.
Generally we prepare our own
and sometimes we get help from the banana bread lady
or my friend Cecilia - a Beca mom - who makes tortillas for nearly 3 hours every evening.
We are enjoying our apartment, our Ti Wachooch - such an amazing space which is becoming more homey as furniture is completed and delivered and we add gifts from Beca families and folk art, plants, and pots from local markets.
We spent our weekday afternoons at the Cooperativa School, enjoying the staff, fellow students, the beautiful garden, and our classes with friend and awesome teacher, Antonio.
The school offers some very cool activities. I had to pass this week on salsa lessons due to Beca home visits but enjoyed the demonstration at a local weaving cooperative that uses natural dyes.
I also learned how to make the mats called 'petates' - using hands and feet - from reeds that grow along the lake, a specialty of the nearby town of San Pablo.
And on Friday night the school put on a dinner - good company and good food.
Mike has joined the local gym again (40 quetzales or about $5 for 2 weeks) and likes to run. He has discovered some wonderful roads and paths and took me on a hike this week.
Those are coffee beans drying.
We have tv with cable but the sports on offer include soccer, soccer, and more soccer and no US college basketball. Mike has listened to several games on his iPad and has watched a few at a local bar with a wealth of channels.
On Wednesday I headed to the dock early and crossed the lake to Panajachel with a shopping list with traditional fabric for curtains at the top. I met Diane, a friend of a friend of our Antigua to Panajachel driver, Alfredo, and she introduced me to a man with a storehouse of fabric bolts (thanks!).
Here's what I came home with, very pleased:
I was able to find a woman from Santa Catarina Polopo whose huipiles (traditional blouses) I have purchased 3 times beginning in 2007; I had copies of photos from 2007 and 2012 to give her and purchased this 1 for Ti Wachooch and for wearing with my blue corte (wrap skirt).
I also visited Beca Project sponsor Laure (on right, with a coworker) who has moved with her husband from the east coast to Panajachel to be the administrator of LIFE International School.
An absolute highlight for me was catching up with the school's lovely secretary, our beloved Beca student Maria Elena. She started with the Beca Project as a very shy, very bright student in 2009 and we watched with pride as she spoke with confidence at the graduation ceremony of her Bilingual Secretarial college last November. She has landed this wonderful job and I was pleased to hear both that she loves it and that she rocks it. So proud of this young woman! I don't think we've ever made a better investment.
Here are a few random shots from around San Pedro. Window cat doesn't mind having his or her photo taken.
Roof dogs don't like it.
Kid relays in the municipal/market area.
In the park by the Catholic church.
Neighborhood and Volcán San Pedro to the south from our terrace at dusk.
And, finally, this happened: at 4:40 in the morning hundreds of firecrackers erupted in the street by our house, followed by an hour long serenade by a local marimba band. Happy birthday to the next door neighbor!
You can find the complete photo collections for this trip HERE.