Saturday, December 26, 2009

And were Off

Hey just wanted to give everyone an update that tomorrow morning around 4 am we are off and headed for El Salvador. We have a tentative plan to stay through the new year, hopefully celebrating on the beach while looking at the full blue moon(its really rare for the moon to be full on new years so you should check it out) and then off to Nicaragua. I should be in Costa Rica on the 10th for three months of teaching in the rainforest. Hope everyone enjoyed their christmas and hopefully you all have a good time on new years!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meditation Camp: Prying Open My third eye

Twenty minutes in my foot falls asleep. This is the pattern, I have a clear understanding of the time based on when my foot falls asleep. I know that at twenty minutes we are nearing the end and if I can just readjust my legs and get some blood flowing that foot Ill be fine for the homestretch. At this point Ive given up on my focus and Im into survival mode, Im not sure how long your foot can stay asleep but at some point in needs blood, right. I mean what happens if you dont get blood, how long do you have until you lose a toe, all your toes, the whole foot. I need that foot, I use it daily. So i dont mind cheating and sending some blood there in place of positive thoughts. Im not sure this is how the great gurus of history have envisioned their students meditating but it is the reality for me.

Once Ive gotten some blood back to my foot, my mind is lost and my meditation is all but done. I will hold out for the rest of the time repeating over and over "hit that gong" in my head, praying that our teacher realizes we have been in this position for far too long and it is time to give this up. I send my vibes to her trying to beg her to end this session as quickly as possible. I doubt this is how you reach spiritual enlightenment but im sure that ive heard somewhere at somepoint that we all take our own paths and mine just involves some inner complaining.

For some of you, you must be wondering how I got here. How did I get 40 minutes into an hour long meditation inside a pyramid shaped temple with twelve other soul searchers. Well long story short Lindsey and Andy met a couple on one of their travels who told them all about Los Pyramides and they thought it seemed like an interesting place to spend a week, and i having decided to try just about anything people suggest tagged along for the week.

So on sunday we packed up our stuff and headed off for San Marcos, a tiny little laguna town on Lake Atitlan. After a pretty standard shuttle bus trip and a choppy boat ride we ended up in san marcos. We arrived at los pyramides and it was what you could best describe as a ghost town. Everyone was in a silent meditation and the only people that we encountered were people who were in part of a month long silence, and came across as jerks. I would learn that there is a nice way do your silence and the jerkway.

The pyramides looks like your a pretty typical summer camp except that all of the cabins are shaped like pyramids. Other than that you have your communal bathroom and kitchen(vegetarian only) and your cabin is full of spiders, mean disgusting spiders who played extras in Arachnophobia. After an interesting night of sleep we were off to start our week.

Yoga in the morning
Every morning began with Yoga. We were up early and with a pretty solid bedhead going ready to stretch it out with some intense yoga. It was pretty fast that i realized i might be out of place with my basketball shorts and sweatshirt, when the teacher was clad in an all white yoga suit that i thought only existed in movies where they mock yoga teachers. Right off the bat i knew i was in trouble, i have never been able to touch my toes not ever, in the presidential physical fitness test the toe touching was my nightmare and yoga seemed like it would continue. Our first teacher was a relaxed british guy(ithink) who ran you through some intense yoga drills and rolled his eyes at those of us who struggle like the goofy goofy tall bastards we are. The other teacher was great though, super encouraging and positive. She would come over and tell me that i was doing perfect except that you need to fix these 5 things. Im not sure she understands the definition of perfect. Her positive encouragement did help me get through some pretty ridiculous sessions of yoga. One of our final yoga sessions also finished with andy and I giving each other back massages, where andy critiqued my massage style the entire time.

Metaphysics Class
After breakfast of cornflakes, or in my case choco zucaritas(choco frosted flakes, which would also be my dinner several times) we heaeded off to metaphysics class. Coming in the middle of a session(the run a weekly schedule on the moon, wed-wed) we were headfirst into classes on lucid dreaming and astral travel. We spent the week learning techniques on controlling your dreams and using your mind to change your dreams and the locations of your body, in order to have out of body experiences. We learned about traveling outside of your body to other countries or down to the bottom of the lake where you can find a temple and you are more than welcome to come down and pray late at night. Overall the classes were interesting and a little kooky but in the best possible way.
***A special note to those of you who indulge in illegal substances. They are apparently destroying your aura causing rifts and holes to develop that will make you tired and more run down. There is a remedy though, and I will be kind enough to help you all out at this point. You will need to run a hot bath and create a mixture of several natural plants and herbs. You will need rosemary, mint, basil, chamomile, lavender, sage and red roses. If they are fresh and natural you are better off but if you dont have the option you can use any form. The mixture should make up the size of a fist and for god sakes you need to check to see if you have allergies to any of these, you dont want to jump into a tub of aura purifying substances only to learn that you break out from lavender, thats bad news. If it doesnt work the first time, well you are probably a big pothead(you know if im talking to you), and need to do this for a consistent 7 day period every month until you feel invigorated again. Good luck my friends, and youre welcome!***

