Things are grand here in Xela. Finishing up my second week of classes I already feel at home in this city. My host family treats me like the daughter they never had, and I´ve established a friendly relationship with my Spanish teacher. I feel a little sorry for him though because I´m constantly interrupting verb conjugations to ask for the Spanish translations for nonsensical words like Leprechaun, Elf, Magic.. etc. ¨All very important in my line of work¨ I struggle to explain.
Both the school and my home are close to Parque Central, apparently the oldest central park in Central America. I toured the main municipal office, the local church and the Museum of History after the second day of classes, and have explored the majority of the downtown core in the afternoons. The first week I was the only student at my school, and although it was nice that there were no distractions, I was happy to welcome two other students for the second week. Together we ventured to the local hotsprings, Fuentes Georginas, and visited a wonderful cooperative called Trama Textiles, which helps local women sell and display their various textiles and connects them with other useful organizations in the area. They have volunteers working daily, and if you´d like you can learn how to weave your own fabric. I quickly realized that I didn´t have the time or the craftiness to make anything for myself. It´s inspirational to watch though to get a sense of how complicated the process is. The fabrics in Guatemala, are world renown. The indigenous clothing is colourful and warm. It´s common to see groups of brightly dressed women strolling the streets, balancing their wares precariously on their head, laughing toothy grins at each other while hawking the fabrics to anyone and everyone. It´s a comforting sight and I´ll definitely miss it when I leave Guatemala.
On the weekends, I like to visit a local park that is on top of a nearby mountain-hill.. called Baul. It has the coolest slide in the world (pictured below), and a beautiful view of Xela. This might be my last weekend in town so tomorrow I plan on attending a Catholic Sunday mass with my family and making them dinner in the evening. Perhaps pasta?