Wow, I can already tell that my last bit of time here is going to go by so fast. It’s already been a week since I’ve returned from Paradise. I already feel a little ache in my heart because I know this great adventure will soon come to an end and I will have to say goodbye to everyone here. I hate goodbyes. I will keep on hoping and praying that one day I can have all of my friends together in one place so I don’t have to miss anyone or leave anyone out anymore.
I have certainly been blessed this entire trip. I worried back in the beginning what I was going to do when all the volunteers left, and in walked some amigos guatemaltecos into my life. And then I got sick of being treated poorly by some people and wanted to change some habits I made here so during my vacation to Belize, I tried to prepare myself to be more independent (but deep down, I always know I’d prefer to have a friend) when I returned to Antigua. But once again, I had nothing to worry about because I met Maika along my journeys and she came back with me Monday.
Tuesday I had so much to catch up on that I didn’t even have time to see anybody and Maika and I didn’t go out because we were so tired from our traveling. Then Wednesday, Madison came back for her short 5 day visit so here I had friends again with nothing to worry about.
It’s funny because so much has changed since the first time Madison was here, but when she came back it was like nothing had changed. I returned to my habits of the first month I was here. I went back to the Wednesday night salsa class which I haven’t gone to in like a month. And then we all went to Rainbow Cafe for dinner.
Rainbow, however, is just not the same without Kenny at open mic night. I no longer want to participate and I get rather bored sticking around and listening to everybody. But, after a while, Kenny’s friend Edgar came to pick us up at Rainbow and bring us to a place called Whiskey Den where we all hung out the rest of the night. They are a lot of fun to hang out with.
Thursday, I started up my private salsa classes again and Thursday night, we went to watch Kenny and Edgar play in Kafka. Madison got to play the drums again for them so I’m sure she was happy. It was really just like the first month that she was here. How funny life is. I also found out that Kevin didn’t move away like I thought. I must have been mistaken when I read one of his messages, but he still doesn’t work in Antigua so I won’t see him much anymore, but at least I will get to see him again before I head back to the States.
Friday was casi el mismo. Got up and went to my salsa class, had my usual Spanish class, and we went to watch Kenny and Edgar play AGAIN. Going to get sick of these guys, I swear. Hahaha. In Spanish class though, we had a double celebration. I missed Willy’s birthday while I was on my trip so I told him I wanted to celebrate that. Then, he had just taken the BAR exam the day before and passed so we celebrated that he is well on his way to becoming a lawyer! Go Willy! We watched a movie and had cheesecake and I bought him a book. How I missed having class with him!
We watched Kenny and Edgar in two places that night. One called Los Encuentros and once in Cafe No Sé. I got pretty bored because I like to do more than just sit and listen to music so I’m usually on my phone or something, but neither place had internet. Madison got to play her drums again, but I decided I can’t follow them around all the time if I don’t have something else to be doing while I listen to the music.
Saturday, after my salsa class, we all went shopping and then to Cafe Portal to read and get some coffee and desserts. I’m totally failing at eating healthy here. Everything just looks so good! I bought some food for the little boys that were trying to sell me bubble gum and that felt good to help someone out. Maybe I should hang around the park with my balloon animals that still haven’t gone to use.
That night, Maika and Madison had some other plans and I was tired so I just had a night in my room. I ended up getting really frustrated about my internet because I was trying to talk to a friend I made in Semuc and it was not functioning well. I ended up drawing! When do I ever draw? It was kind of weird. I just had so much frustration built up that I needed to scribble or do something. Go me for drawing! At least art school made me better enough to where I don’t hate and throw out my drawings afterwards haha.
Sunday, I finally started to fall asleep after 8:30 AM (I keep waking up at this time every day ever since my vacation where I get pretty used to getting up earlier) but then Madison woke me up because Isolina wanted us all to eat together for their last meal here. At breakfast, we found out that Maika had never been to cerra de la cruz and I had been wanting to go the day before actually to get some exercise, but it had rained. We decided we had just enough time before we left to go and so Maika and I went up. Madison went off to see a friend she had made here last time she was here and I just barely made it back in time to say goodbye as she got into her Taxi.
It was nice having her here, but it was sad too. Five days is just like a tease when you want to be in somewhere a long time. There’s no worse feeling than feeling like you have just arrived at a place you want to be when you already have to leave. It was like saying goodbye back in July all over again. Everybody was sad.
After she left, I had my salsa class again and Orlando informed me that there was a guy that he was going to be teaching in the afternoon and he could use a girl assistant. Me? I’m good enough at salsa now to help someone else out?? EEK! He wanted a girl because it’s hard to teach a guy his steps without a girl being there to lead. Because everyone knows how guys get when they have to dance with another guy. So I decided to go help out (and he was giving me an extra opportunity to practice which I don’t get much anymore these days).
I ended up getting there early and Orlando and a bunch of rowdy folks were hanging out and started singing karaoke. My shy self kept to myself on the side reading, when Byron broke out into a song that I actually knew part of. I joined in and they all looked at me and realized I knew a song and dragged me to the microphone and made me sing it with Orlando. Un olor a tabaco y chanel… me recuerda el olor de su piel.. una mezcla de miel y cafe, me recuerda el sabor de sus besos. Orlando left me hanging halfway through, but from the looks everyone gave me and the cheering, I was given enough confidence to keep going and finish out the song! I had so much fun. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I keep forgetting I’m trying to be more confident here and usually I think I do a good job, but I still get uncomfortable a lot because I can’t understand the Spanish in large groups. But either way, I loved singing Karaoke and I got a huge round of applause from all his friends.
The Salsa class went well as well! I got to be dipped all the way to the floor and it was crazy. Man, dancers have to be strong as hell to do some of this stuff! The class ended up being two hours instead of one, but I was really grateful for the extra practice time. My knees and feet hurt by the end, but for dancing, it is always worth it.
Well, never would I know that Karaoke prepared me to sing later that night. Meggan, one of the girls I met in Utopia came into town yesterday and I brought her to Rainbow Cafe to listen to Kenny and Edgar play. It was rather empty, as is pretty usual on a Sunday night, so that may have helped my confidence, but Kenny and Edgar also found out I knew Tobaco y Chanel by Los Bacilos and convinced me come up and sing it. And unlike the time at Open Mic Night, I didn’t shake this time. Conquering fears feels AWESOME. I hope you start soon! Hahaha. I loved it! I hope we start practicing so I can do it more often with different songs.
Afterwards, Meggan went home, but I was energetic and wanted to hang out more with Kenny and Edgar so they brought me to Cafe No Sé where they were playing for a fundraiser for someone who had been in a bad accident. I still don’t think I’m a fan of Cafe No Sé, but I was glad I came by the end of the night, despite wreaking of smoke and being dead tired, because I won a prize in the raffle!!
I won 400Q to go to a place called Panza Verde, which is apparently a REALLY nice restaurant in Antigua. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything in my life! I was so excited! So now, thanks to my friends who brought me to the fundraising party, the 3 of us are all going to go have a fancy schmancy dining experience together sometime this week! Can’t wait!