Catching up -- A Week with Chiara!

Published: February 21st 2014
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Our first view of the ruins in Huehuetenango
ahhhh I am SO sorry I have been a horrible blog updater!! With finishing up our time at TRAMA and then having visitors for 2 weeks, this is one of the first chances I've had to just sit around and not do anything! I have a feeling it will take a few blog posts to catch up with the end of January and most of February -- again, I APOLOGIZE!

The last week of January was a bit of a busy one for us - we traveled around to a few different places with a great girl we met volunteering at TRAMA. Her name is Chiara and she's Italian. She's back in Italy now (actually, Scotland visiting her sister) but we're still in touch and I think we will be for quite some time 😊 Chiara, Roger, myself, and another (former) volunteer at TRAMA, Pamela, traveled to a town called Huehuetenango, a few hours away from Xela, to visit a Maya ruin site called Zacaleu. It was tiny compared to Tikal, but still so incredibly impressive. We saw palaces, temples, and a really well-kept ball site. Ancient Mayans played a game that seems to me, to be a mix of

In the museum, there was a photo of a lady's skeleton found inside of a ceramic jar.
basketball, soccer, and quidditch (from Harry Potter). This site had the court with all the auditorium-like seating still intact around the court. It was pretty cool. We got to climb on the temples and we took a million pictures. Unfortunately, we had our first bit of technology trouble and about half of these pictures we deleted 😞 No idea how it happened, but luckily the computer didn't delete all of them and we still have our memories 😊 Spending time with Chiara also got us to visit a textile museum here in Xela. I know it doesn't sound interesting, but after spending 5 months working very closely with local textiles and weavers, Roger and I both had a really fun time learning everything we could about traditions, the colors, gods, energies, everything that the weavers take into consideration when weaving! We also exchanged dinners every so often - which means we got some SUPER authentic Italian pasta meals (yummmmm) and she got to try Roger's kick-butt Carrot Ginger soup and some mean guacamole I've mastered 😊

We also went to the beach for a daytrip with Chiara (it was pretty much the 3 of us, 24/7 for a few weeks 😊). This beach is called Champerrico and we were told before hand to be SUPER CAUTIOUS because it is NOT touristy at all. Quite a few Guatemalans warned us that it was too dangerous and, to be honest, they had me a bit nervous... but the sound of the ocean won out and we ventured via chicken bus out there.

It was beautiful.

The ocean always is, of course, but Champerrico was full of black sand, and ladies selling coconuts. There was horseback riding on the beach, and fishermen throwing down HUGE nets and pulling them back up, full of fish being served by restaurants right on the beach. Yes, we were the only non-Guatemalans, and yes, we were pestered to buy things from many of the locals, but never once did I feel in danger, or even worried. We didn't get the tourist treatment we tend to get in places like Antigua (where most people speak English), and I think we liked that even more. We were able to experience an authentic Guatemalan beach, catch a few sunrays, jump in a few waves and just relax on the beach. It was phenomenal.

Okay, I'm nearing 600 words and my darling younger brother informed me some of my blog posts were a bit too long (thanks Ron :p ) so I'll try to add some pictures and write another post...maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow... with some of our adventure with Teresa (Roger's sister), Jesse (her boyfriend), and Jason (our roommate in MN).

Thank you all a million times for reading, commenting, messaging, etc 😊 It warms our hearts more than a mug of Jameson and Hot Chocolate 😉

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


The 3 of us... The 3 of us...
The 3 of us...

...crammed into the back of a teeeeeeny tiiiiiiny tuk tuk!
Seafood StewSeafood Stew
Seafood Stew

That thing had a whole crab, a whole fish, and tons of shrimps, mussels, and who knows what else floating around it!
Rog & I playing in the ocean :) Rog & I playing in the ocean :)
Rog & I playing in the ocean :)

Thanks for taking pictures Chiara!!!

21st February 2014

Snowed in
So cozy sitting in my jammies reading of your epicurean and historical adventures while a new 9" blanket of snow swirls blizzardly around. The crew dodged downright nasty weather, and basked in yours! Lucky ducks.
24th February 2014

Love all the pics. That is such an amazing place!! Glad it has been a good experience!! Love & Miss u guys...... <3

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