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The Land That I Love

Posted Feb 21 2012 4:19pm

There is nothing like traveling to another country to gain a little perspective on your life.  I recently spent 10 glorious days in Antigua, Guatemala. 

If you have never traveled to Guatemala I really really suggest checking it out.  And if you are ever considering studying Spanish, Antigua is the place to so it.

It’d been 11 years since I visited Antigua.  As I arrived at the airport and drove from Guatemala City to Antigua, I wondered what would await me.  Would Antigua be the same?  Would my Guate Family look the same?  Would my friends remember me??  The thoughts went on and on and my excitement built!

Customs

 The ride from Guatemala City to La Antigua was loud and filled with traffic, just as before.

Headed to La Antigua

As we headed up out of La Ciudad and then down into the valley where Antigua sits, I was besides myself.  In mere moments I would be entering the 400 year old cobblestone streets of Antigua.  La Antigua, the city that I love so much. 

 
As we entered Antigua I was over joyed and couldn’t wait to see my family.  This is my family I have stayed with 4 times before for an accumulated time of 5 months.  When the door to their house opened I was greeted with open arms and great big smiles.  

Some of the members of my Guate Family

As I got settled in I walked down the street a few 100 yards to La Academia De Sevilla where I would study Spanish for the next 6 days. 

My family's house

These next  photos were taken at 7am in the morning as I was walking back from “La Fabrica” (the local gym).  This is something I’ve always done when I am here.  My little weekly routine is to hit the gym at 6am, when the streets are quite and no one is out yet.  One of my favorite times of day!

The view of St Francis Church from the doorway of the house

 And here is the school, just a few steps away from the house.  I’ve made that trip many many times on my way to study Spanish.

Sevilla is the yellow building

I found  I easily slipped back into my routine and life I had in Guatemala 11 years earlier.  I found my old friends one by one and we spent many an hour catching up and visiting. 

My Hermanita Gladis

So many people once again opened their arms and homes to me.  I was amazed.  Here is a country where making $10 a day is a lot.  And yet, they would give you everything they owned, just to make sure you were comfortable.   The generosity and compassion of the Guatemaltecos is absolutely amazing.  I have never been in a culture that was so simple and caring.   After so many amazing moments and after becoming fluent in Spanish again, the 10 days were up and it was time to head home.  I made my rounds and said goodbye to my friends.  This time I promised I would be back sooner than 11 years.    And that is a promise I intend to keep!

Acatenango Volcano- one of the 3 active volcanos surrounding Antigua

   
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