Just when you think your life is getting into a routine and starting to feel boring… You have a week like this one!
As usual, I am just going to write in chronological order, but as you will see… I’m definitely having quite the adventure here.
Friday was a great day. I had ANOTHER private class (I just can’t get over how lucky I am to keep having private classes when I only paid for group ones. Keep it coming, Máximo!) because Ayesha didn’t show up. I told Willy I couldn’t find books at the Bodegona for me to read to practice my Spanish so for the second half of the class, he accompanied me to the Bodegona and picked out books for me to read. We passed some coffee mugs on our way out and he just fell in love with this one mug so I had to just buy it for him. He deserves a gift. What a blessing it has been to have him as a teacher. He puts up with all my shit. You will see more later.
Friday night, José and I didn’t end up dancing because Las Palmas looked rather empty. Kenny was playing at a place called Café No Se so we decided to go and listen to him play some music. It was alright. I much prefer Rainbow. I didn’t like the environment as much as this place, much darker and more like a dive bar instead of a happy chill hang out place. But Kenny played well as usual. Afterwards, José politely walked me home, as usual. I actually think that I prefer just walking sometimes. I can understand things better. It’s hard enough to hear English in a bar, let alone Spanish. But José is very patient with my poor Spanish speaking abilities and I am very grateful for that. He told me he only knows like 10% of English and I honestly didn’t believe him, but after hanging out, I actually think he doesn’t know much English. This makes me feel happy because that means I’m actually talking to a legitimate Spanish speaker and am able to communicate enough to have fun together!
Kenny just switches to English when I can’t understand. That can be frustrating. He likes messing with me though. Our friendship consists of sticking our tongues out at each other when I come to listen to him play guitar. Never have we hung out outside of that so whatever. But I apparently adopted the name “Shuca” which means dirty. Which I am not in any way. But that is men for you. (Sorry guys, you know it’s true). He also was messing with me because me and José walked in the rain to get there and he said “How romanticcccccc!” Oh boy. I hate it and I love it all at the same time. Teasing friends is the best.
Saturday I was going to go swimming with José, but it ended up raining. My morning was rather boring, but I got to meet my tandem partner for lunch with her mom. We went shopping afterwards to find some new shoes for me because none of mine are comfortable enough to dance well in and I REALLY WANT TO DANCE!
After that, José and I met up again and just café hopped. He looked at all my photography and we visited like 3 cafes before eating dinner at Mono Loco. Then after dinner, we finally went dancing at Las Palmas! Oh how I love dancing and oh how I need ALOT of practice. My stomach was hurting a bit so I couldn’t handle too many twirls, but I loved it all the same. He was a blast to hang out with. He saved leftovers to give to a homeless person after dinner and he took me around more blocks when I didn’t feel like walking straight home. He was so sweet to hang out with someone for that long that can’t speak or dance very well. 5pm-1am!
Sunday is when my week started going on a roller coaster. I was really bored and started getting into my depressed state and then more things happened that made it spiral faster. I think I was just bored and lonely because our house is empty and I learned it’s going to be for quite a bit of time now. It’s hard to go out alone and I can’t go out alone at night at all because it’s dangerous to walk alone so I need friends to go with.
What made Sunday worse was that I thought José had said we could hang out again (but I possibly twisted something in translation) after he went to a baby shower. Rodrigo ended up texting me to invite me to go swimming with him and a friend, but when they arrived in Antigua, it began to rain. I invited José to join us, but never got a text back. We ended up just walking around and hanging out and talking, ending up lastly in Café Portal. Rodrigo seems to be super nice and he’s definitely very intelligent. Degree in law, studying international relations, and he teaches English here with a perfect accent even though he’s from Guatemala. But he lives in the city so he’s not someone I can just hang out with at any old time.
I was really excited to go swimming so when that fell through, I got sad. I was also sad no one I invited came to join us, but thankful that I at least had Rodrigo and his friend to spend time with. But when I still didn’t hear anything from José, I started to get concerned. He usually is good about answering texts.
