Semana Santa

This is a little bit of old news but I've been under the weather. Here, Easter is celebrated more than Christmas and with much fanfare. Semana Santa, Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. During this period, there are solemn activities replicating the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. There are processions day and night with images such as Christ on the Cross, Christ laid to rest, Mary in mourning - all on floats carried on the shoulders of devoted followers. So that you don't miss this point, the float you see in the air is not motorized, rather is carried by lines of residents on their strong shoulders. Alfombras (carpets) with colored sand, grass, wood shavings and other materials are constructed by residents in the path of the procession, timed to be completed just before the procession is due to arrive. Carriers of the main float are the first to walk on the carpet, followed by the rest of the procession.

On a completely, different note, I can't sign off without mentioning my latest house guest, Aura. Aura, referred to as Indiana Jona, is our natural architect who came to Antigua to review her construction estimates with us. Are you noticing a trend here? Honestly, it's the warm and nurturing culture of the Mexican people (Aura too is from Mexico). I am not asking to be fed (though I am thoroughly enjoying it)!

My first guest

Mayan Weavings

Last week, I went to Chichicastenango, a large Mayan indigenous market in Guatemala, in order to buy weavings to decorate my house. I am intending to rent out two of the rooms (they're beautiful and awaiting your arrival - hint) in order to help with the rent. Por eso, I'm warming them up with some beautiful weavings.

On the way home, I met Raquela, who was befriended by Arlaine, the Queen of befrienders. She was sitting between us and wouldn't you know, she'd not made her arrangements to stay in Antigua. As such, she became my first paying guest (My rooms are very economical in case you really are planning to come to the beautiful city of Antigua - 2nd hint). Raquela is from Guadelajara, Mexico. She does not speak English and so we communicated only in Spanish.

In actuality, I should have paid her. She hung the flags for Semana Santa (more to come on that next week) and in borrowing the hammer and nails, introduced me to my neighbor, Sergio. She also cooked us the most delicious dinner of Chile Rellenos. My first faux paux was when she asked me for help and I said 'no thank you' thinking she had asked if I wanted help. It did turn into a laugh after her initial shock -- what do you mean 'no thank you'? Raquela is also a photographer and after dinner, we walked the city and took pictures of pretending to put gasoline in a motorcycle at a 60 year old gas pump (you had to be there - it really was fun). I thoroughly enjoyed her company and look forward to more guests (you don't have to cook dinner if you don't want to).

Muchas gracias, Raquela. Que eres siempre bienvenida!