14.11.2006 18 °C
I´ve been here in Xela, Guatemala for about a week and a half. It´s an amazing town and I´m starting to feel like a part of the city (I would NOT say local!) The most surprising thing to me has been all the stares I´ve attracted. I knew I wouldn´t blend in, but I thought I´d just be another traveller, no big deal. I guess Guatemala is not exactly used to tall, black women with blueish green tinted hair. (Go figure) It´s usually the kids that stare, but I caught some women gliving me sideway glances today. Maybe it´s because I was doing my homework from Spanish class...
Getting here was a bit tricky. I was in Chichicastenago on Sunday checking out the amazing market full of gorgeous handmade crafts. I wasn´t sure about getting to Xela (Quetzaltenango)but I read about the chicken busses being the best and cheapest way to get around. So with my huge backpack on, my friend Caroline helped me find the "bus stop" really just the side of the crazy busy street with people driving like maniacs. Found a guy that was also heading to Xela and stuck to his side like glue. Caper was from Spain and his Spanish was TONS more proficient than mine. After standing on the side of the road for almost 2 hours, we figured that all the busses were full due to market day and needed to find another way to the next bus stop.
Long story short after a mini van stuffed with at least 20 people, a bus ride for a couple hours that we thought would take us to Xela, we got kicked off in Cuentos Caminos and had to get on my first real chicken bus in Guatemala. Not too bad really, just long day and confusing. Casper was my gaurdian angel that day.
Found a hostel that night. A dorm room with 20 beds. The good thing was I was able to find out about good spanish language schools and get started bright and early Monday morning. I´ve been living with a host family -- which is interesting. Very strange to be in someone´s home and not be able to communicate becasue they speak a different language. I finally comfortable enough after four days in class to mske some conversation. Felt like a major accomplishment!
I´m loving the school I.C.A. (no idea what that stands for). It´s been great making freiends and checking ou the surrounding areas. I have tons of photos and videos, but I´m having a hard time getting them posted (doesn´t help that everything on the computer is in Spanish. I plan on being here in Xela for anotehr week and a half and will get it all straightened out befor I move on. Up north to Tikal and then figure out how to meet my friends in Costa Rica in December.