hellomarylou

Inklings from within


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Day Fifteen {por fin}

15. Favorite city?

In September of 2003 I spent three weeks in the loveliest city I have ever laid eyes on. Antigua, Guatemala. The purpose of my visit was to go through an intense, one on one, five hours a day Spanish language course in preparation for volunteering at Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras. I found a willing friend to go with me and away we went.

My pictures of that time are safely archived in a box somewhere, so I’ll just steal borrow a few images from the world wide web.

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{via}We stayed with a local lady who had several rooms she rented out to international students. We had several European housemates; I can’t remember exactly which countries they were from. The photo above looks very much like the street view outside our house. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes and we were afforded beautiful views each time we walked down the street.

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{via} We studied. Studied a lot, in fact, until it felt like our brains would burst from the endless conjugating of verbs. However, the school also offered great opportunities with field trips to coffee plantations, mountain towns, beach towns, as well as providing plenty of time to explore on our own. The ruins of Santa Clara, pictured above, were my favorite place to visit. Santa Clara was a church and convent that were destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. If, or please God when, I go back, I would spend a lot more time here.

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{via} We spent hours in parque-central, watching people, meeting people, and buying handcrafted goods from the locals. We re-named it “parque-sensual,” in honor of the excessive amounts of canoodling, cuddling, and kissing going on all around us. Public displays of affection are everywhere in Antigua. I was not married then, but who knows, maybe if I went back now with my husband we’d find our own kissing bench. :)It’s just that kind of city. So romantic.

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I’ll never forget the smell of the daily afternoon rain shower.

The warm banana bread from the Doña Luisa bakery.

The thrills of discovering city, self, and language.

Salsa dancing with strangers.

Scaring my dear friend Lillian to bits one night as we walked home after dark.

Shopping at Katun.

Walking downtown after dark and stopping to peep into the windows of candle lit restaurants and hotels.

Cobblestone streets and colonial Spanish architecture.

Trying to avoid our “more worldly” European housemates invitations. 🙂 Haha. That makes me laugh, still.

“Buenos noches.”

Street vendor food.

Buying toilet paper and trying to pronounce “papel higienico.”

Going to the Catholic church and lasting about 10 minutes.

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   {via} Oh Antigua. I miss you.