Every week is a moment closer to coming home. And I can’t get over how fast the time is flying still. I feel like I will be opening every blog post with the same phrase because I’m just so shocked, I feel like I’m going to blink and it’s all going to be over. It’s bumming me out so much, as I feel like trip just began when I went to Belize and came back. I was sick so much in the beginning and then got in so many habits and things that just became learning moments that I feel like now I’ve just settled and really begun to enjoy my trip, but it’s almost over! TRISTE! (Sorry I have like no pics again this week…)
Monday I met my new housemate, Emilee. I was worried about meeting her because she is going to be here for 6 months and so I have to live with her the rest of the time I am here. I knew she was 18 years old and with people much younger than me, it can be hit or miss with whether we get along well or not. She turned out to be “hit” because she’s super sweet and we have been getting along great so far so I am really enjoying having a new person here and am excited to have someone here the rest of the time. Now I have Guatemalan friends, but I also have someone in the house to keep me company so I don’t always have to leave to go find it.
Willy, now that his BAR exam is over, now has a lot more time to hang out so we started a tandem program after our usual class time and now talk for an hour, 1/2 in English for him and 1/2 in Spanish for me. He’s so precious when he speaks English! His voice sounds so different than his Spanish voice, it’s hard to get used to haha.
Tuesday I went for a good walk around the city in search for a yoga mat that I could buy to do some exercises on. Half of my pants that I brought no longer fit well thanks to all the carbohydrates we eat here. It’s driving me crazy! I was successful in finding a place that sells them, but unsuccessful because they’re out of stock til either a week from now or 2 weeks from now. Goodness.
In class, I had another funny “we know each other too well” moment with Willy. I was going on and on about some guy I met (Don’t make fun of me until you come get seduced by this language! Hahaha) that I was fussing about wanting to see again and blah blah and Willy changed the subject and turned the topic to the “pregunta del dia!” I smirked sarcastically and was like “Oh boy. Here we go.” And he asked me what my problem was and I said “Now you’re going to ask me a question about this guy.” It was honestly just an educated guess, but Willy’s mouth dropped and he was like “Wow.” And then I after a few “Wow what? I’m right, right?”‘s from me, we just cracked up for about 10 minutes straight and I said “I’ve been here how long now? I think I know you by now.” Oh fun times with Willy. How I will miss these classes.
We had more tandem time after again and got into big topics like divorce and relationships. An hour really just isn’t enough time to talk to him. I haven’t met anyone who shares a similar interest in me in analyzing deep subjects and trying to figure out the cause of them and having really complex opinions about them. It makes you go home and think and it’s really nice to have someone to share that with. Through a lot of the not so nice people I’ve made here, I do believe I have met SOME people that will be friends with me for life. And that’s my favorite kind of friendship.
After dinner, Emilee, Megan and I went to watch Kenny and Edgar play at Cafe No Sé otra vez. Definitely becoming a habit to go watch them play all the time now that we hang out afterwards. That was an interesting night for sure. Poor Emilee has just gotten here and she’s already getting awkwardly hit on and not even by a Guatemalteco! We were sitting down and some old guy with a cowboy hat on told us we need to learn how to relax (Um, we’re sitting down.. Since when is that not relaxing?) and tried to drag us to dance. We finally gave in when there were lots of people dancing around in a circle and we all danced, but afterwards he continued small chatting “Where you from? How long you here?” Yadayada.
Well…. He finds out that Emilee has 6 months here and just goes “WOW! We should like have an affair or something.” WHAT?! Who says that? So Emilee and I just stare at each other with our eyes big with surprise when he asks where she’s from again and she answers “Maine” and he says “Aw. Nevermind. You’re much too Victorian for me” (whatever that means) and proceeds to say “Well, you oughtta at least F*CK somebody while you’re here or get a vibrator or something. You guys just gotta loosen up and have some fun!” WHAT? I just. I just have no words. I will never get tired of traveling because you meet someone interesting almost every day. I’m not even sure interesting is a good enough word to describe it anymore.
