I'm finally here...
After flying into Guatemala City and making the trip to Panajachel I finally got to my house last night. I love it. Everything about it. My roommate is hosting a mission trip this week, so I have the place to myself to get all set up and settled in. When Janet and Wayne dropped me off at my house yesterday I thought I would just fall asleep, but I ended up staying up late unpacking and organizing my room. I got almost everything done last night before going to bed. I also met my upstairs neighbors. A retired couple from Maine live in the apartment above me and have been here for 8 years. They spend 4 months out of the year here then go back to Maine. They couldn't be nicer. I wasn't scared at all last night staying by myself because I knew they were there.
The house is AMAZING!! I'll post the pictures below, but they don't even come close to capturing how beautiful it is here. This morning when I woke up I walked around our yard and took lots of pictures. There is a little path that goes up the hill behind our house and in front there are 2 other houses (one is for rent and the other is where Roberto (the grounds keeper) and his family live). There are orange trees all over the yard and lots of beautiful plants. About 2 miles down the road from my house is the lake and across the lake you can see one of the volcanoes (I think there are 3 around the lake). I spent about an hour sitting outside doing my daily devotional. So peaceful.
Anyways, this morning Janet came and picked me up and took me over to the Spanish school to register. I signed up to go to class the next 3 days from 8 to 12. I can't imagine that will be a lot of fun, but hopefully I'll pick it up quickly. I'll go most of next week also then when I have to start going to work I'll do Spanish school just a couple of days a week or get a tutor. After we left the school we walked all around the town. Janet showed me all the grocery stores I will shop at and we went on the search for hangers, baskets for the bathroom, and a quilt. Next we got a cell phone for me to use while I'm down here then met up with Wayne to eat lunch. We sat outside at this little cafe called The Patio. While we were eating people would come up to us asking us to buy something from them. It reminded me of the market when I was in Chichicastenago in August. You just have to learn to ignore them.
While we were walking around town I was so surprised by how many people were walking around from the United States or Europe. Most of the people I saw looked either my age or retired. Janet kept running into people she knew. There seams to be a good community of tourist who live here. Apparently this town has 18,000 living in it and they say 1 out of 8 people are not from Guatemala.
After lunch we went grocery shopping. There are 4 different stores then a farmers type market. We are going to the market tomorrow, so today we just went to the stores. I was so shocked by what was in the stores. When I was in Chichicastenago we went to the grocery store once and there was hardly anything I recognized. Here all the stores are well kept and stocked with food that looks familiar (yet in Spanish). Janet explained that when you go shopping you go to all 4 because you know what to get from each one. Different things are better at one store or you can only find certain things at one, so you have to go to all 4 to complete your list. At one store I bought some tofu (who knew they would have tofu in Guatemala??) and another store we shopped at had all sorts of fancy stuff. On one shelf they had truffle oil and avocado oil. Janet said that if you see something you want you need to go ahead and buy it because who knows when they will have it again. Pana has one big road that most of the shops are on, so all the stores are in walking distance of each other and our houses.
When I got back to the house I finished setting up my magic jack. With it I can call home for free. If you want to call me the number is 281 670 7821. If I'm not home or our internet isn't working you can just leave a message. Also if you have an IPhone or IPod Touch you can use heytell or facetime to call me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow morning David (one of the neighbors from Maine) is going to walk me to Spanish school, so I'll learn how to get there. Then when I'm done Janet is going to pick me up and we are going to the market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. I think in the afternoon we are going to start working on planning for the school year to start. A mission team is coming this weekend and they will be at the school helping us get everything ready for the following week.
So far I love everything. I feel settled in the house and have amazing people around me. Janet and Wayne are so nice and have been talking me through everything. I can't imagine being in a better situation down here. I guess I made me right decision. :)