Tuesday, 16 September 2014

0099 Finished school and FIESTA TIME

Sunday 14th Sept. With much relief we completed our week of Spanish Lessons in Panajachel yesterday, and our heads are now totally over whelmed with all the combinations and exceptions and pronunciations that exist.  Now we just need to let our brains slowly absorb it all, and then slowly build our vocabulary. We now have the pronunciations (well, approximately !!) and have done all the verb declensions (both regular and irregular), and tenses (past and future), so all we need to remember now are all the words needed to make a sentence.  It is all very well knowing how to correctly say “sat”, but if you don’t know the word for “cat” or the one for “mat”, you still can’t say anything !  But we really enjoyed the week, feel proud with what we achieved, and look forward to using it.  At the end we gave our teachers Daniel and Delmy, and the School Director Nicholas, a furry koala and a gold(ish) kangaroo stickpin, which I think they really appreciated – Maybe their student don’s normally give them presents !!

After we said our good byes, we made our way to a Uruguayan restaurant we had had our eyes on to try for a while – And although a tad expensive at $20 total for two enormous lunches and beer etc, it was very good.  Mostly chicken  (one eats a lot of chicken and fish in this part of the world, as the meat can be a bit suss!), barbecued, and we could (should) probably have shared one plate between us !  The customary lunch time rain storm rolled through while we were eating, but by the time we were finished, so was the storm, and I set off to wander home with a fat tummy for a well earned siesta. Janet still felt adventurous, so she prepared to take off for a wander round town.

However, as so often happens in these countries, something unexpected happens to change ones plans.  In this instance it was lots of Chicken buses and smaller vans filled with mostly school kids (as far as we could work out) all try to go through the middle (read “tiny streets and cross roads”) of Panajachel, accompanied by much whistle blowing, shouting, hooting, people leaning out of windows and others up on the rooves – Normal stuff !!  So we had to watch all that, and enjoy the spectacle and take lots of photos – This was all part of the National Day celebrations for tomorrow – We presume all the local schools from the area had been competing against each other as there seemed to be a lot of cat calling between buses, and even water bombing and using water bottles to squirt everyone with water, including by standers like us !!   Great fun.  After that, Janet set off on her wander while I waddles home – Only to get caught up once again with all the buses which couldn’t get out of town due to the sharp corners on the narrow streets – Many 20 point turns were made – While rival buses continued to water bomb and soak the stationary vehicles.  Even some kind of running relay set of up the hill (after being water bombed), carrying kind of Olympic torches, albeit made from what looked like chair or table legs with a tin can nailed on the end, and then filled with a kerosene soaked rag to provide the fire !!  But they all seemed to be having a great time, and everyone was extremely friendly and waving.

On the way into my camp site I saw a US style truck camper with German number plates parked near the office.  Turned out to be another German couple who have just arrived and are also heading south to SA.   They have been on the road for 3 years already, and they also knew Willie who we have met here, so when Willie suddenly rode in on his motorbike, it turned out to be a bit of a get together and chat about our respective journeys !

I eventually made it home for my siesta, and Janet arrived home not long after having seen much of the same activity as I had.

Soon after she returned, the rain set in a bit, so we ended up having a lazy evening “at home”, and went to bed early.  But all evening and night there were sporadic very loud bangs as the locals set of “bombas” (big fireworks) to remind everyone that it is Fiesta time.  We are looking forward to tomorrow – NO Spanish lessons AND a Fiesta – How good is that ?

On a final note, I seem to be having problems either with my computer or my camera, and I cannot download photos into my computer – They just delete themselves.  So I have lost a lot of photos over the last few days, and until I manage to resolve the problem, I am not going to even try to download the photos in case I lose them all.  So apologies for the lack of photos – One of those things……And no corner store computer shop to run down to for help in Guatemala !!

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