Thursday, October 25, 2012

Central American Neighbors

Friday evening Stephanie and Arturo drove from Guatemala City to Pena Blanca (the town I live in) they made a stop in Kopan Ruins to break up their 9 hour journey. Long drive, but having my best friend here for the weekend was so great. Friday after school Thomas and I began preparing our family dinner. We were serving garlic roasted french fries for appetizer, a fruit and cabbage salad with homemade dressing, roasted green beans and chicken and rice with a pineapple-watermelon salsa. Our dessert was puppy chow. We had a lot of work to do. In anticipation of Stephanie and Arturo arriving to the D and D, I knew Jason would be coming over with them around 5:30/6 so I wanted to make sure most of the dinner was done.

They arrived bringing a real American imported pumpkin, rice krispie treats and one can of pumpkin. Pumpkin is next to impossible to find in this country, let alone pumpkins that you could carve. The pumpkin may have cost Stephanie $17.00 or so but I was so excited. By the way my roommates many of which have never carved a pumpkin before will be assisting with me!

Our evening was spent as per usual + two guests. We sat around our big wooden table, ate food, laughed, talked, and were super full. We then decided to play our charades, acting out, guessing game.  Big props goes to Arturo who played with us, can you imagine playing charades in Spanish with a bunch of people who's first language is Spanish (No way I would play).

Saturday morning we woke up to have breakfast at the D and D and drank coffee. Stephanie, Arturo and I drove through the town quickly in the morning. I took them by my school so they could have a tour.

At eleven we were meeting up for river tubing. It is hard to explain what this was like, because it is not your typical lazy river tour, nor is it rapids, it was a super fast river flow, lots of branches, sticks and curves and you on your tube, freezing cold water holding on in hopes that you do not flip out or ram into the side of the river. Molly, Faye, Stephanie and I were close together for the beginning of the adventure.... screaming, turned to laughing on the second. I am sure if someone was taking a video they would have a great laugh. The river opened up into the huge Lake Yojoa. The cold water of the river flows into the warm water of the lake and the next thing you know all of us are floating in open water... It was incredibly beautiful. We cliff jumped from the side of the lake off a 25 foot cliff or so. The journey up the cliff was harder than the jump. Faye, the boys and Me jumped. Arturo and Matt finished off with back flips. Pretty soon all of us were cold and we started paddling back up the river to then walk back to the D and D.

We decided that we should as well take Arturo and Stephanie to see Pulapansak waterfall. I drove Stephanie's Car (her windows are tinted so dark that you have to roll down the windows sometimes to get a better view) This was definitely something I can check off my list of things I have done in Central America, including checking off my dream of "playing chicken" while driving. Driving in central America is a constant game of chicken, who will move first, who will go first, who will swerve or pass first. Its like Mario kart but much busier. A bit terrifying but really fun. We arrived at the waterfall to just take pictures, walk around a bit. This was the place that I did the popular behind the waterfall tour the first week I got here. 

The rest of our evening was spent at the D and D playing trivia. The girls would tell you that I barely played because I was too distracted making smores and friends around the camp fire. But to be honest they were much better without me there! Our team was Stephanie, Faye, Molly, and Arturo. The boys had to be separated to a different group and they won! The final trivia question... If you sailed east from New York City which country would you come to first? (England, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal). The correct answer was Portugal. They won a pitcher of beer. 

We left the D and D and ventured to the bar in town to go dancing. We stayed only an hour or so because we were really tired and Stephanie and Arturo had to leave early Sunday to drive home. 

I cannot say enough about how nice it was to have her and Arturo visiting for the weekend. So many moments passed that I had to wonder where it was that we were? It is the strangest thing to have my best friend here with me. Stephanie is a real teacher. (not like me, she has an official teaching degree) She has helped me with bestowing her wisdom in the classroom and I know her kids are lucky to have her as their teacher. She teaches at the American School in Guatemala City. She is currently in her third year at the school and 2nd year with her boyfriend, she has certainly made her home Guatemala. Her boyfriend was so nice and it was so good to finally meet him. I think all of my roommates enjoyed them as well. Faye and Molly asked if Arturo has any brothers for them :)

I was not so good at taking pictures.... But here is one below of us at the waterfall. I also wish I had pictures of the dinner on Friday. Hopefully I can get a few pictures from Thomas.

Me, Molly, Stephanie, and Kate

You can tell how big the fall is compared to the man in the picture. 

As for me it is Thursday (finally) It has rained all week long it seems and I am more than ready for the weekend. Rain makes kids go crazy. Thomas turns 24 tomorrow and we are hoping to go to San Pedro Sula to do some shopping. Happy Thursday yall.

Warmest Kristina

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