So poor Emilee has already been scarred for life by the crazies; and Kenny, for that matter, has been teasing her to make fun of the other Guatemalans here by saying “Do you want to marry me?” and high-fiving her and claiming that they’re now husband and wife because apparently high-fiving is the “new way” to get married (I better be careful for I who start high fiving!). But she at least knows he’s just joking. She seems to enjoy them and think they are fun. I feel cool for introducing her haha. Having Emilee here has made me feel like I would have been a good big sister. I’m enjoying translating for her (She came knowing zero, and I mean ZERO Spanish) and introducing her to who she should and should not hang out with and helping her with her Spanish. It’s been fun so far. I only hate talking about future things that are happening after I leave Guatemala because it makes me sad and want to stay. Everyone wants me to stay for Christmas and New Years now. My heart be torn in halfffff! Arrrrrrr.
Wednesday I hiked up Cerro de la Cruz to get some exercise because half of my pants don’t fit and it’s driving me crazy. It’s definitely more fun to hike with someone, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I saw José a little later that day since I had not hung out with him in over 3 weeks. That poor child hasn’t changed a bit. Thank God I have! It rained so we just sat and talked under a terrace in the park for about an hour before my Spanish class. After Spanish, I went back to Salsa class again (I’m returning to this habit to get in some practice outside of my private classes even though I know the basic steps fairly well). Then I just had a night in of reading and talking my friend, Virgilio, from Semuc Champey on facebook.
Thursday, I had my regular routine, but I ran into Miguel that morning before my Salsa class and I hadn’t seen him in quite a few weeks so that was nice to catch up with him. My private classes are going pretty well, but I’m afraid I still don’t have a video for you guys. Orlando says we’ll do it one of these days. I won’t be buying more classes if it’s not before these next 6 finish! HA. So expect one soon, but I don’t know if I will be able to put it on the blog.
I meant to go to Cerro de la Cruz again that day, but it rained and I fell asleep in my room after lunch. Emilee invited me out that night with a couple of her volunteer friends so we went out after dinner and I happened to run into my friend, Rodrigo, from the city outside of a place called Vibras. They have their Open Mic Night on Thursday nights so we decided to stay to watch them. I haven’t seen Rodrigo in forever. That was a treat to see him. He was going to have me sing with him after he sang, but unfortunately there was some confusion at the bar and they kicked him off and moved onto the next person before I got to come up and sing.
I also ran into Juan Andres who I tried to hang out with one day wayyyyyyy back in the beginning, but we never did. And he invited me to start practicing with him so I can sing more often. Hopefully I will be starting that soon. Kenny has invited me too, but we still never have practiced, so maybe I’ll take my chances with Juan Andres now. It has been a lot of fun singing; I just feel like I still don’t do a great job so some practice with someone that can play guitar would be quite lovely!
Friday my salsa class got cancelled in the morning so I spent some time talking to Virgilio again. He would like to be a photographer so I am hoping he has a chance to come to Antigua and hang out with me before I leave so I can give him some photography tips and let him use my camera (and I NEVER like to let people touch my camera so he better feel some kind of special! hahaha). I then went caminandoing (Edgar and Kenny are going to ruin my Spanish with all their Spanglish joking) around to check if the yoga mats came in yet at that store and ended up finding a healthy food store!!! (Well kind of. It’s more like an imports store, but they do have a few healthier snack-type things there. For a price, of course).
Then of course, Friday is movie day in Spanish class so Willy and I watched P.S. I Love You (P.S. Did I mention I love my teacher?!) and then that provoked our after class discussion about family and who you can trust in life and I learned some other disheartening stories of Guatemala. It kills me to see the lack of trust among people here. It’s hard to find.
Anyways, Saturday was awesome. I was planning to go to a Halloween Party in Jocotenango, but I ended up changing my mind because I wasn’t finding enough people to go with. I had my salsa class in the morning and saw my friend KEVIN for the first time in a MONTH who I’d been pestering to come visit me. He’s apparently taking some exam to work in a bank in the city so he’s been rather busy, but he said he’d come back at 3ish that day to hang out with me (never did) so that also made me decide to stick around Antigua instead of leave for the party.
After lunch, I took Emilee and Theresa (another lady who will just be in our house ’til Thursday) to Cerro de la Cruz so they could get to see it and so that I could get my exercise in. This was a day that reminded me, again, why I love to travel. You never know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to meet one day. Some older guy started talking to us for apparently no reason and he happened to be traveling with some guy that looked to be around 30 or so who joined after a minute. We were all talking about travel type stuff when the younger guy, Jesse, started to mention to Emilee “You have not been to Guatemala if you haven’t been to…” and in the same moment we both said “SEMUC CHAMPEY!” and we got really excited that we’d both been there and started talking about all the amazing things there and how beautiful it is and had a huge bonding moment over our mutual love for Semuc. (I STILL SWEAR I’M GOING BACK ONE DAY FOR LONGER!)