Monday, I still hadn’t heard from José and started getting more concerned. I was so worried about him that I couldn’t concentrate in my class. This is another moment where Willy wins the best teacher award. Ayesha actually came to class on Monday, but she had just had 2 make-up hours of Spanish right before and was having trouble concentrating as well. She also wanted some books in Spanish after hearing he took me to the Bodegona. So, Willy closed his books and basically said “Fine then. Let’s just go walk around.” So off we went….
WELL.. Mr. Mentiroso who has been lying to us this whole time about speaking English got caught red-handed. Ayesha and I went down the stairs to meet Willy to go out walking and saw someone talking to him in English. This is the second time I’ve encountered someone talking in English to him so I said to Ayesha “I think he CAN speak English!” And she said “Yeah, I asked the office if the teachers here really can’t speak any English and they told me ‘Yeah, the only teacher that knows English is WILLY!'” AHHH! This was followed by a day full of teasing because I KNEW Willy could speak English and then I knew for sure that day. So I proceeded to continuously call him a mentiroso. Mentiroso means liar in Spanish (but isn’t is so much more fun to say? I’m going to end up calling everyone liars here just because I love the word!)
After the Bodegona, he took us to walk around in the park and we were all still laughing at finding out he speaks English. Once we found out, obviously, we had much more questions in English and this time he couldn’t just answer “I don’t speak English” so we’d bother him til he’d tell us in English and then started calling us his monsters because we’re so awful for making him break the rules (Máximo has a rule that no English should be spoken in Spanish classes. It’s actually been amazingly helpful, but sometimes it’s really a pain to use the dictionary instead of just ask “how do you say ________?”)
I wanted that class to last forever because it was at least somewhat getting my mind off José. I still didn’t hear from him that night so I texted Kenny because Kenny knows him a little bit. Kenny finally answered and said he saw him working that day. That gave me a bit of relief, but then my crazy mind decided to think “well… then why isn’t he answering me? Did I do something wrong?” and I stayed sad and worried. Since he had been pretty much the only person to spend real time with me and I’d had so much fun, I was so afraid I’d already gone and lost my best friend here.
In addition, Sherea, the last roommate here, decided to leave early. So Monday was her last day and now there is no one else here. I don’t want to speak English, but it’s nice to at least have some people to come home to or to hang out with if I can’t hang out with a Spanish speaker. It made me feel very lonely, especially since I was still not sure what happened with José. This all has made me very thankful that my first month here was so full of love and life. I think if it had started out the way it felt Sunday and Monday, I would have left early. But because of that, now, even with these trials, I still don’t want to leave!
Tuesday, I finally got some relief. I met with my tandem partner for quite a while to practice Spanish and at the end she asked me to download an app on my phone called “Whatsapp” which is an app where you can send messages for free as long as there is internet (unfortunately, my internet never functions anymore and I can’t figure out why. Only works with wireless, not data). Well, apparently you can see when people are online on whatsapp and ironically, I saw José! If you have someone’s phone number, it automatically puts them in whatsapp for you. To my great relief, I sent him a message and FINALLY got a response. He said that his balance had run out on his phone and that’s why he hadn’t been answering. I don’t know why it takes 3 days to refill your phone, but that’s what happened.
When my class finished at 6:00, I had a text saying he was outside my house waiting to see me so I could know he was okay. He even had to be at work by 6:30. How sweet is that? I am kind of loving the fact that you can walk everywhere so easily in this town. He invited me to eat with him, but that’s impossible in 30 minutes, so I told him he needed to go to work.
Is that enough drama for one week?
Oh, sorry, I’m only at Tuesday.
Wednesday, I went to my project and found out that three of the girls escaped and ran away. They said they would have expected two of them to run, but not the other. I was in agreement because the one girl, Aracely, always seems so happy. She was one of the two girls in my English class. This was extremely sad news and I hope that God is watching over them.
