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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First 24 hours

Things could not have gone better during my first 24 hours in Guatemala!  It was not perfect but nothing was too terrible.  Getting to the Atlanta airport was great.  Thanks to Amy for a ride.  When I got there, I had learned that all of my bags could have been up to 70 lbs, not just 2 but hey, it all works out.  I LOVE flying Delta Business Class.  Too bad I can never afford it with my own dime.  I sat next to a  nice gentleman who travels a lot and gave me some places to visit and was super positive.  We had mimosas as our before flight drink.  A stupid lady got up and went to the bathroom while we were taxiing to the runway so we had to stop the plane.  People can be so stupid.  Every announcement on the plane was in both English and Spanish.  We actually had an amazing lunch of steak and shrimp and chocolate cheesecake!

Once we landed, everything went exactly as Kelli had told me.  I went through immigration and then got a FREE cart to load my bags on.  They wouldn’t all fit but I made due.  People don’t wait in lines though, but I made it.  Had my bags x-rayed and 3 had to be hand searched but nothing was confiscated.  I got out of the airport and found both of the people picking me up.  I signed the paper work for my car and gave the driver from CAG 4 of my bags.  I took the other 2 with me and my driver, Julio, took me to Antigua.  It was about an hour drive.

American places I noticed on my drive: McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Texaco, Shell, Chuck E Cheese

As we drove by the shacks, I realized that this is not an industrialized country.  It was amazing what people live in and call home.  It instantly made me more grateful for what I have.

I arrived at my language school and was greeted by Erick, the owner. He walked me 2 doors down and took me to the house where I will be staying for the next 2 weeks.  Senora Tina is the landlady.  There are 2 other students here.  Stella is from Taiwan and has been here for 5 months already.  Amanda is from Belize and is learning Spanish in order to go to medical school. I got unpacked and had some lunch.  It was some beef, carrots, and potatoes cooked in some red sauce with rice.  I have a decent sized room with a twin bed, an amour, a dresser and a desk.  The roof is not connected so technically I have to walk outside to get to the bathroom, dinning room, and the front door.  I have my own keys that lock the bedroom door, amour and dresser. 

I attempted to take a nap but it is way too loud. So, I got up and asked one of the girls how to get to the supermarket.  Basically what we would call a super Walmart but they actually had appliances as well.  So, all alone I made my way through Antigua to the supermarket to buy some shampoo and conditioner.  I was quite proud of myself for the trip going off without a hitch.  I bought a coke light but it did not taste like diet coke.  To me, it is sweeter. 

I came back and read some on my kindle.  Then it was time for dinner.  I have no idea what I ate but it was decent enough.  Dinner conversation is suppose to be in complete Spanish so I was a little lost but they tried to include me and the other students helped translate.  It is a very warm household.

It gets dark here a lot sooner than I would have guessed.  By 7 it was pitch black.

Breakfast was toast with pineapple marmalade and fruit: pineapple, paypa, banana, and watermelon.

I have had 2 hours of my first day of Spanish lessons.  I guess they are going okay.  I’ll have a better feel for my learning speed after a few more days.

I am planning to go on an afternoon outing today with the school, however, I don’t know where it is that we are going. 

So, this is basically my first 24 hours.  I am alive and well and have not cried.  My new adventure has begun.

Love you all!!!!
Pictures will come soon!


  1. wow Penny I so admire you. Most people wouldn't have the guts to do what you're doing, I can't wait for your next entry! Good luck and Many Blessings!

  2. Me gusta leer su blog. !Sera divertido conocer todas tus aventuras!

  3. I mean "tu" blog, since we are informal and not formal. LOL (or is it ja ja ja?)

  4. Hi, Penny!

    When we got to Guatemala, the airport was under construction and we walked through plywood hallways. When we emptied out onto the street in front, some guy tried to buy our cat! People were climbing into pick-up trucks, and I just thought, "What the hell did I do???"
    Of course, it all worked out, and we stayed for five years!
    Enjoy the adventure!
    Let me know if you every go to Santiago Atitlan. We are friends with the guy, David Glanville, who owns the Posado Santiago, and good friends with a family down the street -- if you want a taste of real Guatemala.

  5. So proud of you! I hope things continue to go as smoothly as they have!

  6. FYI that post was from Samara:) I didn't know it doesn't put your name on it.

  7. So proud of you Penny! You have so much strength and courage.
    I look forward to many more updates.
    Love you,

  8. Thanks everyone for your support and warm wishes. Brooke, there is no Target.
    Samara, it only shows your name if you have a google acct