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Archive for December, 2008

As we were walking toward the Parque Central yesterday, we came across a protest. It was a good sized group with what seemed mostly Mayan people. From what I understood, the municipality wants to move or change the bus terminal which is currently located by the mercado. It’s a huge inconvenience to the many people who carry loads of stuff to sell at the market. A change in location would mean extra long walking to carry their stuff to their destination – el mercado / their livelyhood.

The police was very present. There were a whole wack of them ready with batons and guns. Some sporting gas masks. And some taking pictures of the protesters. The protesters seemed very peaceful and the group was led by one speaker. The protest terminated in front of the municipal offices where the leader asked for the mayor to come out and talk to them. And that he did! The mayor said in a leaflet that these are just rumours but who knows. I believe they want to make the change for us tourists! I have been told that the mayor plans to introduce his own microbus company to take people from the edge of town (where the buses will be located) into the centre. Apparently, the mayor has done some good work but this change, which is supposed to take effect January 15, is definitely not a good thing.

Considering the fairly recent civil war and violence that Mayan people have endured in the past, a protest of any kind is very courageous!

Protesters in Antigua in front of the municipal offices (city hall)

Protesters in Antigua in front of the municipal offices (city hall)

A close look at the soldiers/police

A close look at the soldiers/police

Protest Poster taking a little break for helado

Protest Poster taking a little break for helado

The poster says: 1 cent for shame, 1 cent for intelligence, 1 cent for dignity, 1 cent for honesty. Donkeys!

Mayan women watching the protest, and partaking

Mayan women watching the protest, and partaking

End of the protest, Mayan women leaving

End of the protest, Mayan women leaving

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This is our third trip to Guatemala.¬† Arrived on the 25th…long trip because of a 4 hour wait in Houston. Oh well, it was nice to just finally be here and especially arrive in Romelia’s nice courtyard house. We took a cab from the airport ($30 US for two for a 45 minute trip) to Antigua. It was dead quite in Antigua, it was about 12:30 at night and Lenny was getting us to Romelia’s house on memorized directions…but he did it!

romelias

Romelia's place (runs a non profit - Foundations for Education)

So this one month trip will be a little different from the others. We are renting a nice apartment in Antigua — $450 US for a one bedroom with rooftop patio, includes maid twice a week, electricity, hot water, wireless internet. Our street is called Colonia El Pensativo. On our second night here there was drilling up the road till 11:30pm. And twice now there has been no water–no shower today. That’s just the way it is. Different place, different rules.

Our Street

Our Street

Our Apartment

Our Apartment

We’ve been walking around and re-acquainting ourselves with the town. Made a trip to the market for vegetables and fruit — but you can buy practically¬† anything the mercado…like today we needed a bicycle pump (but not for a bicycle–tell you later). It’s an indoor and outdoor market and it’s truly a maze when you get inside.

A tienda (little store) in Antigua

A tienda (little store) in Antigua

How much does food cost?

Currency: 1 CAD = 6.50 Quetzales

1 super large papaya – 10 Q
1 melon – 5 Q
2 peppers – 4 Q

Stuff bought from a supermarket and a deli:

Yogurt – 19 Q
Parmesan cheese – 38 Q for 450 grams (locally made in Guate)
Can of plum tomatoes – 22Q
Tagliatelle, package 21.5 Q

You can find just about anything here, either at the mercado, or La Bodegona (large supermaket), or at deli shops.

We got a cell phone, a basic motorola which included 61 minutes of airtime, all for 225 Quetzales.

We are having lessons with a tutor at our house, the two of us together. His name is Gustavo, very laid back. Should be fun. First lesson tonight!

Romelia and our Spanish tutor, Gustavo

Romelia and our Spanish tutor, Gustavo

Buenas tardes,

Laura, from sunny Antigua.

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Leaving Thursday, December 25th – six more days to go!

One of the things I have to worry about and prepare for is motion sickness. I generally don’t have a problem here at home (Vancouver) but roads in less developed countries can be nauseating…and ships and small boats can really swing with the waves.

I’ve tried Gravol, the 50mg dose, but it is still very strong for me and I end up feeling very groggy, impatient and greatly irritated the rest of the day. And have a really hard time making decisions while under the effect. I came across several other drugs online but could not find them locally: Dramamine, Bonamine, Marezine, and Triptone. It looks like I tried Bonamine in my last trip in Guatemala but I do not remember how well it worked (I found some expired Bonamine in my medicine cabinet).

This time along with the Gravol, I’m bringing along some homeopathic medicine. I’ve bought cocculine by Boiron. It’s indicated for motion sickness and nausea. I’ve also got Ginger Root capsules to help with nausea. This is more of an after the fact remedy.

Apparently, there’s also a motion sickness patch and a motion sickness relief band that is battery operated but again not available locally. Online, the band is about $130. I’ve tried the non-battery operated version of the bands but they didn’t seem to work for me. Could be I just missed the acupuncture spot.

Crossing my fingers the homeopathic medicine will work. By the way, Gravol and Bonamine were available in Guatemala.

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Back to travelling soon

We are going back to Guatemala for one month and we’ll be posting to this blog again. We’re leaving Christmas day and coming back January 24. We love travelling on Christmas day since we don’t care much for Christmas.

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