Meditation
After metaphysics we were given several hours to hang out and do whatever we want. So I spent the week reading way too many books ranging from the motorcycle diaries and tom sawyer to books on coping with death and a guidebook on lucid dreaming. At 5 though we headed back to the temple for our meditation class.

*quick note on the temple here. The temple is a giant pyramid that is actually really awesome once you are inside. You need to crawl down a staircase and tunnel before you can enter the temple. In the hall of the tunnel there are pictures of different religious figures from ancient pharaohs to buddah and jesus. Andy felt like the jesus picture looked like a dad who knew his son had done something wrong but was letting the son explain himself and weave a tail of lies even though daddy jesus knew the truth, so in reality jesus was wearing one of those give me a break, oh really faces. My view was that jesus was a tv or radio talk show host listening to a particular messed up story, and he was making front of being concerned when really he was thinking "good lord thats awful, good luck with all that," face. The debate rages on. The temple inside has a giant pyramid in the center with a crystal globe that represents the world and they put a silk sheet over it when we are not meditating or focusing on it. other than that we all sit on mats or wooden blocks for our meditation or classes.*

Most of the meditations were painful exercises. I already described the process of pain a little but let me tell you it flat out killed. When we finished and had to change positions i had to manually move my legs with my hands and struggle through the pain to get them straight.

Guided meditation had to be my favorite part of the week though. The first night we worked on an exercise where we visualized a garden, a pond, a house, animals a boat and other things. All were metaphoric and represented something in your house. The garden was how complicated your life is the pond represented how you approach new situations(i only dipped my toes and sat on the edge so reading into that its pretty accurate, im a toe dipper in social situations), the animals represented my fears and though i saw giraffes, polar bears and dogs i totally approached them and tried to pet them all. My biggest issues came with the house and the boat. My house was the lake house from the bodyguard with kevin costner, the house represents my soul so i have no idea what that says about me. I was afraid to get on the boat because i am afraid of boats in general, the boat represented my future so i guess either im going to die or im really afraid of my future, great.
Other exercises involved thanking our loved ones and friends, so thank you if you didnt get the message on tuesday, visualizing points in our past and focusing on our life mission. If youd like to know more about my life mission feel free to ask, its long detailed and still a little cloudy.

Closing thoughts
I went into the week with a precaution but interest. Many people were skeptical of me going to meditation camp, not taking my interest in the spiritual world seriously, they didnt realize that i once made my mom buy me incense and a tape on Gregorian chants to practice relaxation and meditation(the outcome being that i realized i was allergic to incense and just sneezed alot), and my interest in spiritual matters has always been deep. This week solidified that i have an interest but im not willing to fully commit to any one belief and need to keep working on making my perfect spiritual practices.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Schools OUt!!!






This Friday signified the last day of my spanish school and the last day of volunteering at Los Patojos. I'll do a little recap of the experiences and my overall impressions from them.

Spanish School- COINED
From my first day until my last learning spanish was a struggle. I remember before i left and everyone told me within two weeks ill be fluent, how little they understand the complexities of the spanish language and the limited nature of my brain.

I was able to have some really great teachers at the spanish school. I loved the rapid fire intense energetic nature of my teacher Francisco and the long discussions on politics history and social issues where we both practiced our spanish and learned that we are not nearly doing enough to improve the world. The lessons with Diego where i had to use my spanish to say what i would do if i met Shakira and to discuss who i would rather date Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie, as well as the discussions we had on syracuse basketball and district 13. Antonio and his perpetual and hysterical use of the word jesus and his love for rasheed wallace as well as his mild temper tantrums and the week where we drove him mildly insane with our lack of progress. These were probably my favorite teachers though down the stretch I became hated by one or two teachers because i was very much a wise ass and contradicted them constantly. Live and learn i guess.

