Arrival in Antigua

No trip ever goes smoothly. Seriously. This is why I was not surprised that I arrived in Antigua on a different day than I expected. I stayed with my aunt and uncle in Miami the night before I was supposed to fly out and was dropped off at the airport the next day. We boarded the plane to Houston and sat at the gate for a half hour before the pilot said there was a slight delay due to rain in Texas. Two and a half hours later, the plane was ready to go but by that point I had missed my connecting flight to Guatemala. The gate agent sent me to the ticketing counter who rebooked all my flights for the next day. Problem was, my luggage had flown on to Guatemala without me. I had to call my aunt who came back and picked me up at the airport and stayed with her for another night. Being unable to change clothes, shower, or brush my teeth, I arrived at the airport the next day super smelly and determined to leave the country.

Everything actually went ok after that, minus 5 minutes of being freaked out at the Guatemala airport because my luggage was being stored in an office on the third floor of the parking garage and it was really scary that late at night. As I walked into the crowd of taxi drivers in front of the airport, about fifteen of them yelling at me, “Miss, you need taxi?!!!” one guy stood out because he didn’t yell but actually asked me who I was looking for. I said I had a car pick up arranged with my hostel and we talked for about 5 minutes. 5 minutes later, this guy goes…’Wait, are you McKenzie?’ Turns out he was holding a sign with my name on it and I didn’t even notice, and he thought McKenzie was a boy’s name so he had been looking for a guy leaving the airport! He worked for the Quetzal Roo Hostel. He drove me back to the hostel where I checked in no problem. Some of the backpackers were having a marathon of The Sopranos, so an exhausted me collapsed on the couch and joined in.

Hand-drawn map of Guatemala

Next morning, the hostel owner Manuel drew me a personalized map of Guatemala with the names of the hostels I have to stay at in each city and drove me to the chicken bus to Antigua. I met my roommate, Luke, in the central square of Antigua and now I am all settled in our apartment. I’ve got my own bedroom and it is in a safe area. I am really looking forward to a summer getting to know this town and the people here, and spending more time with Chris in his natural habitat. We hit up 3 different bars/clubs on my first night out and I met so many people my head is spinning, but it confirmed that I did the right thing this summer coming here.

I hit the jackpot with a phone. At the Quetzal Roo one of the guys gave me a wifi usb plug that had 15 more days of service on it. Luke pointed out that it had a sim card in it, so I plugged that sim card into my newly unlocked Blackberry and voila!! Phone and texting service ready to go!

My neighborhood in Jocotenango, outside of Antigua
This is the view from my window. We are living in a gated community outside of Antigua. I don't understand why everywhere I have been in South and now Central America the front parts of houses are painted and look nice, and then the sides and roof are unfinished.


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