BootsnAll Travel Network

Adventures abound…

Well, it´s about time for my second entry I think!
Having been here for over one week…things have been interesting to say the least. I have discovered many things in the city, mostly by wandering around alone and getting lost alot.
I alos have been sick as a dog-I mean, really really sick. As first I just thought it was a slight cold, but it is not. Yesterday I did not even have the energy to make it to the school, and stayed in bed most of the day, just sleeping.
Last night I took a taxi to go to a pharmacy by the big mercado. Pharmacies here are very different than in the US. It is hard to know what medicine you are actually getting, you really have to read the fine print and ask alot of questions..I got some medicine there, then off we went in search of a bookstore that was mentioned in the lonely planet guide that supposedly sold books in english. This was quite an adventure, and although we looked for a long time, we could not find the bookstore. The taxi driver is my friend, and his taxi is the taxi for the family I am staying with..he speaks no english, so we crawled along at a very slow pace with my spanish, trying to find the place.
We finally went into a store to ask for directions…it was a strange store that sold washing machines and microphones only..the man who ran the place was quite old, and became very animated while talking to us..I literally had no idea what he was saying, he was speaking so quickly. Although we only went in for directions, we ended up staying and listening to him talk for almost an hour. The entire time he was talking, he was moving about in front of large stacks of papers along a seemed like he was assembling a book of some kind.
He kept repaeating the same things over and over, and my friend Abraham, the taxi driver, just sort of smiled and nodded. I finally gathered from what the old man was saying that he was an evangelical minister, and that he had a great deal of zeal, and loved to discuss the end of the world. At this point, I was understanding enough of what was being said that we were able to have a discussion of sorts,which ended with the old man handing me an enormous packet of evangelical material, accompanied with a request that I photocopy all of it and plaster my city in the USA with the flyers upon my return to the USA! Since it was given as a gift, I took the packet of papers, said thankyou, and off Abraham and I went, more lost than before.
We kept driving around for awhile, then discovered entirely by accident a bookstore with books in English down a little alleyway. I was so relieved! I have been dying to read something in English..while there I bought I book on the history of Guatemala, a book on the religion of the Maya, and two books on learning Spanish verbs. While there, I also luckily for me picked up a copy of Entre Mundos, the newletter here that has lots of volunteer opportunites in it. Reading it was really great, and I can see that I may be doing a wide variety of volunteer work here-in just a month or so. There are many opportunites in my areas of interest, particularly with women and domestic violence, etc. Also there is a volunteer opportunity at a weaving cooperative that seems to be some sort of microloan program that also interested me very much.
After we returned, I slept, as I have been really sick with what they call the ¨gripe¨..this morning, the local chocolatier invited me to their house for hot chocolate with almond liquor, which is supposedly a curative for the gripe.
When I arrived, the entire family came out and talked with me..the husband has travelled all over the world and was very interesting..he asked if I would practice english with him in the evenings at their house, and I said we have agreed to trade for cups of hot chocolate!
Anyway, I am surprised to say that after a few enormous cups of hot chocolate with almond liquor, my sore throat has disapeared and I feel much better! You have got to love a country where hot chocolate is a curative!
The family told me all about the history of their family, and the history of their chocolatier establishment. There are 4 generations of women chocolatiers in their family. The establishment itself is looks like something you would see in Italy.
Then they took me on a tour of the choclate factory, and I got to see how all the chocolates are made. They make alot of little churches and rosaries in chocolate! Also hot peppers dipped in chocolate! However, they are famous for the type of special chocolate that is made only in Xela. I got to watch this process for a few minutes, which is quite time consuming and complicated.
What´s amazing is that this invitation and hospitality came from one visit a few days ago to their shop! I have already decided to send their chocolates to Winters to my friends for Christmas.
I simply love it here-this is the kind of experience you can´t even guess you´re going to just lands in your lap! When I have crazy days like this, I´m so glad I´m on this journey.
until next time, gigi


3 responses to “Adventures abound…”

  1. Travelclown says:

    I’m not in Winters but if you have leftovers, feel free to send me some chocolates too!!:)

  2. Jim says:

    That sounds really amazing, especially the chocolatier. I wish I could send you some of the stew I’m making right now!

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