On our final week i was given the opportunity to translate one of our final activities, the day of the devil and i was able to stagger through that exercise. On the last friday we gave speeches and mine was a top ten list of things from the school, which was kindly received with what i hope was authentic laughter. To finish the day i was given a giant number one medal for my perfect attendance and all of my hard work, i was genuinely touched by it and they really did not need to do that. I had been bugging them all week to put up a picture of me in the main corridor for other students to admire and aspire to, but the medal was much subtler and made more sense. Though that giant picture would look great.

Overall i think my spanish came along pretty nicely. I still mispronounce a ton of words and can easily get lost in the most basic of conversations and my favorite phrases are all gimicky or only said by idiots(toca madera, tengo frio, en tus zapatos) but hopefully what i have will be just the beginning.

Los Patojos

My volunteer opportunity at Los Patojos ended with two pretty great days. Andy had been working with the kids on different team building challenges throughout the past month and I tagged along on many as well as teaching and playing basketball with the kids on fridays. On our second to last day andy set up an obstacle course with several different challenges for the kids from making a human knot to crossing an acid river and then crossing a mind field blind folded. My team won the race which should be no surprise, my team also won the dancing shapes competition.

After the competition I was pretty blown away when the kids gave a little speech thanking us and giving us some bracelets that they had made for us. They could not have been sweeter and some of the girls snuck off during their art time to make us cards. Im a big softee and had to hold back tears pretty bad especially with Sarai who was probably my favorite kid overall. She came across as abrasive at first but is really one of the sweetest most intelligent kids i have ever come across and she has a great sense of humor, of which i was frequently a target. She also embraced the pound and explode handshake which made my day everytime we did it. (goofy handshakes with the kids kind of became my thing)

The next day we played a game of capture the flag and then headed back to the center. I almost cried again when Mr. Cool Boris realized we weren't going to be at the school anymore and literally started to tear up a little himself. To put it bluntly Boris is the man and is lightyears cooler than i can ever hope to be so the fact that he was disappointed and upset that we were leaving was one of the biggest compliments i have ever received in my life.

When i first walked into the school i was shocked at the chaos, lunacy and seeming ineptness that seemed to be prevalent in the structure of the school but it is really the kids who make this program. They are your typical kids in so many ways, moody sarcastic teenagers who test your limits at every turn but over time we all grew to bond and it seemed to happen so much quicker with them than it should have.They were accepting of our limited spanish and worked on our pronunciation, they joked and teased, and in the end i couldnt have been happier to know them. I hope they all go on to be the things they are dreaming to be, the architects, writers, doctors and lawyers of a future guatemala.

I was also thankful to many of the teachers who embraced our presence and made things easy for us. Diego the persistent and die hard yankees fan who is far more mature than his 17 years and taught me alot about tolerance and what its like to be truly open mind(except about baseball) who claims to have been john wilkes booth in his past life and has a love for gabriel garcia marquez. I hope he goes forward to do a poetry slam, which we discussed at length and he spent hours looking at slam poems on youtube. Or Juan Pablo the passionate head of the school who is realistic about his extreme political views but is the lifeblood of the school. Linda who is the nurturing mother hen for the older group, whose subtle sense of humor always caught me off guard and murio one of the first adults with a rat tail that i found respect for.

It was definitely an interesting experience that i am grateful i got the opportunity to have.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Futbol Americano w/ Los Patojos


















Usually we play basketball or soccer every friday but this week we got the opportunity to play a little good old fashioned american tackle football. It was an interesting experience, for the most part the kids got the game pretty easily but they had trouble understanding that you are only allowed to throw the ball once, its easy to make that mistake, and we probably had a more fun game because of it. I think in the end Andy's team defeated my team but thats because Boris has a rocket arm and victor was a sick receiver. My team had many communication issues and our precise route running left something to be desired. I was a yac machine though but really let my boys Eduardo and Frank down with my shabby passing ability. I should have gotten that premonition when on our walk to the field I overthrew frank by ten yards and the ball bounced into the back of a huge truck(im a ridiculously strong person and often have trouble restraining my full power). We had to get permission to climb into this truck and get the ball out, overall a pretty embarrassing experience only saved by Boris' smooth talking with the truck owner.(Sidenote- i did not take any of these pictures they are the courtesy of the kids at Los Patojos)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Post

Hey everyone,

I have nothing really interesting to post today but I thought I might ramble on about some of the different things that are going on. A note to some readers this may not be terribly interesting so i apologize for that in advance.

