Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Escuela, Pueblo, y Musica

Hola Chicos!
Just a fast post today--I went to Spanish classes from 8am-1pm this morning and discovered that the school really is pretty nifty. Since i was there on the regular school schedual today (instead of starting at 2 like yesterday) i got to see the school in full swing. The courtyard was filled with Spanish students and teachers, all giving one-on-one lessons and when my mind drifted, i could still hear spanish learning all around me...it was really a great way to stay on task. During the break, instead of standing around waiting for my teacher to finish her cigarette, the entire group gathered outside to chat (in Spanish), and the administrators brought around hot tea, fresh mangos, cookies and sweat breads for us. Then when least expected it, the teachers all broke out painted eggs filled with confetti and cracked them over our heads! Of course, we then got ours by storming the officina and getting some eggs for ourselves which we proceeded to chuck at the teachers for the remainder of the recess! A fun day...

After classes, i went to the market and spent about 3 dollars on a truck load of fresh veggies and made myself the first propper meal that i have had in days at the hostel. I had a short nap, and then made my way back to the school to meet a few of the teachers for the afternoon activity (included!) which was a tour of a nearby pueblo where a lot of the region´s produce comes from. There we toured a church, saw a pagan shrine for San Simon (the patron saint of vices to whom locals offer burnt sacrifices of rum, money, candy, ciggs, and drugs, and checked out a local artisian collective. I also bought a strange fruit a the market called a cuchina (spelling?) which was like a huuge string bean filled with cocao like meaty-seed things. It was muy rico (tasted a pit like pear or banana). The whole trip was filled with tons of relaxed spanish conversation (a good thing, because i opted out of a host family--i figured that 5 hours was all my sanity could handle) which was a nice supplement to the intensive lessons in the morning.

After that, i came back to the hostel, ate a bit, hung out with some of the other hostelers, and then went to a jazz concert that was part of a national jazz festival featuring artists from all over the world (free!). Interestingly enough, the band tonight was from Italy, and im sure that i was one of the few in the audience who could understand their banter. The music was great, but what really shined (for me, at least) was their awesome stage presence. They were really energetic and a bit silly, occasionally leaving the stage in the middle of a number leaving one of the four on stage for an inpromptu solo. They would then come back in strange outfits or hats and taunt eachother--a nice break from all the guatemala-ness around me. The theater was also a strange anomoly for Guatemala, it seemed to be modeled after some of the nicer theaters that i have seen in Europe, and was really inpressive.

After that i came home, and that was my day.

And they all lived happily after,
Jake

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