Guatemala

Well, Here I sit in beautiful Antigua, Guatemala at an internet cafe. This has been quite an adventure so far! I left on Monday morning from Calgary, and went to Houston, TX. I met up with my friend Katrina about 2 hours later and spent the afternoon in Houston before our flight was to depart at 7pm that evening to Guatemala City. I wish it would have been that simple. I was on the flight, in my seat, and we had not yet pushed back when the gate agent approached me and gave me the boot. I was flying on standby and was last on the priority list, so that happens sometimes. We weighed our options and decided, because the flight loads were so heavy, to try some alternate city's.

We spent that night in an airport chapel, converted into a hotel for that night only it seemed and tried in the morning to get on flights to Belize City, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, and Guatemala City. Unsuccessful! We barely got on a flight to San Salvador, El Salvador at 4pm that afternoon. Happy were we!

I met this nice lady on the plane who got here nephew to give us a ride to a nearby hotel where we spent the night and cleaned up a bit. It was well needed. On Wednesday, we trekked to the smelly and crowded downtown San Salvador where we caught a chicken bus to the Mayan ruins of Tazumal in northern El Salvador. The 2 hour bus ride cost about 67 cents US. Definitely a cultural experience! The bus we took was a converted American Elementary School bus. We packed 3 people on seats made for two kids and had people standing and babies crying and it seemed everyone wanted to sell me chicle. Awesome!

After a day of sight seeing at the ancient ruins of Tazumal, we headed for the Guatemalan border. It was guarded by men wielding rifles and shotguns. It wasn't a place I wanted to mess

After crossing the Rio Paz into Guatemala, like before we were surrounded by lush tropical rain forests, cattle covered streets, and natural beauty that was purely indescribable. I even saw vultures picking at a carcass of a dead cow. night soon fell upon us and as tired as I was, I took a nap.

We arrived in the city of Guatemala around 9 pm and called our contact. His name is Enno and was extremely helpful. He found us a place to stay with a guy name Mike. He teaches music therapy at the schools in Guatemala. We jammed on bongos and guitar for a good part of the evening until we retired.

Upon rising in the morning, we took a dirty city bus to the main bus station downtown where we caught another bus to beautiful Antigua, Guatemala. This is a very colourful city. The people are extremely hospitable and friendly. We met up with our friend Heather in the park and spent the afternoon together. There was a torrential downpour this afternoon. The hail came down almost as big as ping pong balls. I have never seen it pour that hard. The loud clash of thunder was almost frightening. I think I will really like it here.

Quite a few people here dress in traditional Guatemalan clothing. I guess it's more authentic that way. Things are great. I am happy and I don't have the runs yet. I have made a good number of new, interesting friends, and still have a week to go. Wonderful!
around at.