School right now is a bit of a mixed bag, i have no idea if im getting any better at speaking spanish. I know that i have the capability to use at least two too many verb tenses but i have no idea if that is translating into more accurate and understandable conversations. To no ones surprise i am terrible at pronouncing everything and when i try to explain to them that i dont pronounce things in english very well either(bagel for example) and that it is just a very me thing to pronounce things a little off they are not very accepting of the concept. Apparently i also have a habit of shrugging my shoulders in that i dont know fashion when i try to pronounce things correctly in the subjunctive tense and it is literally impossible to stop that habit so i look pretty ridiculous most of the time, and im sure if i had to pronounce multiple words in a row i would be doing my patented shoulder dance pretty easily. Other than that i would guess that my spanish is going ok, im churning through the books they give us and people only get mildly frustrated with me, especially when i get stubborn and decide that despite the fact that i dont know spanish i know better than the teachers.

Volunteering is a mixed bag right now as well. I really like all of the students in my english class but they show up so sporadically that my many hours of planning tend to get tossed out the window. Last week i made all of these cards for travel vocabulary with pictures and all sorts of destinations and only three students showed up so we ended up just talking about soccer for two hours. Not bad but a bit demoralizing. Teaching basketball is pretty much the same except the kids are so full of energy that we tend to just have a fun time no matter what. Its basically the girls who like to play bball so we end up just playing 3 on 3 for a few hours and they are so funny at times that i have literally fallen on the ground laughing. They love to cheer and yell bravo everytime they score and they love to tell me im a tramposo(cheater) because im so much taller than them, but lets be honest i would be dominating no mattter what my height was. Oh and talking trash with limited spanish to 13 year old girls is a blast, i mean if i was the type of guy who would talk trash to 13 year old girls, doesnt really sound like me though, im far too classy for that.

Other than that im currently feeling a little like crap, probably developing a little malaria or yellow fever or it could just be a headache or cold but im no doctor.

Let me know if you guys want to hear about anything in particular especially when there is nothing big happening.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Acotenango


















On Thursday my plan was simple, I was going to spend the weekend with a nice relaxing trip to the beach town of Monterico, get some sun and watch some turtles race. By Friday my plans had changed dramitically as I sat in the offices of OX and listened to the preexcursion speech on the dangers of the trek we were about to encounter. Instead of cervezas and hammocks I would be ascending 13000 ft in the air and camping out inside a volcanic crater. Things would certainly be different but then again ive never really liked the beach much.





On saturday morning we got up around 5 and took off for OX[outdoor excursions]. We were to meet up with 9 other brave souls and trek up one of the largest volcanoes in central america. Our day began with the early morning trot through antigua, running late as usual and needing to hustle to not seem like the dead weight slackers of the group. When we arrived we finished filling our packs adding more weight from shared gear, my job to carry up the huge container of curry for that nights dinner. A quick stop at a cafe where we scarfed down some chicken sandwiches in hopes of getting those last tiny bits of protein to propel us up the volcano and we were off.

We were told the first 45 minutes would be a flat out bitch and it couldnt have been more true. We trudged through loose dirt and passed local farmlands on our way into the first trails of the volcano. It wasnt long before i was breathing heavy and i was nervous that i was the only one struggling from the onset. The pack already felt like an albatross around my neck and we were bolting up the mountain at breakneck speed.


When Stefan our guide turned to me and asked me if i did much trekking I wasnt sure wether to lie or not so i blurted out the truth. Nope it was my first time, i havent really done anything like this before. I once tried to climb a small mountain in Massachusetts but ended up driving around a tiny town lost and barely made it to the opening of the mountain before i had to turn back. He was not amused and the look of worry on his face was priceless.

We climbed and intemittently took breaks to ensure that we were doing alright and properly hydrated. As we climbed higher i hit my stride, keeping up with the pace of the group, listening to stories of how they had climbed the alps, the sierras and the matterhorn and trying to keep it a secret that the closest i had come was reading about stuff like that and once watching the movie with chris odonnell where his sister gets stuck on a mountain and he has to go save her and they are carrying that supersensitive explosive gel, you know the one im talking about.

When we reached lunch i realized that this was going to be ridiculously hard but it was also incredibly doable. I had been nervous the night before and for much of the early hike but reaching midway and feeling good instilled me with confidence for the rest of the hike. We ate and took an hour to rest and acclimate ourself with the increasing altitude. Vanity got the best of me and as we were told it would be dress to take off our shirts to dry them i obviously decided to try and get some sun and in typical tim fashion i burnt up my entire chest and back turning once again into a fresh steamed lobster.






