Published: January 14th 2009November 30th 2008
Oh my, my, what a day! I guess it was just typical of the interesting things I get myself into. Well, Alexis's roommate Gg is a mayan priestess(not what you would think-white ex-dancer lesbian photographer from NYC) and invited us to go to Chichicastenango with her and another Mayan priestess friend of hers, Cahlixta. Cahli was performing a ceremony, and we thought it would be really interesting to go. We had to be ready to go at 7am, but what a surprise, we were late! When we left the house, it was probably going to be a 15 minute walk to the market to catch the chicken bus. Since we were late, Gg flagged down a pick up truck, and they gave us a ride in the bed. The chicken bus wasn't too exciting to Chemaltenango, where Cahli lives. We got out and walked through the town of Chemaltenango to Cahli's house, and I really wish it would have been appropriate to take pictures. This town, and neighborhood, is not touristy at all, so it was VERY different from Antigua. The roads were all dirt, and it just looked like a shanty town to me. At least the buildings were made
from concrete blocks though. When we got to Cahli's house, that was even more interesting. She is an inteligent woman that works in the city, and she even has a master's degree from a US university. I just can't believe that after living in the states she could go back to living the way she does. Her home was a concrete block frame with a piece of sheet metal over each room for a roof. There is basically no storage, and everything she owns is out and piled around the house. To me it felt like being in an unfinished garage. The bathroom is just off of the main room, and there is an open speak easy between the bathroom and the central room of the house. I have no idea why. It was a little awkward because as you were using the bathroom(no lights by the way), everyone was standing talking less than 3 feet from you. Also, i'm guessing because of the lack of water, the toilet only gets flushed every so often. So, basically, the whole bathroom experience was not so great! Cahli had fixed breakfast for us, but my stomach wasn't wanting it. The food there
just tastes a little off to me, so I had a hard time eating anything. I forced it down though after being told that not cleaning your plate is disrespectful in Mayan culture. Finally, we were off to catch another chicken bus to Chichi. The bus stop was right across the street from a couple of brothels, so Alexis and I were quite intrigued. We didn't have time to check anything out though. The chicken bus was soooo packed! Its just an old school bus that has been redecorated, but they pack at least 4 people in a seat. Then those that dont get a seat stand in the aisle. Everyone is so tightly packed in that falling over is not a worry at all, even as we flew around mountains. Another stop, another shuttle, and we finally arrive at Chichi. I was feeling extremely ill from the fast drive, altitude and curves. The sights and oh the smells of the market were about enough to do me in, but we collected everything we need for the ceremony, and took off for the cemetary. The ceremony was very interesting, but my new white shirt is now stained bc I was
beaten with wet sage by a Mayan priestess! Anyway, after it was over, we went for lunch, saw the main church and the headed for the shuttle home. Lex and I were carsick on the way, so we opted for the more expensive shuttle($10) back, and everyone else decided they would do that too. After arriving at the place to catch the shuttle, we load up, and then something goes wrong. I guess they were overcharging(not for sure), so anyway, we all get out. A group of Spanish travelers wonder what the problem is, so they jump out too. So we are all standing on the street corner, and Gg is trying to negotiate prices, etc. All of the sudden, Cahli yells that she has found a ride. Its in the back of a van with a family, and we can take it for 25Q=$3(for a 3 hr ride). So, we all(our group and the spanish tourists) jump in. In total, 2 parents, 3 kids, 4 Spaniards, 2 mayans, 3 blondes, and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh, and the sliding door didn't work, so a seatbelt, and one of the children were in charge of keeping it closed
while we winded through the mountains. So, several hours later, we arrive in Chemaltenango, drop off our mayan friends, and take a chicken bus back to Antigua. All in all, it was extremely exhausting, but entertaining.
There are more photos below