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Showing posts from July, 2011

The End: Guatemala

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This time last year I was leaving Quito to finish up my last year of grad school. I boarded my flight to Florida with nostalgia for my new friends but ready to return to the old ones. Returning home is a completely different story this year. I started over from scratch in Antigua and built myself a life here this summer, with nothing to return to back in the States. I will be going home for a few weeks to visit family and then moving to Quito for a two-year job contract. No more student loans coming through my bank account, no more returning to my Tallahassee friends to share stories of our crazy summers, no more textbook shopping or checking in with my graduate advisor. There are similarities across all Latin American countries, but Antigua will remain a unique city. I’m going to miss shoving my way through the market just to get the freshest avocadoes, sitting on rooftop terraces drinking coffee while overlooking volcanoes erupting, hanging out in the courtyards of cafes, getting rid…

Antigua Parade

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Monday, July 25, 2011 was “Antigua Day” and a holiday off work for the city. I got up at 7 AM to meet my students and the staff of the school where I am volunteering for a parade they were marching in. When I got there, the students were ridiculously cute in home made costumes for the parade. I found out that not only did the parade include over 30 schools from the surrounding community, but ended at the city stadium for a huge procession and dance off.  Me with some of my fifth grade girls It took about an hour to get the parade organized and all the schools in order. I hung out with some of my fifth graders, who were mesmerized by the drum line behind us accompanied by older girls dancing in short skirts with batons. Crowds lined the streets of Antigua to see all the students marching around in costumes and they city was basically shut down for an entire morning. There must have been a couple of thousand people participating in the parade, plus all of the onlookers partying on street …

Hiking Pacaya

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My mom is in town visiting and we used our first morning here to hike the Volcano Pacaya, one of the only three active volcanoes in Guatemala. I have altitude-induced asthma, so within the first 20 minutes I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up. The group consisted of 11 tourists and a guide, and they were flying up the 2 hour steep trail without stopping nearly enough for my feeble lungs. Despite my protests, my mom rented two horses to take us up the hill, figuring I would be able to hike down fine. She was right. I rode my horse for about a half hour and then managed to slowly climb the rest of the way up hill, and it was worth it. Our group chilling on the Volcano The first hour and a half is through what appears to be a thick jungle environment, but when you come out at the end of the trail, you see more of what you would expect from a jungle. Lava, ash, steam. We were able to climb under this big boulder that is over a hot spot, which basically makes the gap under the rock a sauna.


M…

Lago de Atitlán

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I have been to the lake twice now so it is time to post some photos and whatnot.

View of the lake
The first time, I went to San Pedro, a little hippie town, with Chris, Brian, and Andrea. Getting a boat from Panajchel to San Pedro was a little bit annoying because you have to wait for the boat to fill up but we got some beers and the wait wasn’t all that bad. Not to mention we were chilling on a beautiful lake surrounded by volcanoes.

Walking down a street in San Pedro
San Pedro was really cute, lots of little bars and cafes, hostels, interesting people walking around. It had just rained so the entire city felt wet and I had to change into my flip flops. For dinner, Chris and I went to a place called The Clover and I think I had the best food I have had on my entire trip down here so far. It was chicken stuffed with cheese and olives and spinach. The next day, we discovered an awesome hostel/restaurant called Zoola. The restaurant was inside a huge colorful Middle Eastern looking tent…