According to the guide books one can spend days upon days in Antigua. I was good after the first day. Antigua, the original capital of Guatemala was charming enough with its cobble streets, beautiful churches and ruins is about 45 minutes from Guatemala City. It is very clean compared to the dirty and dangerous capital city. In Guatemala City there were neighborhood guards with rifles at every intersection. What I did not like about Antigua was it was overflowing with tourists from around the world. So much of the town focus was on tourism it was hard to see how life really was for the people. The lively nightlife and the tourism police make Antigua a very safe and popular destination for Spanish students. I am glad I decided to spend only a few days there before going to San Pedro and beginning my Spanish lessons.
At my hotel in Guatemala City I met a young lady who was suppose to be living Guatemala on Wednesday, but all the flights out were canceled until Friday. So she decided to go to Antigua until Friday. Kristen and I took a shuttle bus to Antigua together, we also happen to be staying at the same hotel. The first day in Antigua involved us touring some ruins, getting acquainted with the city and going to the movies together. We saw “Motorcycle Diaries” (it had English subtitles) about Che Guevara early life. The movie is 1/3 of the reason I am going to have to relinquish my beloved Black Republican card for a Socialist one.
The next day I went out and had breakfast before meeting up with Kristen. We explored a bit before she left for the airport. I allowed her to make a couple phone calls to her husband back home in San Francisco from my computer and she let me borrow her mosquitoes net for when I go to Tikal. Good exchange.
After saying goodbye to her I napped and went to Casa Jackson. Came home ate dinner and went to bed. The next day I went to Casa Jackson again to volunteer. Explore the city some more, mostly looking for the tourism police to escort me to Cerra de la Cruz.
At 3 pm the tourism police escorted a group to see Cerra de la Cruz. It’s a huge cross that you can see from town. While waiting I met up with two of the girls I saw the previous day at Casa Jackson. Somehow our group got a girl police, I am not (that) sexist but I would have preferred a man. This is machismo country. After a 40 min hike up hill through town and another 10 min trek over way too many stairs we made it! The views of Volcano Agua were amazing, it was actually pretty clear that day. The girls and their friends were telling me about their home stays and how 2 weeks into a 6 week stay they wanted to leave. These were good Christian girls who didn’t party, outside of volunteering there was nothing there for them to do. We ditch the lady copped walk back to town. I took a nap and decided to go out.
I had dinner before heading to some spot that was predominantly young Guatemalans. It was cool but after my glass of (horrible) wine I was ready to go. Walking home I stopped at a few spots, I heard “Single Ladies” and I had to go in. after watching a bunch of rythemless Americans dance to my Beyonce, I quickly left. I ran into Andrea from Casa Jackson, my 3 seconds at one bar. I decided to go into one more spot before leaving. As I turn to leave, this boy asks me to stay and dink with him. Let me just say outside of one drunken Guatemalan man, no one has approached me in Guatemala. The girls I met all told me about how they are constantly harassed by the man. That has not been my issue at all. I think it has a lot to do with me being black; Guatemalans are dark who wants to date anyone darker than them! And the Americans men ignore me anyway. So to have this young man approach me caught me off guard, and he had an accent-I like accents. Plus he had a black eye, you can’t say no to someone with a black eye. I wanted to know how he got it! This kid end up telling me his life story….basic points. He was from England fell in love with a Guatemalan girl, they are on again off again, somehow was beat and pistol whipped by a security guard, loves soccer, was kicked out his rich fathers house, has lived in Guatemala off and on for a year and a half… and some other stuff that I would just say is TMI. He kept telling me how he wasn’t trying to pick me up but I look like someone he could talk to and normally he doesn’t talk to Americans. He also proceeded to tell me how racist my country was, really I didn’t know! He was a sweet kid; he kissed me on the cheek before I left to go back to my hotel room.
My last day in Antigua was nice minus the losing my baby aka blackberry bold 9700 bka perfection. I ran into one of the girls from the Cerra Cruz and Casa Jackson. We had an interesting discussion on missionary work (her major is Christian Ministry), it was nice to find another Christian who had issues with the concept of it as well. While we were talking her mother called to inform her that if she was going to leave Guatemala (again she was miserable) she had to let her know by Monday. I am pretty sure she is going back home. Antigua is for partiers and vacationing Europeans…too bad we didn’t fit into that.
Next stop- Lake Atitilan, San Pedro