31 July 2011


31 july 2011

The beautiful flowers waiting for me in my room upon my return from Guatemala.

30 July 2011

cerro de la cruz.


Here’s a shot of the cross at Cerro de la Cruz, on the northern outskirts of Antigua. The first time I made the trek up there, it had been raining so I didn’t bring a camera. I’m glad I got to make it there a second time on a beautiful warm afternoon, my last day in Antigua! This is a beautiful spot because you can see the whole of Antigua, with Volcan Agua bounding the south side of the city.

29 July 2011

shrine to coffee.

29 july 2011

I liked all these coffee decorations at Cafe Don Diego on 6a Avenida. The rest of the cafe is adorned likewise.

28 July 2011



The whole gang on “graduation day.” Look at all those diplomas!

CIRMA was a great experience, but I’m glad to finally be on summer break, kind of for the first time this season! It’s just been work, work, work – since January, really. Now to relax for three weeks straight!

27 July 2011

birthday party.

27 july 2011

Our host mom’s friend Luis celebrated his birthday tonight, and Thelma not only threw him a party but went all out with the decorations. It was quite festive.

26 July 2011


26 july 2011

The flowers from the feria were almost prettier the next day in the sunlight.

25 July 2011


25 july 2011

Today was the feria of Santiago de los Caballeros, probably the most important festival of the year in Antigua. Hundreds of people, both local and foreign, came out to socialize and enjoy the live music.

24 July 2011

saturday (er, sunday) in the park.


A bunch of local kids just started break dancing in the park & quickly gathered a crowd of 100 people or more. They were amazing! I think my jaw dropped multiple times.

23 July 2011

el arco.


The arch looked especially pretty against a cloudless sky. We have been in a strange period of no rain this week & I’m really enjoying it.

22 July 2011

to smoke or not to smoke?

23 july 2011

I love the irony of this shot of the Bagel Barn menu. In the upper left corner, you see a menu item which includes a cigarette. (The choices of the Bohemian Breakfast are ironic enough in themselves.) In the bottom right corner, we have a no smoking sign. What are they trying to tell me?!

21 July 2011

wo’o’ imox.


Today I participated in my second Mayan ceremony. It was just as special as the first, in its own way. It was so gratifying to understand most of the ajq’ij’s Kaqchikel – the days of the Mayan calendar, the prayers to the nahuales, & the blessings for each of us.

20 July 2011

presenting… walter?


With a little help from the self-timer, I finally get to be on my blog. Here’s a bunch of us (left to right: me, Danielle, Walter, Andra, Laura) about to head out dancing. As much fun as we were having in this picture, it was really only the precursor to a great night.

19 July 2011

la feria del libros.

19 july 2011

Antigua is having a book fair this week, & I finally found my Libro del Destino there! As you can see, the fair attracts a large amount of both locals & tourists.

As for my Diccionario Kaqchikel, I had trouble finding it & ended up having to go straight to the source – Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin, the company here in Antigua that produces it.

18 July 2011

clean machine.

This is proof I've stopped even trying to maintain a semblance of order in my room. & you can't even see the rest of the room. At least in 12 days I'll be packing up & tidying.

17 July 2011

sunday study session.

17 july 2011

Here is proof that we actually DO study sometimes! It was an… eventful week, but when it comes down to it, we can prioritize. Even though we all probably have Facebook open behind our essay files.

16 July 2011

mm mm good.

To my family: this is the deliciousness to which you can look forward upon my return. Picamas - true Guatemalan love.

OK, yes, I'd rather have real homemade fresh salsa, but hey, this travels well.

15 July 2011

el tanque de amor.

16 july 2011

Here’s a shot of the pila from my bench seat in the park. I like the body language of the two kids sitting there. In fact, though, it’s quite odd that they’re not already making out. I believe the pila is used more for romance than actually washing clothes.

14 July 2011



We went on a field trip to Guatemala City, which was great because, although I’ve driven through it at least five times, I had never actually gotten out of the car & seen much of anything. We went to the Museo Popol Vuh, the cathedral (pictured above), and an exposition on cultural diversity & prejudice, called “¿Porque estamos como estamos?”

13 July 2011

life coach.

Here we have dear William generously life coaching Lisa. It was an incredibly entertaining therapy session to overhear.

12 July 2011

birthday REVISITED.


One of the many reasons I love birthdays – even three weeks later, we can still keep celebrating. This is the beautiful – and delicious – cake the CIRMA staff bought for me, Stephanie & Kat (all the recent birthdays).

Now only two more months until my Mayan birthday, and the festivities will continue.

11 July 2011


All these gloves are used in CIRMA's Fototeca. The photos in the archives are very old & CIRMA's staff takes all the necessary care to preserve them.

10 July 2011


Rain moving in over the mountains surrounding Lake Atitlan.

09 July 2011

crow's nest.

I thought this crow looking skyward from the roof of our restaurant overlooking the lake was very scenic.

08 July 2011

playtime in the park.

These little boys playing in the park were adorable. Even surrounded by people, they were in their own little world. I actually see them quite frequently, almost everyday, playing in the park. I suspect their mom is a vendor somewhere nearby.

07 July 2011

local transportation.


Central Americans love their motorcycles. Seeing this many bikes lined up on any given corner is a common sight. I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy driving a motorcycle on all these cobblestones, but I guess they’re used to it.

06 July 2011


Got a good roommate shot before all going out for the night. I'll remember having a great time salsa dancing with all the CIRMA buddies.

05 July 2011

the computer lab.

Here we have Andra & Laura relaxing in our computer lab in Casa 10 at CIRMA. This room is a luxury for all the CIRMA students, because it's one of the few places we get internet access, especially without having to make a courtesy purchase first. So far, we've kept it a pretty good study environment. I don't know about Andra in this shot, but it looks like Laura is hard at work on our next history presentation. Which reminds me: I'm off to study the always interesting liberation theology.

04 July 2011



I love this picture because it’s the kind that really doesn’t even need a caption.

Happy American holiday from a non-American country!

03 July 2011

rainbow cafe & “kenny.”


We tried Rainbow Cafe for dinner & weren’t disappointed. Not only was the food tasty, but we were serenaded by this long-haired hippie band, advertised as “Kenny.” Clearly, the atmosphere of the restaurant & the bands they hire are targeted toward the backpacking crowd. I left the photo blurry & without flash to reflect the notion of that laid-back hippie-ness.

02 July 2011

de la rua.

2 july 2011

You’re seeing the cake display from my perspective. I’m sitting in De La Rua just for wi-fi & coffee, but my proximity to all the sweets is getting to me. I’m really tempted to go for a slice of that key lime pie.

I wouldn’t highly recommend De La Rua to a tourist who only has a few days in town. I’ve had better coffee and service in Antigua, but I have no right to be a coffee snob now, as my caffeine withdrawals were about to peak when the waiter delivered my Americano.

By the way, the mural in the background is indeed just a picture of some of the many columns by the central park. It does look very realistic, though.

01 July 2011

bare-naked ladies.


The Fountain of the Sirens in the middle of Parque Central is famous for – well, its sirens. The water shooting out of the naked women’s breasts is somewhat of an inside joke here in Antigua and the object of giggles from many juvenile boys.