Sunday, Lex and I woke up super early(as we’ve been waking up at around 9 – 9:30 every day) to hop on the shuttle to go to Chichicastenango. Chichi is a large, predominantly indigenous town that is famous for it’s giant markets on Thursdays and Sundays. About 14 of us piled into a tiny shuttle at 8:00 am and set off on the pot-hole filled road(the only road) that gets you out of San Pedro. The ride wasn’t incredibly pleasant as we had a car full of young Israeli kids that somehow took control of the radio and started playing loud Israeli music most of the ride. Some of them had just gotten out of the army and apparently it’s custom for them to travel a bit as soon as they’re finished. Just wish the Israeli dance party wasn’t quite so early in the morning!
Anyway, it took about 2 1/2 hours to get to Chichi, with a stop at a small tienda on the way where we had to pay the equivalent of $.12 to use the bathroom which didn’t have a toilet seat or toilet paper. As soon as we stepped off the shuttle, the driver pretty much let us free without any real direction as to where the market was, but apparently he told a few of the other people on the bus that it was up the hill. We found it easily and the second we stepped in, were bombarded with offers to buy beautiful textiles from all of the local woman. I’ve never said, “no, gracias” more times in my life! We walked around for a few minutes, catching a glimpse of a holy parade, complete with icon-statue-type saint depictions and burning sage. We then decided to eat some food and drink some cafe at a local cafe before really diving in.
We ate some delicious eggs, pancakes, bread and cafe with a 2 other girls from our school that came along, and then set out into the wilderness of the market! We were again bombarded, but got fairly good at not making eye contact and politely saying no when we didn’t want something. I bought a few candles(to light up our awkwardly dim apartment), some pasta(as it was super cheap), handmade bracelets for Lex and I, and finally at the end haggled a bit with a woman for a beautiful handmade purse that has a parrot on it. Ooh, I also got a cute little something for my mom that hopefully she’ll like.
We then just wandered around for a while, until it was time to make the trek home, seeing a beautiful scene of women selling flowers on church steps and smelling raw meat hanging in stands.
The start of this week has been pretty calm – we’re back to Spanish lessons this week, which I think we’re both slowly getting better at. We also made a trip to the market(the local market) on Monday where we bought carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, chiles and a pineapple! We’ve been pretty good about cooking most of our meals at home but are finally starting to incorporate some fresh, local ingredients into our meals! Last night, however, I started having a bit of what I’ll refer to as the “D”… I believe it was from drinking some of the coffee at the school, as I’m not sure if they use purified water and the water isn’t boiled per say. Anyway, hopefully that will go away soon, but I’ve made it 2 weeks in Guatemala so far!