Blog: January 19
Today has been quite the adventure! After breakfast at seven at GBS, we loaded the bus and drove to Antigua, arriving there a little late for our first Spanish lesson. We are taking Spanish at the home of Jose Sanchez, the Director of Latinoamerica Spanish School. Jose Sanchez hires a number of Spanish teachers to come and teach at his house, so all of the Discover students were spread out throughout the house learning how to use Spanish. Mike and I were taking lessons from Lorena, who same woman who taught David (our director) Spanish his first year leading Discover.
After 3 ½ hours of learning Spanish, we quit for the day, getting a tour of Antigua in our teams and seeing the different places we would need to know how to get to. The places we went to included: Higher Ground (a coffee shop where most of our classes other than Spanish are held), the city square, the market, Las Palmos (a good restaurante), y el banko (where we could exchange money). Then, it was time for class.
Back at Higher Ground, we set up a couple rows of plastic chairs and BenQ, our projector. Today was Cultural Anthropology, and Jordan, Andy, and Erika were presenting their group project. After taking a brief quiz, watching the presentation, and taking part in a lively debate, we had a ten minute break to walk around before Mauricio explained one of our PFIM (Preparation for Intercultural Ministry) assignments, the Personal Testimony. Following that, we had 40 minutes before we had to be back at the language school to meet up with our host families. So, Brittany and I headed to the market.
No, we weren’t going to market to buy a fat hen, we were trying to find an adapter for Brittany’s computer cord so that she could plug her 3 prong cord into a 2 prong outlet. After several blocks of walking, we arrived at the market and began looking around. Boy did we stand out! Two blonde girls who were taller than most of the rest of the crowd (yes, I actually do feel rather tall here!). Well, we found the adapter and Brittany bargained a little for it… evidently not enough though… she thought 20 Quetzales was a great price (about $3)… and found out from Brent that 3 Queztales would have been sufficient. Well, live and learn. We left the market and began making our way back to the language school.
Back at Latinoamerica Spanish School, we gathered our things together and prepared to meet our host family. One after another, the different groups were taken to their host homes, while Kaitlyn and I waited to see where we would go. Eventually, Senor Sanchez told Kaitlyn, “You are the farthest away from here.” She was rather disappointed, but kept her reply to a simply, “Oh.” He then opened the door to the school and motioned her inside… imagine her surprise when it dawned on her that he was joking! So, we were introduced to our room, a lovely place in the house of Senor and Senora Sanchez. Not far to walk, either… oh well, no excuse for being late to school!
After unpacking a little and finding out what time dinner was, Kaitlyn and I went to the house where Erika and Vanessa are staying and invited them to go with us to the bank. They were happy to go, so we set off, watching our back trail and staying together, as per los instrucions. An hour later, we had queztales in pocket/money belt and arrived back at Jose and Karla Sanchez’s casa. This time, we met the other guests, Zach from Colorado, Cassie from Texas, and Roger from Montreal. Before dinner, we visited a little with them, then studied some of our Spanish notes and visited with each other also.
Dinner was a delicious meal of salade, rolled and deep-fried tortillas, bread, and bean dip (something that seems to be a staple here). Afterwards, we all played a game with dice and had fun learning more Spanish by speaking and listening. Then, it was doing homework and preparing for bed… which brings me up to the present.
Things seem to be going well here. I love Antigua! From the little children who love to have fun, to the adults eager to make you feel at home, to the cool nights and mornings with warm to hot days. I love this place!