My last few days in Antigua.
Guatemala. Antigua has two faces one when it is raining and one when it is not. People come out from everywhere, the streets get swept and everyone is busy but not in a hurry. I love Antigua on these days and can understand why people retire here, relaxed, colorful, culture, great cafes,super cheap and 7 months of dry weather..
When it is raining, the streets fill with water. When walking with an umbrella, you need to navigate the windows that jut from the buildings, tilt the umbrella away from the wall protecting yourself from the drip line that is common to hit the center of the narrow sidewalk. When walking along the road that has traffic, I walk with the umbrella held to the side and low to protect my body from the water splashing off the roads from the cars. Quite an art, umbrella dance.
Since I am going home Tiffany and don't go to our Spanish classes. Although we still hurry everywhere, our days are not as full. I miss thursday at the orphanage to make flight arrangements. We take the time to get to the bank. Susan comes along and we enjoy a hot coffee and cheese cake at the Central Plaza. Nice! Fun to people watch.
The last day at the orphanage they are celebrating Children's Day. They have set up a fun day much like our fun fairs at the schools. Many kids are walking arm in arm and you can tell they are siblings, happy to have a chance to be together. the kids are in their regular clothes not uniforms, they look great. Most of the teachers are dressed as clowns, with a few exceptions, like a princess and Zorro excetra. Tiffany and I get lots of hugs from our kindies.
While Tiffany takes a nap, a friend of Marta's (the house mom) visits. She is a single mom with three children and has walked from San Lucas! Tiffany and I take the bus to San Lucas to the orphanage it takes 35 minutes by bus, and costs about 62 cents. Suzanne our roommate takes a photo of the new baby-one month old. The baby is wearing an outfit Suzanne's mother has knitted. The mom is hoping Marta will offer her food for her and her children. I am not sure if this happens.
I am wondering what to get our host family as a going away gift. They have so little. I decide to get the shower repaired. Tiffany and I trudge off to find the plumbing shop. With a few Spanish words and some miming we get a new shower head. In most of Latin America they use a water heater that is attatched directly on the shower head. It heats the water as it runs. Very efficent and uses less electricity than a big water heater. In most homes they do not have hot water going to any other taps including the kitchen. Dishes are done with cold water. Newer modern homes might have a hotwater tank. The neighbor installs it and we are all happy for the hot water. Yeah!
Then we decide on some other things we think are necessary for the kitchen, garbage can, water jug, a kettle for the gas stove, and some other little bits.
Their kitchen is as simple as my first tent camping kitchen. No shelves, a sink and a small wooden counter top, a two burner propane stove, a small table where they take their meals. No fridge. No storage. I believe that someone else is cooking our meals, I am not sure, but she has no cooking supplies in there.
All the supplies we gave Damariz-pencil crayons, crayons,pencils, scissors, excetra they have put away and she in now registered for school for February.
I gave Tito my Spanish to English dictionary.
The house we live in. The walls in Tiffany and my room are weeping water. The walls dont drip yet but another good rain would probably do it. The wet spot on the ceiling above my bed grows each day. If we get to much more rain it will start to drip. The student bathroom ceiling has a constant drip right by the toilet. The host family shower which I tried because they said the water was hotter sprays out of the shower stall onto the toilet and floor. The court yard is tidy, but needs much tender loving care. None of the tiles are polished anymore. The curtains on the windows sag down on their string. There is no couch or living room area. The hosts have a TV in their very tiny room, they share a double bed with both their children.
The family is really nice and working hard. Jose the father/husband/brother works long hours at Pollo Campero and is always happy!
Tiffany and I have time to visit the markets. It is fun on the weekend with many tourists. We see many Mayan families selling their wares. Local people come to the central plaza on the weekend with their families. There is entertainment in the streets. I watch a juggler and the the couple behind me about 15 years old smile, the girl has a beautiful face but she is missing about 4 teeth. She smiles broadly as if she all her teeth are present.