I was expecting the countryside to be much greener than when I left in December, as we should be in the rainy season now, but apparently, the rain has been slow in coming, so it was still fairly brown, but less dusty, and there are certainly clouds scudding all over the place, so... maybe in a week or two. The bus got stopped twice by the police (standard stops to check paperwork and make sure the bus wasn't too full), which is as many times as I was in a bus that got stopped in the whole four months last fall. I wonder if the new president's administration has made some kind of vow to reduce bus problems or if they're just trying to give cops more to do, or if it was just chance.
I got to Xela around noon, and after negotiating with a taxista (which I'm normally too pooped or disoriented to do, so go me!) I was at the school! Whee! Lots of hugs and kisses and hellos. Fabulous to be back, but also a little weird, in an okay way. I can't help comparing everything to the first time I came here, and the challenges of it, the difficult taxi ride, the newness of it all!
I'm settled into my homestay, which is with the family of one of the sometimes teachers at the Proyecto. She's someone I've known slightly, but not well, but I like her, and her family/house are fabulous! First off, it's much more of a family than the boarding-house style place I stayed in September (which was nice in its own way, but different), and the house is NICE. The shower actually gets pretty warm, my room is spacious (I have a double bed) and it's big. The family is Claudia (the teacher -- no, not the Claudia who I'm good friends with who moved with her partner to San Francisco) and her mother, Edna, and grandmother, whose name isn't, apparently, used. And the husband of Claudia, and her two kids, and her younger sister. It's a big, warm, chatty family that is thrilled that I'm not a vegetarian and that I speak pretty good Spanish.
I think I'll be speaking a lot of Spanish between the big family and classes, so I'm very happy with where I've ended up.
I've yet to get to the market to see if mangos are still in season (please, oh, please, oh, please) and to say hello to the various vendors who became somewhat-friends on my last trip, but I'll do that later today or tomorrow.