Along with us on our trip was Chela, a dog who lives at the tour house. That dog carries its own pack and busts up the mountain playing and bounding up some of the more treacherous passes as if they were nothing. She was the best despite her incessant desire to eat our food and her lack of preocupation with knocking you right off the trail with her pack.




We climbed for several more hours eventually passing the fake summits and reaching our first summit. It was amazing and we took off our packs to stare at the clouds below us and admire the other volcanoes that made up the panoramic landscape infront of us. We climbed to a small peak and practiced our handstands and jumpkicks above 10000 ft, you never know when you are going to need them.


By this point our legs were spent, drained of all energy and we were dying to just leave our packs on the ground and be done for the day. Unfortunately we had 45 more minutes of hiking to the final peak and the crater which would be our bedroom for the evening. The last 45 minutes was brutal as we sloshed through gravel and volcanic ash struggling to reach the top. Once we got to the top of the crater it was relief and it looked like the moon.





We walked down into the crater and dropped our packs sensing the end of the first major part of our adventure. The wind blew huge gusts in our faces as we set up the tents and changed into our down jackets for the night. The temperature had dropped signifigantly and we were now close to freezing. Our guide let us know that we had arrived about 2 hours earlier than expected and now our only course of action was to go drink a ton of wine and watch volcano fuego erupt over and over. So we headed off to the side of the volcano, cups in hand and picked our spots to drink and watch the magnificent vistas.




The combination of altitude and booze, which went from red wine to rum to bacardi fairly quickly, led some members of the group to get a little tipsy and as we started to hurl boulders down the mountain and sing all sorts of partially remembered pop songs the sunset on us and the temperature dropped to ass kicking point.














We ate our curry dinner and then headed quickly off to bed, the security and warmth of our sleeping bags a welcome treat. Our tent was shared with Chela and she was not the most accomadating tentmate. By midnight my face was pressed into the side of the tent as andy and lindsey had shoved me from my spot into my tight squeeze. We came to find out that as we were packed like sardines the dog had taken over the tent and had occupied 2 and half spots for herself and was not going to be moved easily. We struggled with this all night eventually realizing that tiny bits of uncomfortable sleep were the best we could ask for.



When i woke up from my last 5 min rest i was completely nauseous suffering from altitude sickness and thought i was going to throw up or fall face first from dizziness. I did my best to walk up to the edge of the crater to watch the sunset with everyone but could only sit and pray not to vomit in front of everyone. Chela came over and joined me, she must have sensed i needed a little support at that time or she just wanted to steal my warmth as her down jacket wasnt providing enough. We watched the sunrise together and i began to start feeling like myself again. Apparently i just wasnt getting enough oxygen as i slept and recuperated quickly, thank god.[this is also why i have no pics of the sunrise]


The descent was another adventure altogether. Our first inclination that it would be something different was when our guide told us we needed to be safe and do exactly as he did and then he sprinted down the first major part of the descent sending volcanic ash flying as bolted down. We all gave each other that look of holy crap i guess we have to do that too and we followed in hot pursuit. The descent was a series of sprints down mixed in with ridiculous jungle leaves in your face as you weaved down the mountain and silently prayed to not fall on your ass. We took little to know breaks asking each other what the big rush was.By the time we reached the homestretch my knee was throbbing, Lindseys toes were brutalized, andy was exhausted and the rest of our group was suffering from blisters and varying other ailments. Our guides had left us in their dust and our only course of action was to fend for ourselves. Somehow we made it to the bottom jelly legged and covered in sweat. When we reached the van our guides gave us high fives and told us we made it in record time, i was too tired and cared very little for records though i will say i smoked that cocky swiss kid who stole my walking stick[he know he stole it too and deserves eating my dust]


We took our van ride back cramping up on the ride and then hobbled back finishing our day with lunch at Rainbow cafe, sharing our moments of self doubt, our favorite moments[sunset for me] and our shared knowledge that we would not be attempting this again anytime soon. In closing I know many of you have done some crazy stuff and maybe its much more impressive than 13000 ft but lay off this was big for me and im pretty proud of myself because i did pretty damn well.



Sidenote we are all walking with decisive limps and Brenda, one of the daughters at our homestay, thinks its hilarious to sneak up behind us and then grab or poke our quads and watch as we freak out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mesero Correra
















Today we convinced our teacher instead of having class in the morning we would be better off going to watch a race where waiters carry trays through the streets. It was pretty interesting though it all devolved into our teacher ogling some Gallo beer promotional girls. All in all it was an interesting morning.





video

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tikal and Yaxha











video

I knew of Tikal far before I had ever heard the name and far before I ever took off for Guatemala. Only in my mind Tikal is Yavin IV the secret base of the rebel alliance where Luke came to fruition and listened as Admiral Akbar dispensed important intel on the destruction of the Death Star.

