Studying Spanish in the Mountains
Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
262Trip End Ongoing
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At around 2400 metres Quetzaltenango, a.k.a. Xela, temperatures fluctuate between 0C and 23C daily. Buildings are not heated, so dressing warmly for dinner is a good idea, heavy blankets on the bed, a must. The man that owns the house where we are staying wears a jacket all the time. I think he must sleep in it. I'm the only person in town, at least that I've noticed, who wears short pants.
After three days of Spanish school, I can conjugate many, many verbs and I've acquired an extensive vocabulary
Yesterday we went to the hot springs, Fuentes Georginas - healing volcanic springs that brought great therapeutic relief to a tortured Spanish word filled mind.
At the bottom of the mountain just at the edge of the town where we waited for a bus, we watched a woman and her two very small children, walk to the middle of a bridge, then dump pails of garbage into the river.
The Maya people, especially the women dress in the most beautiful hand-made garments I have ever seen. The colours and intricate patterns can just blow you away. The way they deal with their refuse here is a whole other story.
We are staying with a really nice Maya family about a five minute walk from school
Wherever we travel in Guatemala, it's by chicken-bus. They're old North American school buses with old being the key word. During any given trip they make many stops, for Lord knows what reason. When they do go, they go fast as hell, down these very scary mountain roads. If they would just spend a little more time moving forward, they wouldn't have to do it so fast.