Friday we went to lake Atitlan, which was a 2.5 hour drive from where we were staying. This meant that we had to get up very early. We had a delicious breakfast of eggs, and of course tortillas. We left the house around 7:30am and headed up through the winding mountains. Along the drive we saw some very interesting things, like a cow strapped to the back of a pick up truck, and farm animals grazing along the side of the road with no fence. Since the drive was so long, windy, and bumpy a lot of people got car sick. Once we finally got to the lake it was beautiful. Everyone broke into groups and had different choices of activities to do. Most people started the morning by shopping at the huge market, some people are better at bargaining than others (Nicole and Matt were probably the best). Lunch was on your own so most people picked a nice little place to relax. Seven of us decided to skip lunch and zip line instead. Zip lining was so amazing! We took a tuc tuc up to the zip lining area. A tuk tuk is a mini taxi that can fit a max of three people, it is kind of scary, but something everyone should experience at least once. The zip line had eight lines that ranged from around 40 feet per second to 60 feet per second. Another option was to go to the nature reserve by the zip lines. The nature reserve has monkeys, raccoons, butterflies, and waterfalls. Rachel said that it was very cool. A third option was to take a boat to the different islands around the lake. The islands were all filled with indigenous people so it is a very big culture shock. Hannah said that she really enjoyed it. The final option was to continue shopping, which people with a lot of quetzals left over did. We met up again at 3:30 to head to Antigua for dinner. The 2.5 hour bus ride was again rough, especially with the added fog, but we made it back safely. At Antigua we had dinner at a place that serves As green as it gets coffee. It was a great dinner and they even had a live band. It was someone from the other group’s birthday (that is also staying at As green) so we celebrated with cake, dancing, and the live band playing happy birthday. After dinner we all piled into one van chicken bus style and had a dance party to the Black Eyed Peas song “Time of my life” it was a fantastic way to end the last night in Guatemala. Once we arrived at home we did reflection and then all packed up for the long day of travel.
We left for the airport at about 1030 am today, and finally we are back in Wisconsin at midnight and no one is looking forward to the snow, but we are all excited for a nice shower and our own bed. This trip has been a wonderful experience for everyone. Keep watching the blog, because between getting reconnected we will be adding more pictures and sharing more little things. Thanks for all the support this whole time, it has been wonderful!
Love from ASB Guatemala!
So today we started off with a traditional Guatemalan breakfast of tortillas, fried eggs,refried beans and banana smoothies. We started off the morning with a nature/agriculture hike, it was very tiring. Our hike was led by Don Vidal and we hiked from San Juan del Obispo to San Migel. With a town in between. It was very dusty, and we learned a lot about different plants and flowers. A lot of farmers had their fields in the hills that we walked, this means that they might have to walk an hour or two in the dusty hot sun just to get to their work, and you thought your half an hour car commute was bad! Once we arrived back in San Miguel we walked back to our house, we only got lost un paquito. We then cleaned our filthy feet and walked to lunch at another farmer’s house. His name was Manuel and he had a very nice house. He also had a cat (which Rachel loved, but I did not, at all). Our lunch was chicken with a red sauce, and of course rice and coffee. es muy bien.
After lunch we headed to Antigua to go to the market! We started off with a scavenger hunt of bartering to get ingredients for dinner. My group was in charge of getting the main course of nachos. We were giving 50 quetzals to buy 12 ingredients. Our bartering didn’t go too well, they told us our economy is too good, and they couldn’t go any lower and a couple of people yelled at us, it was an experience. The group for guacamole and dessert did better, and we got all the ingredients, and dinner was So yummy. After that we had an hour to buy our own stuff and barter for ourselves. So if you are a close friend or family member of someone on this trip, you probably got something, everyone was shopping for everyone. It was awesome. I am so happy with what I got, I just wish I could have gotten more. The people in the artisan market were a lot nicer and would keep shouting lower numbers if you walked away, it was like nothing I have ever experienced before.
We then took the chicken bus back home. The chicken bus is the bus everyone takes, you sit three to a seat and it gets pretty crowded. It is called the chicken bus because people take whatever they need at the market on the bus, and people who sell chickens need to bring chickens.
We then came home to make our dinner. We made nachos with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and refried beans. We then could add our own toppings of sour cream, cheese, and mangos. Our drink was a pineapple and banana smoothie, everyone loved it. Dad I know you will be jealous of this, we had home made guacamole, you are supposed to leave the seed/pit in it so it keeps the green color instead of turning brown. Dessert was chocolate covered by plantanes. It was all so good and everyone is so full. After dinner we got our letters from all of the wonderful people supporting us. We all would like to say thank yo. Fr the support, we love you all. we are currently making collages to get to know each other better.
Tomorrow is construction day, it will be hard work and we will be very tired, wish us luck!
Love from Guatemala,