Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back to School!

Daryll writes:

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
We are up around 6:45 am, have breakfast at 7:15am and it is whatever Lilly makes for the rest of the family.  The food is good and is all traditional food.  We walk about 15 minutes to school and are in school from 8am-1pm and by the end of those 5 hours, we are beat and need a siesta.  We get back home and have lunch and then nap in the afternoon. Well deserved siesta time.  We normally have dinner around 7:30pm with Mario, one of the borders that live at Lilly’s place as well and then try to study for the rest of the evening before going to bed.  The last week hasn’t been very interesting.

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
There is a fiesta in town this evening, so we plan on getting out and experiencing some of the local sounds, smell and vibe.

New Guatemala pictures uploaded to the album.
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  1.! Good for you guys for living the dream. Lorea told me about you and Darryl doing this trip and blog. Had to check it out. Will be checking back for
    Leah - Hogndogs from RA

  2. Greg said... wow! looks like the experiences so far have been great! Keep up the good work on the blog! I check it everyday! ride safe. Greg and Jill

  3. Thanks so much guys for checking our blog for updates. We work hard to keep our stories, pics and location up to date so we really appreciate hearing from you that you enjoy it. It really is the 2 of us and you all with us, on our minds as we are on the road. We attempt to live the dream, keep it interesting but also make choices to keep us safe. xoxoxox

  4. Hey Guys! So good to hear from you. You have inspired us to start posting to our own blog.

    Buono Noches! I can hear you laughing Ashendra!

    here check it out!

  5. Nice write up about your w/e excursion.

  6. Hey there! been checking out the blog all the time. Wow! You are living out not only your dream but that of many others, and you are blessed to have each other to share that. Even have some of the guys in my office interested in your trip. Glad to hear that all is going well. Just reading on your experineces makes one realise that there is so much more to life than focussing all your time and effort to work. In my thoughts and prayers all the time. Keep safe and be positive at all time. Lotsa luv Sonitha

  7. Hi Sonitha, So glad that you are following along. Thank you for the kind words and it won't be too long when we are in South Africa, so hope to meet all those that have been following along. Take care.