I just wanted to give you guys an update on how Seth and I are doing. We’ve now been in Antigua, Guatemala for one week. We started Spanish class on Monday and finished our first full week of class on Friday. We still have 3 more weeks before heading back home and I am so thankful. We have had so many opportunities to speak Spanish and practice what we know. For the month we’re here, we are living with a Guatemalan family and getting to see their everyday lives and communicate with them.
Spanish class is only from 8am-12pm everyday, so we have the entire afternoon and evening to explore the city. When we first arrived to Antigua, Seth had a swollen eye and I had a pretty annoying cold. Tuesday, I woke up with a rough stomach bug. I broke out into a cold sweat, my arms were tingling and I had the most awful stomach cramps. I had never been in so much pain in my life. I literally felt like I might die. I was able to get through the whole morning of Spanish class, but right at the end, the stomach pains came back.
I almost couldn’t get back to our host home. What should have been about a 10 minute walk from the school to our host home, ended up taking us about an hour to get back. I kept having to stop and sit and pray that the pains would go away. We finally got back to the house and I slept the whole afternoon and through the night. The next day and so far since, I’ve been fine. It was such a weird experience and I hope I never have to go through that again.
So, our trip here in Antigua started out very rough. But thankfully, our faithful Lord has healed us both and Seth and I feel so much better! Since then, we have had some fun adventures including: salsa dancing, handicraft markets, a chocolate museum, jade factory, art museums and cathedrals. First of all, if you know anything about Seth and I, you know we can NOT dance. I repeat, we can NOT dance. We just are not talented in that area, so if you can only imagine, to see us salsa dancing was a sight! I laughed just about the entire time watching my former football playing husband try to keep his feet perfectly together and his arms flowing nicely out from his body. Now, I was pretty awful myself, but towards the end of the class, we both were finally starting to get the hang of it.
The chocolate museum was pretty disappointing. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I guess I thought it would be this huge factory where they would have all this heavy duty equipment that makes the chocolate and that we would watch the process. They do make the chocolate there in the store, but it was just a small kitchen with a couple workers. The store was very small. They did have some chocolate tea that you could sample. We thought that would be pretty gross, but it was actually really good! We ended up buying some that we can take home and make there.
Antigua is actually a pretty small town, but it’s full of beautiful architecture and history. We got to tour the ruins of Guatemala’s first cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1545 and was destroyed by earthquakes in 1717, 1751, and 1773. The city was damaged so bad by 1773, that they ended up moving the capital to what is now Guatemala City. The last couple of days we walked to the side of town that has El Arco de Santa Catalina (The St. Cantalina Arch) It’s a beautiful arch that was built with a passageway inside for nuns to go from their convent to the cathedral without having to be in contact with the public. Seth and I met up with some friends today and they took a picture of us kissing under it. Apparently it’s good luck to kiss under the arch.
We have had a blast touring the city and walking through handicraft stores and markets bargaining in Spanish with the workers trying to get a good deal. I bought a few scarves and we found a ceramic nativity set. We needed a nativity set for us to decorate with at Christmas. So, now we have a beautiful one from Guatemala. So far, we’ve had a great experience with everything and we are so glad that our sicknesses have passed! Thank you all for your prayers. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to learn more Spanish!