The ride up the river was so beautiful and as soon as we made it to the town we found a bus to take us to Finca de Paraiso, a hot waterfall, and what a treat it was. Not only the waterfall, but the company. I thought Rio Dulce was a Q'eqchi area, and was happy to find out it in fact was. While walking to the waterfall, Cali asked the young boys following us, "Como estas?" I followed with, "Ma sa aachol?" They were so excited to hear us speaking Q'eqchi and told every local we met on the way. You can see from my only picture of the falls that these boys made my day. The only thing
After Rio Dulce we spent a couple nights in Antigua, meeting up again with the ladies we had met during Easter. Since it was around All Saint's Day we were able to see yet another procession, although I did tell Cali it was for her, and how she'll have more for Christmas. We also went to a Halloween party, finding costumes from the ladies, that was hosted by Guatemala Peace Corps volunteers. It was nice to see Antigua again without the crazy amounts of people.
Next up, San Pedro la Laguna. I was ready to have a week in one place after sleeping in a different bed each night for the past few. We made our way to the Coopertiva
She only spoke Spanish, which was a good thing, I hoped this would help me learn even more. Our conversations were interesting, I´m sure and I realized staight away that Miss Melida was the most patient person in Guatemala. Her husband and daughter were away for the week, so I only met her and her son along with his wife who came for one meal. I was a little bit sad only staying with one person, but like to think it was nice for her that I was there and she didn´t have to be alone. I enjoyed our meals and even had the chance to cook with her a few times, wanting to learn how to flatten tortillas with my hands which is the way they do it there. She even invited me to visit with her which made me extemely happy. I do miss visiting, and this was the best because we went to see a newborn baby.
When I wasn´t in class or studying at my house I would walk the village which was quite enjoyable. My favorite part was seeing all the people resting on the side of the road with nothing better to do than watch others pass, chit-chatting with their neighbors and I could just tell, loving life. It´s a hard thing for me to explain, but at every corner I wanted to snap a picture of what was going on to capture the moment, this never did happen, but I´ll keep the memories with me in my mind and in my heart.
Even though classes kept me pretty occupied, I found time to do a few activites, one being horseback riding with another student since Cali was not going with me. I´m not really sure why I´d been wanting to ride a horse especially since my only memories of horses are not very pleasant, I guess that makes sense, I wanted to have a better memory, I want to like horses. Stephanie and I decided to take the three hour tour in the hills with our guide who ended up riding a bicycle the whole time. We were very perplexed by this, but it did bring some laughs seeing him hold on while going up the hills. Our horses were funny, too, the whole time competing to be up front, mine (Cinnamon) getting a little vicious in the end, kicking up his hind legs to lead the way. At one point we passed by a bull that was stinky and the guide talking to the owner exclaimed "chu" (few words are similar in the Mayan dialects) I then held my nose and said the same thing which made the guide tell me I understood more Tzúthil than Spanish. True, true.
Another adventure was on the weekend, a celebratory hike up Nariz Maya to see a beautiful sunrise over the lake. I had set up a guide through my Spainsh instructor, the only thing, he didn´t show up. Cali and I decided to try to make it on our own, since we already were up at 4am. We took a bus to another village and lucked out meeting an old man who was could tell us how to get there, sort of. He told us to go straight which sounded good until the path split. We then went up and towards the sun that was starting to rise, so afraid we would miss out, but no worries, the path we made ended up getting us where we needed to go and just in time.
Once we were finished in San Pedro we took a shuttle to Guatemala City to meet a friend of a friend we had never seen before so that made for an interesting pick-up. Is that Ronnie? Is that Ronnie? He ended up being such a gentleman, not only giving us a place to stay, but breakfast in the morning, a tour of Central Park, and a ride to the airport. Blessings upon blessings. Next up, Panana!