|I arrive on Thursday to guatemala city and check into a hotel close by. Not much in guatemala city and no one knows anything. ask the officials at the airport where the atm is or where to change money dont know. Ask the hotel where to eat, dont know and I walking around find so many places to eat, atms, money exchange.
It is a very relaxed place though, I really enjoyed the one day I stayed there. The streets were really clean and they had polica standing all over with double barrel shot guns and 3/4 shot guns. OK- maybe that is why there is no litter. I bought some crisps and a juics and could not find a bin anywhere. Asked the hotel if it is really dangereous and they say absoutely not, only at night walk in bright streets or preferably take taxis.
I did sit next to guatemalan on the plane and he did not speak much english but between his english and my spanish we talked and he told me abit of guatemalan history and I told abit of England and SA.
They are strong people and like SA it takes time to heal. they came out of a civil war about 15 years ago.
I am now in Antigua and it is a very colonial town with no building higher than 2/3 floors. I am staying in a home and the people speak no English even though they had about 50 english speaking people through the years all staying for a bout 2 week each at least. They very nice people but I cant communicate much becuase my vocab is little. we try.
I start the second leg of my studies for another week here tomorow. The thing I dont like here is when we walk around, alot of the locals speak english and they swithc to english although I try to stick to spansih as much as possible. I gues they find it easier and quicker.
I was hoping to walk up a volcano today but it rains every evening the afternnon climb returns in the dark.
There is a morning tour that starts at 6 with a 1pm return so I will have to do this when I finsh my course.
There are loads of things happening and they are very religious. This weekend there were numerous cermonies or srteet parades with shrines all over the main square and the procesionvisiting the shrines and carrying gold or brass items similar to the stuff we use in our religious ceremonies in SA(hindu-tamil) The whole cermony reminded me of cermonies we have and I wonder whether the cataloic religion just includded alot of the local tratitions to make conversion easier.
HEre a well there are loads of police with big guns.
I seem to have over come they fear I feel when I hear loud bangs follwoing 7/7. Really loud fireworks go off all the time and the tuk tuks back fire all the time and I dont flinch or try to take cover anymore.
This is good but considering the cops have big guns, it means the baddies have bigger guns and one day I might be walking and think it is a firework or ack fire and just walk on by.
My landlad's son says that it is rare for any attacks to take place and it has been a long time since one happened. I will have to ask other people about that thought.