Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break and Semana Santa

Here are the highlights of this amazing week!

On Sunday I got up early to go pick up Tiffany and Laura at their hotel in Guatemala City. There were some problems getting out of Antigua due to the processions but eventually we made it to the hotel and I got to see them! Unfortunately I did not see their luggage and it turns out it got lost somewhere in Mexico City.
On Monday we didn't do much besides shop at the market and eat. The luggage did not come.
On Tuesday we went to Santo Domingo to visit the museum. In the afternoon we climbed Pacaya - an active volcano! It was definitely the greatest thing we've ever done in our lives. We got withing 6 feet of the flowing lava, but it was too hot to get any closer. We got to watch the sunset as we climbed around on the molten rock, then hiked back down in the dark. It was incredible.
On Wednesday we had a lot of coffee to help give ourselves a boost from the exhausting climb. We even visited a coffee plantation and museum. We had a personal tour around the place and got to help contibute to the process by cleaning the beans for a bit. After a call to the airport for the billionth time we found out that their luggage was in Guatemala City at their hotel from Saturday, and no one would bring it to Antigua. Fortunately the SI director, Fernando, saved us and took as to the hotel. Even though it was more than half way through their trip, both Tiffany and Laura were very glad to have their luggage.
On Thursday the madness of Semana Santa began. Before it really started we had the best Chai in the world, ate at Cafe Sky with an amazing view of the city, and had a cozy dinner at a favorite restaurant of mine - Doña Louisa's. During the day we explored the ruins of the Cathedral, and returned during the evening to see a beatiful alter and candle display. We also watched a reenactment of Jesus's trial and experienced a night procession.On Friday we got up to join the crowds at 4:30 AM. Really they had been out all night long, preparing alfombras (carpets out of colored sawdust) for the following day's processions, but we chose not to show our faces until 4:30. The little boys carrying banners were exhausted and kept on dozing off before the start at 5:00. It was pretty exciting to see, even if it was early. The rest of the day we rested, and Laura and I went out a few times as Tiffany was not feeling to well and the insence made it worse. There were atleast 4 processions, beginning at 5 and ending at 3:30 AM. We only lasted until about 9 before crashing. Even so, it turned out to be a pretty fun day.
Today was the reversal of yesterday - Laura was feeling sick instead. We had a light breakfast then packed up their suitcases and took them to my house. The shuttle driver had no problems today, and we arrived at the airport at 11:50. I said (a quick) goodbye and we returned to Antigua. Now I'm updating this! I'm going to rest for the next few days before heading back to work on Monday.

May everyone's Easter be filled with joy!

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