02.06.2011 - 02.06.2011 70 °F
Heidi and I have a new favorite word. We didn’t make it up, though we wish we had. Guatever.
Today was a bit of a low key day. Given that it was a holiday here (Army Day), we weren’t offered food with our host family. Our school, Ixchel, informed us that it is clear on the website that food will not be provided on holidays. If we wanted, we could pay for a pizza party at the school. We paid for dinner and you’re not going to give it to us, but we can buy dinner from you again? Guatever.
After our Spanish classes, Heidi and I set out to complete a long list of agenda items. First, we went in search of information about our weekend trip to Semuc Champey. After visiting half a dozen travel agencies, we stumbled across one owned by a sweet Guatemalan man (named Carlos) who also offered to spend evenings with us so we could practice our Spanish and he could practice his English.
After nearly a half hour of broken Spanish, and even more broken English, we walked out of his office with packages to Semuc Champey for only 600 Quetzales a piece – which works out to about $75. This seems like a pretty good deal considering it includes transportation, two nights accommodation in a private room, entrance and a guided tour. Turns out, if you are willing to book it all separately and take the risk of riding on a chicken bus (which even the locals say isn’t very safe), we could probably have done the same trip for about $40. I love how cheap Guatemala is!
After we finalized our weekend travel plans we decided to check out the local McDonalds (not to eat, just to check it out. At least as impressive as we were told it would be) and then headed to Rainbow Café, a little spot next to our house where Heidi and I go for internet connection, live music and sometimes wine. We stayed there for dinner and left when it was time to meet some of Heidi’s friends out for a drink. As we wandered the streets searching for Sky Bar, which is actually Sky Café, we repeatedly asked locals for directions. And I know that our Spanish isn’t yet perfect (almost, but not quite), I’m pretty sure that we received contradictory directions at least three times. When we finally arrived, we were greeted in the stairwell by a man who was clearly drunk, putting on his belt and telling us, “Don’t worry, I’m not harmless.” Hmmm….
Heidi’s friends were already there with empty tequila shots in front of them. As we chatted with these girls (who are between 18 and 20), Heidi and I were reminded of what it was like for us during our first trip to Costa Rica when we were 19. It’s crazy to think how much we’ve changed since then! As we walked home about an hour later, we couldn’t help but feeling a little bit like we were chaperoning this excursion. So many of the people we’ve met here are young, some even still in high school. When did we become the old backpackers? Guatever.