My first week of yoga at the Yoga House; my first week of school with PQL; various trips and excursions; a few coffees and a little bit of good food thrown in for good measure.
16.09.2012 - 23.09.2012 15 °C
I moved into the Yoga House last Sunday, my room is perfect, I’ve been to two yoga sessions already and I have been welcomed warmly by the 10-ish (it is constantly changing) other residents in the house.
On Sundays we have a house meal, which we take it in turns to cook, and I’ve been to two of these already, I’ve watched a film with house mates, and last Wednesday we had to a pot-luck-dinner (where everyone brings something different); I am getting the hang of the chore rota and the Sunday "house meeting", so I am settling in well, if I do say so myself!
I am also enjoying Quezaltenango (or Xela for short) the lovely little city I am staying in for the next few months. I have visited three different cafes (and fallen in love with two of them); I’ve found the local “sushi-lady”, and the best Asian restaurant in town (important stuff for a girl who hasn’t eaten decent Asian food since she left London). I have also found the basic necessities…
... and the supermarket (or the dispensary as they seem to call it here), and most importantly when hand washing seems the way of the world; the laundrette. I’ve visited two local markets; the fruit and vegetables here are amazing and so cheap, what you can get for 50p is an adventure; a pound of strawberries or blackberries, juicy and sweet, three peaches or three delicious crunchy apples… I don’t normally eat a lot of fruit, but when you can get such nice fruit at this price; I am gorging myself on it.
I am also loving my Spanish school; Projecto Liguistico Quezalteco de Espanol, or PLQ for short. My teacher this week was Eduardo, who is a (much needed) calming presence in my day, he has a slow but sure teaching style, which gives me time to think; I’ve mostly been revising what I know this week, but we’ve covered a few new topics as well.
After I told Eduardo I couldn't sleep becasue I was drinking too much coffee, but that I needed the coffee to warm my hands and it was just an accident that I kept drinking it; he found we various leaves and flowers from the school garden to make tea from! He was a very lovely man and an excellent teacher! It is almost a shame we swap teachers every week!
So, I thought that I would be a little more relaxed here, more drinking coffee and studying and less galavanting around ... but I may have been wrong ... we have had a very busy week of activities organised by the school; and me being me, I want to be part of everything...
On Monday; I had an induction including an introduction to both the school and to the recent and colourful Guatemalan history, following this I also watched a documentary on the School of the Americas (a military training school that apparently trained the vast majority of military leaders who have caused so much of the blood shed in Latin America). On Tuesday; I went to a Conference with a Mayan Midwife. I skipped the extra curriculum activities on Wednesday in favour of doing a little studying, in which I have been slacking this week, as there is so much other exciting stuff to be doing.
On Thursday, I went on a trip to San Andres; to see the colourful church, to hear the story of San Simon (a Mayan spirit they gave a Christian stains name to, in-order to fool the Catholics into believing they weren’t still worshipping their Mayan spirits) and to visit a local market.
On Friday, I attended the schools “International Dinner” which was another a pot-luck-style, everyone brings a dish, type affair. On Saturday a large group of us when up to another local village that has worked closely with PLQ, where a group of ex-Guerrillas settled together after the war; this group gave us a presentation about a mural they have created for Guatemalan history and fed us on fresh lemonade and corn-on-the-cobb.
Then on Sunday I went with a group from the school to climb to the Laguan de Chicabal, a hard walk but a beautiful place. We walked two hours to the top view point where you could see two volcanoes as well as a lovey view of the lake; we then walked down to the lake and walked round, seeing various different mayan alters on the way.
It been a really hectik but also informative and fun week and I've seen and done a lot more than I expected, I've also met some really nice people and I hope I will make some good friends over the weeks here.