Saturday 7-28-01

Greetings from Guatemala!

What a hectic week this has been! Last Saturday we were up all night packing, storing, and throwing away. Left early Sunday for Denver and a family reunion at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park.

Came home Wednesday evening, stayed up most of the night repacking and eliminating stuff to get it all into three bags, two boxes (one extra for $100, and all maxed out at 70 lbs.), two VERY full carry-ons, a laptop computer plus peripherals in a backpack, two stuffed fanny packs, camera, water bottle, and a handbag.

Got to the airport to discover that, contrary to what my wife was told the night before, we could NOT take an extra box because of a summer moratorium on such things. Had to send the synthesizer keyboard and all her music-teaching materials back home; will figure out something later. And there are two boxes of books, magazines, etc., (my library of bat and creation resources) which will be coming down to Phoenix at Christmas time to meet us.

Anyway, finally got on the plane, flew to Houston, transferred planes, flew to Guatemala City, arrived about 8:30 PM. Got our passports stamped, picked up our mound of luggage, and headed for Customs, figuring they were going to look at everything and we would have to pay duty on at least the Macintosh Cube computer. He asked what was in the box, my wife answered in Spanish, and he WAVED US ON THROUGH! Don't tell me God doesn't answer prayer; He even says "Yes" sometimes.

Suites Reforma Entry

Suites Reforma Lobby
Stepped out the door wondering how we would find the school rep that was picking us up, and we heard "Debby!" shouted. Looked up at the balcony, and there was Sherry, the school director waving madly at us. You have no idea how good she looked right then! Brought the school van, two guys loaded everything in, and she drove us to our hotel. Our "room" is a suite, with kitchen and king-size bed. Met one of the other new teachers also staying here. Breakfast in the dining room is included, and is delicious.

Yesterday we met the other new teachers, then went to look at a house (with security fence) and two apartments; leaning toward the house, because it is quiet (the apartments are on noisy streets), and while the apartment rent is cheaper, there is a "maintenance fee" that makes it more than the house. We still have one more apartment to look at before we decide for sure.

Antigua Central Square

Antigua Burger King!

Antigua Marketplace
Today the director picked up all five of us and we drove to Antigua, not that far in miles, but a "killer" commute over that road with that traffic. Antigua is the historic capitol, has cobblestone streets that shake your vehicle apart (not to mention your kidneys), but which has GREAT shops where you can spend lots and lots of money because everything is so cheap. Guatemala is known for its textiles, but Deb was overwhelmed by what she saw. One teacher is wanting to live there, and we looked at places with a real estate agent. Four or five other teachers also live there, but while the rent is much less, I wouldn't want the drive, and Debby agrees. We want to try not having a car, and just walking or riding city buses (many of them swarming all over).

Guatemala City Garbage Dump

Vultures at the Dump

The weather here has been partly cloudy, a few sprinkles one day, but tee-shirt weather, even in the evenings. Very pleasant, actually. There's not as much garbage on the streets as expected, you can flush the toilet paper (unlike Mexico), and our appliances plug in once you get a three-to-two-prong adapter (but no third wire for a ground, may have to drive a stake to ground the computer).

Well, enough for now; will contact you again when we get settled.

Snail mail: c/o Colegio Maya, Section 0280, PO Box 02-5289, Miami FL 33102-5289
(note that this is a US address, so regular stamps are fine).