A week ago (on the weekend) I went on my first solo trip. Kayleighs family came and they went on a trip all over so I braved the trip alone. It ended up being really fun and I feel like I was more open to meeting new people because I did not have Kayleigh as a crunch. It was a really good experience.
The first day was really ugly out so I just utilized that time to get birthday gifts for everyone. They have beautiful, huge oil paintings of the lake for 200 quetzales (or 25 dollars). I actually felt bad at how low you can get the prices. The girl offered me the painting for 150 Q, but I paid 200 anyways. It was still a bargain! I cant wait till you all see it =)
I stopped for a slice of cake at around 4pm and chatted with a nurse from Australia with really cool stories. She kindly invited me to dinner with her and her friend. We had delicious Italian food and ran into a guy who stayed with my homestay family a week before and his friends. We all ended up talking all night long. Its so fun meeting different people from different stages in their lives with different, interesting stories.
The second day was beautiful (extra thanks to the previous ugly day)! I took a lanza (motor boat) to 3 islands with a group of people. We went to San Marcos, San Pedro, and Santiago Atitlan. All of the islands were beautiful, but horribly hit by tourism. I wished the tourist places could just not be there so I could get a real experience, but then again I guess I should be glad they let me visit. My favorite part was just looking at the beautiful blue lake, blue sky, and meeting a 3o year old lady from Mexico getting her PhD in bio-chem. She was actually the first Mexican person I have met in Guatemala. Previously I had only heard that Guatemalans “hate” Mexicans, and Mexicans “hate” Guatemalans (both for absolutely no reason). My friend did not seem to “hate” anything about Guatemala. She only said that when she thinks of Guatemala, she thinks of a poor country. But she was very nice and seemed to love Guatemala! We ended up meeting up for dinner that night in Antigua after we both got back on different shuttles. It was so nice talking 100 percent in Spanish all day!
p.s. I thought I was going to die on the 2.5 hour microbus (shuttle) ride back to Antigua. The driver went about 100 miles an hour down and around a mountain with pot holes everywhere. We were constantly bouncing and I thought we were just going to fly off the edge, or hit a car coming in the other direction. We survived. Again, I appreciate the roads in the US!
I also met a mother and son on the shuttle ride from Nicaragua and Aruba who just finished a week trip fixing cleft palates here in Antigua at Hermano Pedro. They were really kind and interesting! I cant wait until I have the skills to do something like that!