Mayan homestay and offending the Gods...!

San Jorge Travel Blog

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Sunrise in Antigua, Guatemala

Got up around 6am so I could get the delicious US$2 bagels from the Bagel Barn near the central square before we had to leave at 7am. I was up just early enough to see the top of the volcano through the arch which was a beautiful sight- as soon as the sun rises fully it becomes enshrouded in a thick layer of clouds.

Caught a minivan to Chichicastenango which is renowned for its markets. Spent several happy hours wandering stall after stall after stall of beautiful handmade items and trinkets, and occasionally getting stuck into battle for a good bargain.

Afterwards we continued in the minivan to the town of San Jorge de la Laguna, where we were to do our 2 night homestay.

I think I was the only one looking forward to this and it sure was a memorable experience. When we'd arrived we unpacked our stuff in our musty room and then one by one heaps of kids started appearing until there was about 20 in all. This was getting a little crazy having them all in our tiny room so we took them all outside for a game of soccer (or football, whatever you want to call it!) on the winding road outside the house. We quickly learnt to yell 'carro, carro!' or 'moto, moto!' when a car or motorbike was coming as some of the children were very young and not totally street-smart yet.

In the evening we had dinner with our families which for me and Terese was spaghetti, tortillas and sweet black coffee which was pretty nice. Our two 'mothers' were Rosaria and Mercedes though we could not work out how they were related or whose kids were whose! My conversation unfortunately consisted of 'my name is Clare', 'I'm 22 years old', 'I'm Australian', and 'I study veterinary science at the University of Melbourne'.

..oh, and various combinations of words meaning 'delicious', 'thanks very much', 'very nice' etc!!! Still, that was more than they could say to us in English, so it was a good start at least.

After tea we were relaxing in our room and Sammy had come over to hang with us when a guy called Victor strolled in. In broken English he explained to us that he had just been given 2 pieces of land from his father and would we like to celebrate with him? Of course we said yes, and so began a very ridiculous evening.

Things started off okay with me trying to say a few thngs to him and his father in Spanish, and he in English, but it got progressively more crazy, as Victor was horrendously drunk, as was his brother. At one point Rowena got told to move because she was sitting in the seat of the Gods, despite the fact the father had been sitting there earlier and she'd already been sitting there for 45min! We then all had to stand up and be serious while we were told about San Pedro (St Peter) and about this block of wood sitting on the table that was sacred and weighed 80 pounds and was 1 million years old (meanwhile it looked like a very ordinary stump of wood and was only about 30cm x 15cm x 20cm!).

After this candles of several different colours were lit (white was afternoon, all represented different parts of the day) after they'd been rubbed on the top of all of our heads! I was trying my absolute hardest to remain solemn and respectful but the 3 other girls were crying tears of silent laughter, especially when through the window we could see the wives of all the men laughing themselves crazy at us! When Victor started telling me he loved me and gave Rowena a big kiss on the back of her neck we politely excused ourselves and went to bed. I think even Sammy was a bit freaked out by this point! Terese barricaded our door with a wooden crate and slept with a plank of wood next to her bed just in case...

pendletonbrat says:
your pic of the sunrise with the volcanic mountain as a backdrop is amazing! would have been 100times more amazing being there i bet :o)
Posted on: Jan 29, 2008
skippyed says:
How funny!
Posted on: Jan 20, 2008
Chelsea says:
Lol, sounds like a pretty bizarre evening...
Posted on: Jan 19, 2008
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Sunrise in Antigua, Guatemala
Sunrise in Antigua, Guatemala
San Jorge
photo by: Clarafina