ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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In exciting news, I've started taking pictures! Before this week, I'd only taken pictures of my room, because I've been kinda reluctant to take my camera out in a variety of circumstances, both for cultural issues (a lot of local folks don't like to have their pictures taken) and for personal ones (I'm already obviously an extranjera, do I really need to dangle my camera to reinforce the image?) Also, it's one more think to keep track of, especially in a crowd, and pickpocketting of tourists is common. But yesterday was the festival day for the virgin of Xela, and I went up to the park with a bunch of teachers and students, and since we were in a group and obviously tourists, I figured I'd bring my camera. I'm glad I did!

As part of the festival, there were carpets of flower petals and dyed sawdust in beautiful patterns on the streets, which the procession of the virgin walked over and destroyed. I'm sure there's some symbolism there, but I don't know what it is. Again, the parade included a lot of school bands, like the independence day parades, but this time just the catholic schools, since it's a catholic holiday. (Those catholics have a thing for virgins.) I even managed to sneak some photos of traje by taking pictures of people's backs!

Then last night was a benefit dinner for the teacher whose daughter is sick, and it was, without doubt, the best meal I've eaten here. Yum! We also had music and dancing; I definitely need to take some salsa and merengue classes in the next few weeks! I got some pictures of some teachers singing and dancing, and some of my friends took a picture of me. It was a fun night.

Tomorrow, Antingua, here I come. Some of you have postcards on the way to the states with some friends of mine starting tomorrow, although they're taking the bus back through Mexico, so it'll be a few days :)

I'm thinking about what other journeys I could make while I'm here, including Panama, Cuba, and others. Most tempting at this moment is the prospect of taking a couple of weeks to go to the Bay Islands of Honduras to learn to SCUBA dive. How cool would that be? Might be a little weird to do it alone, but probably worth it, and pretty inexpensive! It might be nice to have a slightly more "tropical" experience for part of my time here. I'm starting to wonder if four months will be enough... We'll see!

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