After, of course, I came back to start my regular Wednesday routine. Get pretty, go to class, go to salsa, go to Rainbow. I had ANOTHER private class because Ayesha had been throwing up so she didn’t come obviously. I made Willy speak in English so I could hear what he sounded like and he actually knows quite a bit of English. He still has an accent and I think he’s embarrassed about it, but I think it’s adorable. He’s even funnier to me now that I know he speaks English.
Salsa is really starting to get boring because I’ve been here long enough to know the basics. But since the new people don’t know, we end up doing a lot of the same steps all class and I end up with guys who can’t dance and I end up not learning anything. But of course, I always like to go anyways to see mi vida! Hahaha. How did I get so lucky on this trip? I have the best Spanish teacher.. the best Salsa teacher.. the best Tutor.. I love everybody!
Rainbow was also a lot more lonely than usual because I don’t have anyone to bring with me anymore. José and Kenny are both busy working so I don’t get to talk to them much. Lily, my tandem partner, was going to come, but ended up not being able to. But I still enjoy hearing the music and being out so I still go. José and I and his best friend, Francisco went out afterwards because I wanted to dance. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any Salsa clubs on Wednesday nights so we ended up in some bar with too much American music. But I still had fun. Everything is fun as long as it is being shared with other people. Francisco seems nice too. More friends for Lizzie!
Ok. So… I thought my friend died Monday, then I thought he was mad at me, then the three girls from my project escaped Wednesday.. Now is that enough drama??
Sorry, still not done.
Thursday could probably be classified as my most interesting day this week. It started out as a normal day…
I woke up, got bored, went to see Diego. Diego is the free tutor at Máximo who is there to help us when we get stuck in class. I’m not stuck too often so I sometimes just go see him to hang out. He’s fun to talk to too and is also awesome just like Willy. Both Willy and Diego have been like guidance counselors this week with all the drama going on. It’s been an adventure and I’m grateful I have them to talk to and hash out my problems with (in Spanish, of course!). I didn’t have problems as of Thursday morning so we ended up talking about my photography and I got to teach him a little bit about how to use Manual mode on a camera.
The afternoon was when everything changed back to cray-cray. I was supposed to meet Juan Andrés in the park at 2:00. I think I mentioned him before a few weeks ago when he invited me to come listen to him play at Café Estudio. Either way, I finally saw him again Wednesday night and go to apologize for not coming to watch him play since I was sick. But then he invited me to meet him in the park yesterday and said he doesn’t have a phone. This is why EVERYONE should have a phone. Because I actually did want to go hang out with him because we all know I love having friends… But….
As I arrived in the park, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was Aracely! One of the girls that ran away from the volunteer project! Thinking she’d surely be glad to see me, I smiled and started approaching. As soon as she recognized me, she bolted. I thought for a split second whether I should chase her or not and decided to give it a try.
I’m out of shape. That’s for sure. Funny enough, Francisco happened to be passing by and saw me looking like a crazy person running down the street in flip flops and a skirt with a purse. I’m sure I looked rather gringa that day. Well, he thought she robbed me so quickly came to my aid to help chase her. Unfortunately, we lost her, but since he had been on his way to the park, we returned together. And then….
THERE SHE WAS AGAIN! We still couldn’t catch her before she saw us and took off again. This time, we figured we would just let her go. It’s not in my control, but I felt awful for not being able to help at all. I was only 10 minutes late, but I never saw Juan Andrés and Francisco waited with me for 30 minutes. We then decided to just grab a coffee together and I spent time with Francisco instead. I was grateful to run into him so I wouldn’t be depressed and go home sad and bored for not running into Juan Andrés.
I invited José to join us, but he couldn’t so Francisco started bugging him and I found out José has a girlfriend. Or at least, that’s what Francisco said. So I got mad at José because he had invited me to the beach this weekend and I felt that was so inappropriate if he has a girlfriend. Then he said we weren’t going anymore and everything got confusing. I thought I’d somehow made him mad, but I was the one who felt lied to. I don’t want to be THAT girl. So then started drama amongst my new friends. What? I make friends with boys usually more than girls because there’s less drama. But not here! Finally starting to understand the culture of men here. They don’t seem to like to share, even though I really just want to be FRIENDS. I guess they don’t share female FRIENDS either. Dios me ayuda.