We ended up hiking back down with those guys so Jesse and I talked longer and I found out he has been to Guatemala several times and we bonded over our mutual distaste for the misogynistic culture that exists here, but also the fact that the girls cheat on people just as much as the guys do. He apparently had a girlfriend from here at some point who cheated on him and a week later married her “ex”-boyfriend. So we had the heartbreak from a not-so-faithful-Guatemalan experience to share as well. He was really interesting to talk to and it was a bummer he was just on his way out of Antigua, but I got his information because I also found out that he runs a mission project here to help the kids (like the 7 year olds that work 12 hours a day shining shoes in the park!) and that he pretty much travels for his full time job (Of COURSE I had to make friends with him. I always want to know peoples trick to traveling full time). So hopefully I’ll stay in touch with him because it’s hard to find mission opportunities without attending church and everybody knows I’d jump on an opportunity to come back to my second home! 😛
On top of running into my amiguito and meeting a really cool new friend, I also ran into Francisco! (I don’t know if you’ll remember him because I haven’t seen him since literally my first month or so here. He was the guy that helped me chase the girl that ran away from my volunteer project one day. I’m not sure why we’ve never hung out.) So that was a treat to see him and catch up for a second.
Poor Emilee lost her phone that day (thank God it wasn’t a smartphone) so we went BACK up to Cerro de la Cruz to look for it (Yay for more exercise?) but with no luck. So she will have to buy a new phone already. Pobresita
My Irish friends from Belize came into town this week, but decided not to stay at our house, so we had dinner together Saturday night finally. It was really cool getting to see them again, but I had forgotten I told Meggan to meet us at Kafka to watch Kenny and Edgar again so I had to bolt at the end of dinner to get over there with Emilee and Theresa. After they finished, Theresa, Meggan and all of her friends decided to go home, but Emilee and I were ready to go out some more. Deciding against Cafe No Sé because we don’t like the smoke there, we went to hang out and play cards at Whiskey Den. Cards, guys. Who plays cards anymore? And has a great time for that matter? (Aside from my family in New York). I think I found my soul mates. I love board games. I hate sitting around in a circle and playing on our phones. Kenny & Edgar…. I don’t know why we all didn’t hang out more sooner. They are a fun group of kids. Like I said, I feel like my trip has just begun. NO QUIERO SALIR PARA NUNCA! NO PUEDES HACERME SALIR! NO. NO GRACIAS. ME VOY A QUEDAR. HMPH.
Ok, just kidding guys that are going to freak out that I’m actually thinking about staying. It’s a mentira. I already booked my plane ticket and signed up for the Dominican Republic in January so I really can’t stay. But I am very sad about this (not that I don’t miss and love you all so very dearly) and I hope to return again and continue where I left off. I am not done with Guatemala yet, that’s all I know.
Sunday was a good day as well. I pretty much slept in until 1:00 because after I woke up for breakfast, I went back to read in bed and ended up falling asleep for 4 more hours. Guess 5 hours the night before wasn’t enough ahhaha. Anyways, I woke up to a text from Edgar so I ended up hanging out with him after lunch. We ran into Mihail (one of their friends we played cards with the night before) in the park and all sat around talking for a bit. Headed to take a picture with a human statue, and then talked over coffee in Cafe Portal. More good conversation. I love the feeling that I feel like I’ve finally made some real true friends here.
After coffee, Edgar and I returned his camera to his house (he brought it so I could give him some tips but the battery died) and we found out we literally live directly in front of each other, except with one block (and unfortunately, a patch of trees) in between us. How ironic! I knew he lived close, but that’s crazy. We’ve never run into each other in the street either, but he lives right there close to Máximo Nivel. We headed to Rainbow after that because he had to play again that night with Kenny. Emilee and her friends joined a bit later and I sang again at the end of the night! I’d put up the video, but I don’t know how right now and it’s not that great anyways. Maybe after we actually practice first haha. I also dragged Emilee to come sing (Again, feeling like a big sister. Because I learned that I should have started singing here a lot sooner, but I was too afraid to, so I recognized her shyness and dragged her up to sing a song with me and she loved it. She loves musicals and musical theater just like I did in high school so it’s really funny getting to know her).
And so ends another oh-so-fabulous week in Guatemala, mi segundo hogar. Looking forward to the weeks to come! But not to the final day I’m here!