16 de marzo de 2012
“And even if we never talk again, please remember that I am forever changed by who you are and what you meant to me”
I find this quote so fitting for all the people that I have met through traveling and knowing that many of them I will never see again.
This past weekend I made my third and final trip to Xela to visit my friends. Other than Lisa, I have only met most of these people for one or two weekends. Though they are some of the friendliest and most open people I have known. They are so good to me when I come and they want to make sure my trip to Xela is worth it and a great experience.
It was a little change of pace this time when I went. Charlotte (from Norway), Lisa’s neighbor has recently moved in with Lisa with her friend Ana (from Guatemala) and her friend Espin (from Norway). So we were expecting a constant full house with non-stop people and partying. However, Lisa and I were able to spend some time together on Thursday and Friday with just the two of us. Charlotte and Ana went to Guate to see some friends. It was nice because Lisa and I had some great conversations and it was good to have just some simple, relaxing times with her instead of constant adventures (though those are fun, also).
On Friday morning, Lisa went to her Spanish class and I decided to go to my favorite Xela café, El Cuartito for some breakfast and relaxing time just like I always did very Friday morning this summer. Then I went to the park and read for an hour or so while I waited for Lisa to finish class. I was just starting to head back when I saw Lisa’s dog (yes, she has adopted a street dog and she now lives with her). Cusca was waiting to cross the street so I knew Lisa could not be too far away. And she wasn’t, she was right across the street from me. The rest of the day we just hit up my favorite bookstore and exchanged some books and then walked Cusca all the way to the Bake Shop (of course!) for my weekend supply of cookies. On Friday night, we went to dinner with Denny and his cousin Junior and then went to Pool and Beer. I was very excited about Pool and Beer because it is one of the only places in Xela that makes their own beer. However, it turns out the people that make the beer went away for the weekend, so there were no homemade beers, just the usually Cobro and Gallo. Slightly disappointing, but it was good to be back in the familiar place.
On Saturday, Lisa and I did some walking around town and some baking. We decided to make some no-bake cookies and rice krispie treats for when the roommates all returned from Guate. When they returned, we got ready for a night out in Guate with some amazing Guatemalans and a Norwegian. We went to the “gay bar” in Xela which we went to last time. This place is so interesting to me because they call it the gay bar, but in reality it is a man’s house and he has a bar and dance floor set up in his house. It is a really great place and a definite late night place because since it is not a “real” bar they don’t have to close at 1 am like the rest of the bars.
The slides at the park
On Sunday morning, we were a little slow to start the day and I was planning on heading back by three or so to Chimal. However, through some convincing (not much at all) I decided to stay another night and leave early on Monday so I could get back for work. I was so happy I decided to stay because we had such a perfect afternoon. We went to a park right outside of Xela called Baúl. It’s a normal park, with swings, teeter-totters, bbq pits, and an amazing view of Xela. The real excitement of this park is the slides. They have these smooth, concrete slides (they kind of remind me of alpine slides) that you slide down. There are four right by each other and you can race down them. The locals have realized that in order to go faster you can sit on cardboard and ride down on that. Or if you want to go even faster you sit on a smashed plastic two liter bottle and go down. This is definitely not the safest thing, but it was so fun. These younger boys wanted us to keep racing them down the slide, so we said yes. One time, Lisa decided she would try the bottle method (I only would do the cardboard) when we were racing. She was determined to win the race, so when she was flying down the slide she did not want to try to stop herself with her feet because then she would lose. So at the end she flew off the slide and then just kept sliding on the concrete on her butt. It was hilarious, but she was definitely in some pain. But she was such a good sport about it. The rest of the afternoon we spent cooking out and laying and playing in the park. Denny and Ana prepared some pretty amazing food for us, in a true cookout in the park. We had some grilled zucchini, eggplant, peppers, green onions, baked potatoes, tortillas, black beans, and avocado (and they had meat of course). We of course did not bring any plates, so we all just stood around the grill and ate our delicious meal. It was so fun to spend the afternoon doing something so relaxing and simple with some amazing people.
Gibson and me going down the slides
I know I have probably said this before, but I am truly grateful for Lisa and the amazing people she has introduced me to in Xela. My experience this time in Guatemala would have been completely different and honestly not nearly as much fun. It was so great to be able to get away for the weekend. I have been to many parts of Guatemala so sightseeing was not one of the things I really want to do this time. Instead I was able to form more relationships with Guatemalans and see a different side of Guatemala and Xela that I did not get to experience before. I have made some great friends and I have gotten to experience some pretty great adventures with Lisa. I am truly blessed and grateful and I could not have asked for a better experience.
Our amazing and delicious food
Charlotte, Lisa, Cusca and me laying in the park
View of Xela at sunset