So poor Willy had to listen to all my drama again and again I couldn’t concentrate so he ever-so-wonderfully let us have another class of walking about and just chatting. Ironically, I saw José in the park with all his friends and since I thought we were fighting, it was awkward to say hello. I just have the worst luck with that park I guess! Hahaha.
Anyways, Francisco invited me to come out that night so I thought that would be fun. I came home after class to eat dinner and get ready when I received 3 missed calls and a text from my Salsa teacher! I never expected to be hanging out with him, but I was quite okay with this. Except for the fact that his facebook says he has a girlfriend and again I feel it’s inappropriate to call someone else “mi vida” & “mi amor” when you’re with someone else, but he proceeded to explain later. He got my number from Kevin who I hadn’t heard from since I gave him my number last week. And he wanted me to come hang out so I figured Francisco and I would just go there so that’s what we did.
And Francisco arrived on a motorcycle. First motorcycle ride EVER! Way too much fun. I loved it!
Orlando told me when I arrived that he does not have a girlfriend and he just hasn’t changed his facebook status yet. Apparently she went back with her ex. Oh the drama here. I am still not sure who to believe anymore since José told me he didn’t have a girlfriend and Francisco said he did and José told me Francisco had a girlfriend and Francisco told me he didn’t and Facebook told me Orlando had a girlfriend and Orlando told me he didn’t. These games. I cannot handle it. I am not even looking for a boyfriend, I just don’t want someone to flirt with me that has a girlfriend. It’s not cool. So who knows if Orlando is telling the truth, but for the moment, I’ll allow the “mi vida” comments to slide. Cuz I love being called that. hahaha. I’m totally going to adopt these terms of endearment here. Ay mi vida loca. (Funny because this can mean my crazy life or my crazy salsa teacher. And I find that hilarious. Because I’m strange. Leave me alone. Haha)
You come try being called “mi vida” or “mi amor” by someone with a Spanish accent. EESh. I didn’t think I’d find anyone attractive here when I arrived, but I must be growing accustomed to their looks because I now find all my friends attractive. In case they read this blog, THAT DOESN’T MEAN I WANT ANYTHING. Just so we’re clear.
The owner of the restaurant we were at, however, wants me to take photos of the food for their menu! Food photography is the hardest ever, especially without studio equipment, but I’m sure going to try because that would be awesome to help someone out with their menu. What an interesting chain of events. If I hadn’t asked José to take me dancing after Rainbow Wednesday night, I wouldn’t have met Francisco. If Juan Andrés hadn’t invited me to the park, I wouldn’t have gone to the park. If Aracely hadn’t run away from Rosa’s, I wouldn’t have gone running after her in the park. If I hadn’t gone running, I wouldn’t have encountered Francisco and if I hadn’t met him the other night, he wouldn’t have helped me. If he hadn’t helped me, we wouldn’t have hung out and if we hadn’t hung out, we wouldn’t have made plans for last night and if we hadn’t made plans for last night, I probably would have been too chicken to walk by myself after dark to go meet Orlando and Kevin. And if I hadn’t given my number to Kevin, Orlando wouldn’t have been able to invite me out and if I hadn’t gone with Francisco to meet Orlando and Kevin, I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to help these guys with their menu. What an interesting web life weaves.
Sigh. My friends. Despite the strangeness of this week, I just want to stuff them all in a suitcase and take them home. I’m way too forgiving of a person. But I think life is better this way. I’m supposed to see José soon so we can clarify all this whatever-the-hell-this-is. And perhaps if everything is well, I will still get to go to the beach! Fingers crossed.
And a perfect quote to go with this week: “Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending. May you live all the days of your life.” -Jonathan Swift
I’m most definitely living. And I’m loving every good and bad minute of it! Gracias a Dios!
And my apologies for the lengthy post and the lack of good photos. I will try to get better ones later and get some with my other friends I’ve been talking about! Abrazas y Besos!