On Saturday, the school took all of the new teachers to Antigua, an hour’s drive from home. It was our first taste of Guatemala outside of our little corner of the city. Antigua is, in my opinion, Guatemala’s version of Old San Juan. It’s a picturesque, historic town which caters to tourists. Everywhere there is history, color, marketplaces and churches.
We didn’t actually spend much time in the city on Saturday. We arrived around 10:30 and divided into teams. Each team was given a list of about 6 things to take pictures of—a scavenger hunt! Each group was also paired with a returning teacher and an administrator, so “finding” the things wasn’t really an issue, as our guides knew their ways around. It was still an entertaining way to get us to see some of the city, though. Our group tried to take as many silly pictures as possible (which may have been partly my idea), and we also enjoyed two markets. I purchased a huipil—a traditional woman’s top. I don’t plan to wear it, however. It’s going up on my wall to bring some color to my blank white walls. I also got myself a set of placemats. I’m determined to make my home come alive sooner rather than later.
|So we saw this fountain...|
|And that prompted us to take this picture.|
|One of the things on our scavenger hunt:|
team members with interesting doors
|Not on the scavenger hunt, but fun:|
team members in a tuk tuk
After the scavenger hunt and shopping, we went to the Hotel Santo Domingo for lunch. This hotel is gorgeous. I mean just breathtaking, every direction you look. My pictures didn’t really capture the essence of the place. And of course, our lunch matched the rest of the hotel in quality and beauty. We had an extravagant 4 course meal highlighting Guatemalan flavors.
|2nd course: a bean/squash soup (?) |
(Some things are still lost in translation).
After stuffing ourselves, we loaded our bus and headed back to the city. The administrator riding with us told us she thinks we’re the first group of new teachers who hasn’t slept on the way back home. But we were (are) just a lively bunch! Though it’s true we could have all probably fallen into food comas if we’d been alone, since we were all together, we spent the entire drive laughing rather boisterously. The good time we had in the car and in Antigua kind of summarizes the way our group works and encapsulates what I hope the rest of this year will bring.