Friday, August 30, 2013

Rainy Season!

Did you know this is the rainy season in Guatemala? We didn’t. It clears up for a little while in the morning, but then it clouds over and usually rains. This is our second vacation this year where it was cool and rained. In a way it’s kind of nice to not be tromping around all day in the blazing heat! They don’t know the true meaning of the words ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ here. Joe and I have a joke about Gualtemaltecos; If the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit they all put on their down parkas, if it rises above 80 degrees they wear bikinis!

Its always fun walking home in the dark, in pouring down rain, wading through puddles. Elaina, the grandma, and woman of the house, welcomes us as we stand dripping in the entryway. The barking poodle greets us. Josua, the ninth-grader helps me make tea to warm me up. How odd we still haven’t met the owner of the house, Luis. I’ve heard his voice tell the son that we had to pay to use his WiFi, but that’s it. There is a picture of a beautiful woman in the hallway with candles and a crucifix. She was his late wife. Abuela Elaina told us the tragic story of how her husband and daughter died around the same time three years ago.
We rediscovered our favorite terrace bar/restaurant, La Serena. To get to the terrace you have to go up stone steps through a tunnel of plants and flowers. It has a majestic view of the main volcanos; Volcan Agua and Volcan Fuego, and the flowers surrounding the terrace are gorgeous.
Ana, my teacher, is very nice. We get along great with long relaxing talks, and gentle corrections of my Spanish. Joe’s teacher, Jeni, is a riot. We can hear their laughter across the school courtyard (our school is a giant garden). I overheard another instructor tell Jeni that her student was hilarious. You know the saying; “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bulls*#t!” No matter how much he messes up, they all think he’s wonderful J I should’ve explained we are going to a total immersion language school. By the way, the five minute walk to school has changed to ten minutes. They moved the school. It’s in a garden used for school and events on the weekends. Very pretty. They have some vendors selling local food from carts out front.

I finally saw the owner of the house last night through lacey curtains, talking to his son. Apparently he works 12 hour shifts. 
I have two pairs of shoes and a pair of flip-flops. Both of my shoes are soaking wet and show no signs of drying. We’re stuck in the house for the moment. We went out after lunch, but only made it about fifty feet before a torrential downpour got us. Yesterday we ended up sitting in a bar for a couple of hours waiting out the storm. Joe watched soccer and I wrote in my book.

The big day is tomorrow. Marvin and Evelyn are getting married at four o’clock. He’s asked us to give a little speech (translate=Heidi will give a little speech). I will tell you all about it next week.

Random thoughts;
How the TV goes constantly with American programs in English. Though Elaina and the teenagers speak Spanish only.

How sad the dog in front of school is with his fur missing from his muzzle, and sores around his eyes. It breaks my heart. The students feed him, but he is shy.
Chicken in a rich pepper sauce, a traditional dish here like mole is to Mexico. How they provide hot sauce to us because we’re American, though they believe it’s really bad for you.

How busy everyone is! The ninth grader is taking eleven classes and playing soccer for school and a semi-pro team. The college age son works full time and goes to university . . . he leaves at 4:30 and gets home around 9:00pm. As I said, I’ve never even seen the dad. Elaina works all day cooking, cleaning, washing clothes (in a machine), hanging them to dry on the roof, and ironing. Today she was in a rush to meet some friends who are all retired. Joe said, “But you’re not retired . . . you work all day”. She just laughed as she rushed out the door.
The American couple who move from one country to another every six months. The young foreigners who stick their little noses up in the air, and say they live here when they’ve only been here for 3 weeks. Most of them dressed like hippies from a by-gone era. The family at school whose two sons speak several languages because the parents are international teachers and move every few years to a different country.

How obsessed the locals are with Ronald McDonald


  1. I'm glad I didn't go during the rainy season! I did hear, however, that Antigua is a common school for Spanish immersion language schools. Little did I know that one of my publishing buddies went there for just that purpose!

  2. It was a fun way to see Antigua, and super cheap by American standards.