Over the last few weeks, we have received several supportive emails and comments on the blog from people that we have never met, but who have found our blog through friends, neighbors or work colleagues. Thank you for all the support and I hope that our updates do justice to our experiences. Glad to have you along with us.
Apart from Brazil where Portuguese is the official language, Spanish is the official language in the rest of Central and South America. A few people do speak English and we have been getting by thus far. Angela did a Spanish course whilst in Vancouver and I still remember a few basic words/phrases from our trip to Peru in 2006 and have been relying on Ang. for anything more than the basics. So we wanted to take a Spanish immersion course for 2 weeks to get a better feel of the places we visit and be able to communicate with the locals as we travel south. We chose Xela, in Guatemala for our 2 weeks of school and let me tell you, it is hard work and I admire all those that go back to University or study later on in life.
The 2 week school fee includes accommodation with a family and 3 meals a day, so we not only get to learn Spanish, but we also get the opportunity to live with a local family. We were fortunate and lucked out with our family as we were able to get a family that would be able to accommodate the both of us and have secure bike parking for the 2 week period. Lilly, our host mother does not speak any English, which forces us to communicate in Spanish, guess that is part of the experience. She has a huge house and as a form of income, has international students stay with her and rents out rooms to other locals that need a place to stay. The home is lovely and has a warm shower and bathroom a few steps away. It helped as I got sick from something I ate yesterday and needed to take several trips to the bathroom during the night. At the moment, Lilly has her son, who speaks fluent English, his wife, their 7 week old son and daughter (not sure of her age) live with her together with another granddaughter. Lilly’s daughter now lives in the US and there is a long story about that and how she crossed the border through the desert. Yup, this is real life drama here. Makes our US border crossing pale in comparison to her story.
|Daryll trying to study|
I needed some work done on my bike and had got a recommendation from another traveler that recommended a bike shop in Xela and met Horacio, the owner of the bike shop and Alex, his mechanic. To those that are on their way south, if you need some work done, visit Commercial Aguilar. Amazing folks with amazing service. Horacio also races sports bikes and Alex is his pit mechanic and finished 5th in Central America this last season. Horacio also offered to have his leather guy that repairs his racing suits fix the holes in our gloves as well as my boot.
|Horacio, Daryll, Alex|
New Guatemala pictures uploaded to the album.