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Johni22’s Travel Diary

Monday, 19 Feb 2007

Location: Antigua, Guatemala

Map When we woke up in the morning, it was amazing. It was like the first time we realy ever saw Guatemala. We got out of our suite and went into the courtyard, it was amazing, there was a huge fountain in a garden surrounded by arches, and behind those were the room doors. After that we got dressed and explored the resort, "Villa Antigua". When we were walking around the main lobby, we saw a door leading into the reastraunt, "Los Chimenaes". We got a breakfast buffet there, it was good food, and my mom tricked my brother into thinking that Guatemalans don't eat lunch, just a big breakfast and dinner. Later, I told my brother that it wasn't true. Later, we explored more. The resort had two pools, a parrot park (a little place full of parrots), a disco bar, whatever that is, a large confrence room, where a conference was held all day, and numerous board rooms. While in one of the hallways full of boardrooms, I found out how to turn on the fountains, and did with every one I saw. After that, we took a tour of the city, starting with the jade factory. On the ride there, my brother had altitude sickness the whole ride, and I noticed that, all the of the buildings in one block were the connected, and that the roads weren't paved, they were rocks embedded in the ground. The jade factory was interesting, I found out that jade comes in many colors, and that all the stuff they make is by hand. Then, we continued on the tour. The next thing we passed by was some ruins, but we didn't get to go in those. Then we went past 14 yellow chapels, one for each of the mayan-christian steps to following Jesus. then we found out as we were passing by, that coffee is a cash crop in Guatemala, and is grown only under a large tree. We then stopped at some ruins. I got out and examined them, They were the almost fully in-tact ruins of a 16th century church, and then I saw it, the active volcano on one side of the valley Antigua was in, it was amazing. On the ride to the next destination, the tour guide was talking about religion, He said there is a Guatemalan religion that was unnamed, and they technically worshiped corn, not kidding. Then we arrived at our next destination, a public wash centur. While we were there, we noticed cops with huge machine guns, and I've heard they arent afraid to use them. We then went to our next destination, a macedamia farm, and collected macedamia nuts. We also bought a bag of chocolate covered macedamia nuts for 20 quetzel, the currency of Guatemala, in which 7.70 quetzel eaquales 1 dollar. After that we went to a market, but had trouble bartering with the spanish speaking merchants. One time, I was trying to buy a ring, but I kept getting nothing but too small or too big rings, so I ended up not buying anything. My mom bought gatorade though, my brother drank it and felt all better. After that we went back to the resort, and went swimming. After that we spent 50 quetzel on an hour of tennis. Then we went on a walk through downtown Antigua. It wasn't anything like downtown Dover. The good houses had metal shingles and painted walls, the average house had wooden shingles and slightly painted walls, and the poor house had rotted wooden shingles with plantes growing on them and unpanted bad walls, the poor houses were most common. In Guatemala people think of it as disrespectful to wear unformal dressing in public, so we couldn't wear shorts even though it was hot out. after that we went into a store, it was barely 5 by 15 feet, and every wall was a shelf, merchandice included, cereal, milk in a box, and ice cream, after that we went back to the resort, had pizza, watched star wars episode three with spanish subtitles, and typed this blog, and now I'm going to bed.