Juan from La Union School, where I´ll be studying Spanish for the next 3 weeks picked me up from the airport. We headed towards Ciudad Vieja where my host family is. The area right outside the airport was pretty developed. Wide streets, noisy horns, invading billboards everywhere and even a Mobile "On the Run"! Luckily 20 minutes into the drive those billboards disappeared and cars quited down and all of the sudden we were driving down a narrow curvy road cutting through luscious green mountains in the darkness of the night. A couple of minutes later we passed by Antigua. Juan pointed out the usual places; churches, plazas, municipalities, etc. Then he pointed out his top hotel recommendation to me. A $20 a night hotel right in the middle of the city but not too well known. Any takers?
We continued to head to Ciudad Vieja and we arrived in no time at Rosa's yellow house. Rosa was so warm greeting me into her home. It was late so I kindly asked them to turn in to sleep. She gave me a quick tour of her beautiful house with her 5 dogs and I don´t know how many birds and parrots! She then took me to my room which was just perfect. She actually went through the effort of decorating it for me! So cute!
The next morning I woke up after a great night of sleep to the chirps of her birds. One of her parrots keep yelling waht sounds like "Hello!" all the time. Sometimes I get confused thinking Rosa is calling me! I took a shower turning on the "hot" watert like Rosa showed me. Turns out hot is an exaggeration. I guess she meant to say "not too cold"! I got ready and stepped out of my room, on the second floor, and I noticed the view of the volcano from her house. Breathtaking!
I had a quick breakfast and Maria and I headed out to Antigua so I can by some essentials and get cash. We took the chicken bus. Chicken buses are repurposed school buses, the yellowones we have in the US, that are painted with crazy colors and religious decorations hanging everywhere inside the bus. The ride to town costs 2.5Qs ($0.30) and takes about 15 minutes. These buses are a staple in Guatemala, locals preferred mode of transportation. In Antigua, Rosa and I walked around town, went to a photo exhibit nd a couple of churches. The town is beautiful! I will definitely explore it more over the next few days.
Interruption: the power just went out in the entire country. Luckily the blog has an autosave feature! While the power was out Paulo, Rosa's sun and I went out to the street and talked. He told me about all the crazy foreigners that stayed in his house! He said some of them have serious issues and end up in jail here! Why would you ever put youself in these situations! Beats me!!!
We had dinner once power came back. The father is really funny. He can't remember my name. He keeps calling me Wamu and Paulo keeps correcting him! Luisa, Rosa's daughter, works as a biochemist at the Hospital. The four puppies here all have Arabic names! Ghalia, Noor, Turfah, and I forgot the fourth one! These puppies are insane! the keep licking my feet and jumping on me everytime I walk into the house! The also have a giant german shepard who for some reasons stays on the roof. He does not like it when I come home. He starts barking and pacing back and forth until I close my door!