Back to School
After recovering from being sick and crazy tuk tuk rides, we started our first of twenty total days of Spanish classes. We met our teachers up at the office area. Nate and his teacher Juan headed down to their booth to start learning. Magdalena was my teacher and she meant business! The first day was mostly questions about our trip and learning about our teachers.
At break time, halfway through the first four hour class, Nate and I met near the office for some coffee and bread. We sat next to each other cross eyed, staring at our mugs of coffee like there wouldn’t be enough to get us through the rest of the day. It has been almost five years since we have been in school and our butts were getting kicked! We both got out at noon and were told that our cabaña was ready for us to move in- awesome! We packed up our things from the truck and moved right in. Home sweet home for the next month!
Our new casa was great. We had a stove to cook with, brought in our fridge from the truck and had our own bathroom! The best part was that we could change standing up!! After moving in, we were ready for a nap. I don’t know if it was the sickness, the classes or the moving, but we were pooped! We crashed for three hours that day, barely waking up to eat dinner.
The first week was rough. Learning all of this information in such a small period of time is challenging. Our days consisted of going to class in the morning, eating lunch, taking a nap, studying, eating dinner and going to bed. The second week was better, we were getting into the swing of things and were really starting to see a difference in our abilities to speak the language with people in the markets and tiendas. By the end of the second week, I had learned roughly 170 verbs and how to conjugate them in all tenses, among other vocabulary words and phrases. My head felt like it could explode!
The third week, fellow overlanders, Tranquilo Adventures, had shown up and we were stoked to finally be able to hang out with them! Unfortunately, my body didn’t want to cooperate and I became extremely ill for about five days. While Nate, Jamie and Kellee were hanging out, I was rotting away in our cabaña trying to get better. I spent four full days in bed resting before I felt good enough to hang out.
I recovered just in time for Nate’s mom to arrive in San Pedro for the week. We met Robin in Panajachel and took the boat ride back to San Pedro. It was so exciting seeing her step out of the shuttle after we haven’t seen her for five months! We toured downtown San Pedro and did some shopping.
She was here for our last day of Spanish class and it was celebrated by making a typical meal with the school. For her last day in San Pedro we went horseback riding along the sides of the volcano/lake and saw some of the most beautiful views of Guatemala.
Once we were all packed up and out of our cabaña, we headed for Antigua. The three of us and Brady packed into the truck and hit the road. We knew Robin would like Antigua because it is home to some of the greatest weavers in the world. After attempting to reserve a hotel with no luck, we decided to wing it like always. Once downtown, we spotted a place to park and left Nate’s mom and Brady with the truck while we ran around looking for a hotel. After finding the perfect one, we returned to find Brady barking and Nate’s mom signaling us to the other side of the truck. Not knowing what was over there, Nate cautiously walked around to find a drunk man leaning on the tire of the truck changing his pants. Sorry Robin!
We spent the next couple of days walking around the beautiful streets of Antigua shopping, eating out and spending some quality time together. Watching Robin look through all the different weavings was like watching a kid in a candy shop. Her eyes would light up at all the different patterns and colors. She would enthusiastically describe how the tapestries were made and how long each piece took.
She would get bombarded in the street by women selling all types of weavings and she loved every minute of it. At one point, she had three women holding weavings up to her trying to win her over by putting down their competitors pieces and shoving their pieces right in front of her.
We spent the next couple of days in Antigua resting and waiting for Kellee and Jamie to catch up with us. All four of us enjoyed a nice Valentine’s Day dinner together and spent the night camping in the tourist police compound- how romantic 😉 The next morning we packed up early and headed south out of Guatemala. Next stop, El Salvador!!