|Jules and Jewles|
It was nice to sleep in and recover from the week of construction work we had. Spent the morning lounging about, sipping coffee, washing laundry and packing or bags. Despite a few minor incidents...no water for a bit, sluggish internet, and silly us we got locked out of the half of the house where our groceries computers were.
|Old Cathedral in Antigua|
We ventured off into Antigua and wandered about taking in some of the beautiful sites the city has to offer. We saw two weddings...stunningly beautiful brides being brought to the cathedral by horse drawn carriages.
A short walking distance down the street we visited the Artisans Market. It is an interesting place to visit if you've never been. It feels like a disorganized flea market. People are everywhere, anything you can imagine is for sale, and everyone wants to sell to you. There's no real walking space so you have to pay close attention to where your feet are and keep your bag close. Even if you are paying attention you can get lost. We spend about an hour checking it out.
|Our taxi driver Manolo|
Making our way back up to the park we hailed a taxi and rushed back to Common Hope to meet our friends Chuck and Sandra. Within moments they had arrived and we scooted out to hop on the chicken bus for a ride to their apartment. Last year the buses were deemed unsafe as there had been a strike and many murders. This year we learned that there has been no problems and it was fine to ride the chicken buses during the day time to get around.
|Apartments where Chuck and Sandra live|
The bus dropped us off and we walked a few short blocks to Chuck and Sandra's apartment. Chuck and Sandra are a retired couple, from Iowa, that spend their winters in Antigua. Julie and I worked with Chuck this past week at Common Hope. They were very excited to have us over for a visit.
|Jules, Chuck and little Winston|
Their apartment complex was gorgeous. They welcomed us in for cocktails and were introduced to there two little puppies, Sadie and Winston. They refer to them as "the lads."
|Jewles, Sandra and little Sadie|
The four us decided to go out to dinner, Chuck and Sandra suggested Las Palmas. We had just arrived and were taking a photo of our group when the lady at the table next to us asked if we would like her to photograph us all together. When she spoke to us it was in English and within minutes we learned that she and her husband both from Hanover, New Hampshire, were teachers with the Mayan Educational Foundation. We talked with them for several minutes, in Antigua everyone has time for everyone, and people treat one another like they are family.
|Sandra, Julie, Chuck and I|
When they delivered our dinner it was the most delicious meal we had eaten all week. The four of us chatted and stuffed our bellies full. Chuck is a retired attorney, and did service work with the Peace Corp and the Episcopal. Sandra was a nontraditional student who went back to school at the age of 52yrs earning her degree in English and Women's Studies. Which just so happens to be my area of interest too. They quickly brought us up to speed on lots of things in Antigua. Julie and I walked away from dinner feeling like we had made life long friends that we definitely will be visiting again.
|the cathedral where the weddings took place|
Julie and I arrived back to Common Hope for our last official night here. Tomorrow we will be up bright and early hoping on a bus for Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán). From this leg of our journey forward it is a bit uncertain if we will have internet access or not so bear with us as we transition from Antigua to San Pedro.