Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Santa Lucia Milpas Altos- Heaven in the mountains above Antigua

My goodness! My week in Antigua is almost history and I have not made time for transcribing last weeks ramblings. In retrospect:

Ten days in Heaven

Recapping my time with Brigitte and family is muy difficulte. (Yes incorrect Spanish)(But I'm having fun) Words, palabras, are almost impossible to use in explanation. So much of the experience for me happened without words.
To be honest, my comprehension of Spanish has not improved drastically, --poco o poco. I have no problem communicating with the younger generation. Clara's ninos, Alex and little Brigitte have no problem with anyone. They laugh when they are happy, they cry when they are sad and are almost always ready to play.

An aside on cultural differences, or possibly just different styles of parenting

Alex (six months old) spends a good deal of his waking hours strapped into a stroller just observing life around him. (Or strapped to Clara´s back doing the same) He is not being ignored, nor is he being "entertained".When he cries it does not mean "hurry up, come get me" sometimes it means "I'm hungry" (I can't help there), usually it just means "come and say hi, maybe move me so I have a new vista." The point I am making is that this child's needs are always met. Entertainment is not one of those needs, LIFE IS ENTERTAINMENT ENOUGH!

Little Brigitte (Brigitte iti) and Joris (My hostess's ten year old son) are old enough to know how to seek out attention, but I don't feel like they are looking for "entertainment", they want to interact, co-create, play, do something together! (I thought I was done with this social commentary but I guess not) These kids don't need Nintendos, computer games or countless hours in front of the TV. They just want to engage with LIFE. It is totally amazing to see the games they can create, and the fun they can have with whatever is around them. Life is entertainment enough !!

From Antigua Picts

(Pictured top, Brigitte on her beautiful horse (one of four of them), middle picture of Volcano Agua taken from her front porch) The picture directly above is a picture of a picture. (including my reflection) Brigitte is in costume, competing..
(To the left is Lennon hanging out on the front porch of the house)

For those of you just joining this blog, Brigitte is a beautiful lady born in Holland.
She has been living here in Guatemala most if not all of her adult life. I haven't heard the story about how she got here yet. She has been a Servas hostess for many years, but has yet to travel with Servas. She has made me feel me feel very much at home. She spends ten to twelve hours 5 days a week at work in Guatemala City. Yet when she is home her presence is calm, relaxed and happy. Considering her extended family includes at least three other people and sometimes more than twice that I am amazed at her serenity.

From Antigua Picts

Now I am having trouble formatting text, making it wrap around the pictures (The upside is, I hava a borrowed camera and I can share some vista´s again without resorting to Google images)
It´s Thursday night, I´m almost done with a week of Spanish school and I can honestly say I have learned a lot. I need expand my honesty to include the fact that generaly I forget about 90% of what I learn each day. Poco o poco I am remembering what forgot from years ago and applying it.

From Antigua Picts
From Antigua Picts
Pictured above is Brigitte and her extended family. On the far side of the table is Brigitte and Joris and little Brigitte. On the near side three generations of Clara's family. Above that Joris being a typical "boy child" Climbing trees untill everyone is worried, then going a little higher. (note: he does have a helmet on which makes him a notch or two smarter than I was) And above that is little Brigitte being charming as usual.

From Antigua Picts

Those eight folks around the table (and Lennon) all fit in this car for a trip to Guatemala City, there was room to spare actually, later we all went to dinner in Antigua (minus Lennon).

Below, a few pictures from Iximche. An awesome Mayan Site about an hours drive from Antigua. Lida, kind lady I met at Brigitte's graciously took me on a day trip to Tecpan to see these ruins.
That´s her on the top, I hope to see her again, but who knows??
I am totally in "free flow" mode and which road I choose for tomorrow I know not. (The big guy is being my guide) (I am in "Super Catholico" Central America, so I can refer to God as "Him")

That´s all for now, I plan on heading for the Pacific coast for a while, and if there is a convient place for journaly I will catch up on this week in Antigue.

A big round of hugs for all the folks I am missing from home.

From Antigua Picts

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