I got my chance to see Tikal for real this weekend and it is an amazing place. It was one of the major city states in the Mayan empire with skyscraping pyramids and temples. One of those places on earth that everyone really should try and see because it puts you in awe with mans ability to create.

I took off for Tikal in the early morning waking around 4 and heading for the airport with Cathy. Since Andy and Lindsey had already seen Tikal and were on an adventure of their own it was just the two of us for this trip. When we arrived at the airport in Flores we were greeted by Carlos who would be our guide for the next two days.

Our first tour would involve seeing some of the major temples and sites in Tikal. To get there Carlos insisted we take a pickup truck and we were carted through the walking paths like lazy people at airports, we felt a little like aholes but it was pretty fun at times to watch people give us snooty looks. It was even more fun to see the other group from our school who had taken the bus 11 hours to get to Tikal and wave at them as if we were local celebrities in the big homecoming parade.

We got to the first temple which was the massive temple iv and it was a blast to ascend and then take in the views. You get such a ridiculous view of the jungle and the other pyramids from temple iv it really is amazing.

After that we were greeted with the rain. It had rained all week in torrential proportions in Antigua and today would be no different. We went from pyramid to pyramid and got soaked. When i attempted a handstand for a picture i almost ate it when i slipped on the grass. None the less we were able to tour around the city and see all of the pyramids, temples, and residences.

One of highlights was standing listening to some history of the mayan people and i didnt realize that i was standing on a huge ant hill. The ants attacked me like ferocious beasts and bit the crap out of my legs. It was a continous pleasant surprise throughout the day to feel a sharp pain in my back or behind my knees and have a nice ant bite waiting for me.

We finished up the tour in a thunderstorm but were able to see some really nice sites. I was a big fan of the central plaza which had some smaller temples as well as houses and places for human sacrifice(i think thats what someone said at least). It was interesting to see everything in such a close proximity.

The next morning we woke up early again to try and catch the sunrise and this was one of highlights. For about 20 minutes on the top of temple iv we watched the sun ascend, though blocked by clouds though it was still beautiful, and watched the fog dance over the jungle top. The silence and the early morning were really something to behold. Its a must if you ever travel to tikal.

Other highlights from Tikal: -climbing one of the steepest ladders i have ever seen and having a group of australian tourists on the way down tell me that they thought i was an aussie and that my accent sounds more australian than american
-carlos explaining to me where the word ok came from before he lectured me on the need to have at least two girlfriends, one is simply not enough according to carlos
-the smell of my clothes, a potpourri of sweat mud and rain.
-a sweet dessertt of rice and milk, surprisingly tasty

Yaxha is a second site of ruins that was recently discovered. It is a little more of a small town compared to a major city that tikal is. It was pretty impressive and had some great stuff to climb and see as well. They also had some ball courts where the mayans played their sport. It was much smaller but there was more stuff in a close proximity to each other and it was all newly excavated so it was pretty exciting to get the opportunity to see it.

We then got to head into Flores which is a cool little beach like town. We took a short boat ride and at one point the carlos asked me to walk to the front of the boat and take a photo of everyone. I wanted to Carlos that i am petrified of boats and water and the idea of walking to the front was making me nauseous but im pretty sure he wouldnt have understood that and i was forced to the front to be the photographer in the group. Later on some of the folks in the group were snacking on some mango ice cream when the people of flores lit off some fireworks. One of the german ladies we were with was shocked and confused by the fireworks and when she approached me to ask why they were doing she missed a step and went tumbling down a flight of stairs, i was left with her hat in my hand as i attempted to grab her hand to no avail. She went down hard putting a pretty big scare into our group. She was unharmed for the most part despite having two artificial knees. She did sustain a massive gash under her chin but Cathy used her nursing skills to take care of it. Needless to say Carlos felt like ending the day there and we all headed for the airport and our return trip to Antigua.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sumpango kite festival














Just a quick written post today.


Went to the annual Sumpango monster kite festival yesterday. They make ridiculously amazing kites that are huge and intricate. Its embarrassing because they made their kites with the same tissue paper i made mine.


Putting up some videos for your enjoyment!



video

more pics to come...