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Erica's Travel Adventures

Coming to Antigua

GUATEMALA | Tuesday, 8 January 2013 | Views [259] | Comments [1]

Sunday, January 6, I woke up, showered, and did some last minute packing.  After a quick breakfast, David, Oshi, Dani, Ari, and I piled into the car for the ride to Antigua.  They took me to the bank so I could withdraw some cash (1,000Q=$125), and then we stopped at a bakery so that I could pick up a gift for my host family in Antigua.  Oshi helped me pick out some nice mugs and cookies to bring to them and then helped arrange them to make sure they looked nice wrapped together.  Then we were off to Antigua!  It was only about a 45 minute drive or so, and it flew by.  You know you’ve reached Antigua once the roads turn into cobblestone.  As you drive in from the city the scenery is surreal.  There are tons of adobe style buildings painted yellow and red sitting in a valley surrounded by volcanoes.  I have never seen anything like it, and it is breathtaking.  Because it was Sunday, the streets were filled with pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cars. The streets are so small that by the time cars park on both sides, there is only room for cars to drive one way.  We stopped off first at the Maximo Nivel office to see how much time we had before I needed to be dropped off.  They told us I could come as late as 6:00 PM which was nice because we originally thought it was by 3:00 PM.  Then we went to pick up a friend of the Farchi’s who has a beautiful house in Antigua.  The best part is the view from the terrace that over looks Volcan de Agua (Agua Volcano).  It’s breathtaking.  After a brief tour of the home we went to a nice Italian restaurant.  By that point I was so nervous I could hardly eat.  It was so nice to have the Farchis with me to reassure me that I was going to be okay and that if I ever needed anything they were only a phone call away.  I don’t know what I would have done without them.  After lunch we walked around for a bit and went into an ice cream shop where it is all homemade and has crazy flavors like rice and carrot.  I didn’t have any but I definitely plan on going back to try some.  Oshi stopped at a bakery and bought me a few cookies and a jar of the guava jelly that I really like (and I’m so sad because I left it in their car!).  They brought me back to the volunteer office where I was given a folder with a map of the city, the address of my home stay, and instructions to be back at 8:00 AM the next morning for orientation. 


We arrived at my new house for the next 12 weeks, and everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to be nervous.  We brought my stuff inside, I said goodbye to the Farchis (and I miss them terribly), and the next thing I knew we were getting ready to go check out the market.  I have 5 housemates, 2 of which share a room with me.  Their names are Amanda and Dainia, and they are both from Australia.  I love them!  They are so much fun!  Amanda has already been in Antigua for a few weeks and D got here 2 days before me.  The boys in the house are Devin, Dave, and Jason.  Devin is from LA, Dave is from England, and Jason is from Maryland.  They are all so nice and so fun too!  They were all so welcoming and helped me get acclimated quickly.  My actual host family is amazing too!  They consist of Juaquin, my host father, Patsy, my host mother, Andrea (who I have yet to meet) who is 18, and Samuel who is 8.  They are also very nice and make me feel very comfortable in their home.  We have free wifi (one of the only home stays who does), and the food so far is delicious.  They are easy to talk to and very friendly!  They are originally from El Salvador but came to Guatemala for a better life. 


A few minutes after I got there, we all left to go to the market.  On the way we stopped at a bar to meet up with some other people who were all also very friendly.  From there we added a few others to our group, Lizzie, Chelsea, and Isaac, and walked to the market.  We only stayed for a little while because it was getting dark and things were closing, but it was really neat to at least get a glimpse of it.  After the market we went home and had dinner.  They served papoosas which were amazing.  I had already tried them at the water park with Orly so I was glad to have them again.  They are corn tortillas with filling inside, and these ones had beans and cheese (I think).  We finished dinner and went back out to meet some others for the night.  We stopped at a coffee shop where I had hot chocolate and then moved on to meet more volunteers at a bar.  That bar closed early because it was Sunday so we moved on to another one that was very nice!  It had a very relaxed environment.  Around 1:00 AM ended up back at the house, and I was exhausted!  When I got home I had several messages from the Farchis checking in on me, which made me feel so at ease!  I was so happy to have been able to create a relationship with such a great family.  I had such an incredible first day in Antigua and I could not have asked for a better first impression!  



We miss you a ton!!

  Dani Jan 10, 2013 10:16 AM

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