During the course of living here in Guatemala, we've quickly made some great friends. Of course for the most part they are all English-speaking 'extranjeros' (foreigners) from places like the U.S., Canada and Europe, generally here doing the same kinds of things we are: learning Spanish, teaching English, working or volunteering for local organizations, living cheap, taking it easy, or generally escaping from the more frustrating aspects of life in a developed country...or all of the above, in some cases.
Near the end of April 2006, after celebrating a full year of living in Xela, we bade farewell to good friend and fellow Yoga House resident, Mia, as she headed home to Boston. To the right of Mia is "Other Rob" (Rob Seagan), also from Boston, and also an English Professor at the university where Rob teaches.
The farewell dinner was at one of our favorite local restaurants, Royal Paris.
Jasmin (our housemate from France) and Anali (Jasmin's friend from the Basque part of Spain)
Birthday party for Heather
Heather's birthday party at Entre Mundos house became a swash-buckling, yo-ho-ho sort of affair. These fine-looking pirates include Elizabeth (US), Alex (UK), Heather (US), and ???
Miguel makes a dashing pirate, don't you think?
And yes, there were even sword fights! (actually machetes) The buccaneer on the right is one of our new housemates at Yoga House: Daniel, from Quebec.
Rob and some of the ladies
Nile (from Germany), Laila (from Spain), Rob, and Sarah (from USA), having dinner at Cafe Q in Xela.
Helen visits from the US
Helen (from USA), Carley, ??, and Miguel (from USA), having an afternoon snack on the rooftop lounge at Cafe Sky, in Antigua
Our friends Andrew (guitar) and Galen (keyboard), brothers from Boston, playing as Soltura with various friends from around Xela. The venue is Salón Tecún, a popular Dutch-owned bar & restaurant in the center of Xela's tourist district.
Andrew and Galen, performing at Cafe El Alquimista
Friends Emily and Chris from the US, watching our friends in Soltura perform at Royal Paris. Emily worked with us in San Francisco, registering voters with Headcount for the 2004 election disaster.
Rob enjoys a large beer while watching Soltura perform at Royal Paris.
Another going-away party, this time for our good friend Andrew, from Boston. From left to right are ??, Kevin (US), Theressa (Sweden), Carley, Mia (US), John (US) and Andrew's brother Galen.
The chaotic kitchen at Andrew's despedida. In the back they are making gnocchi, the Italian potato pasta.
Andrew (center) gives us his farewell speech, under the influence of some serious brownies.
A despedida for Michael, at Andrew & Galen's house
Julia and Sarah show off some new dance moves
Lesli and Michael, at Michael's despedida. (It seems like alcohol may have been involved here?)
Entre Mundos party
Elizabeth (right) tends the bar at a fund-raiser party at Entre Mundos house
Rob & Carley with Mark (from England), at the Entre Mundos party
Sharon (from Holland) and Michael (from New Jersey) show off their salsa-dancing skills
The crew in the corner at the Entre Mundos party: Ben (from Australia), John (our roommate and yoga instructor, from Texas) and Alex (another of our roommates, from Germany)
Only 10 candles?
Galen & Andrew provided some excellent jazz music for our listening pleasure.
Back row: Alex (Germany), Corina (Switzerland), Laila (Spain), Monica (Spain), Julia (US), Ivan (Spain), Marisa (Spain), Kevin (US); Front Row: Rob, Carley, Galen and Andrew (US).
This shot also includes (on the left) our roommates Lesli (Iowa) and John (Dallas, TX).
Holly & Carley
The girls enjoy the digital camera.
Claudia, owner of the beautiful Cafe Tinta Latina, was our gracious hostess for the birthday party.
A farewell dinner for Simon (far right) at Xela's best Chinese restaurant, on August 28. From left to right: Andrew, Rob, Galen, Sarah, Sabrina, Luz, Nathan, Julia, Michael, Mark (Simon's brother), and Simon. After 4 months of running a small organic farm on the hill overlooking Xela, Simon is headed back home to England.
At Cafe El Alquimista (the alchemist) with our friends Ellie and Simon (from England), on the hill overlooking Xela
Carley says goodbye at Julie's despedida (farewell party), on August 20. After over a year in Xela, Julie is returning to her hometown of San Francisco.
Out with the old, in with the new...Julie gives a briefing to her in-coming replacement, Elizabeth (from Washington), on the subtleties of tequila shots. Elizabeth will be the new editor of the Entre Mundos newspaper for the next year.
Julie's despedida really gets going with a round of tequila shots. Rob instructs Tim (left) on the art of "double-fisting".
Mike is the BBQ master at Julie's despedida. (and yes, those are tofu patties at the bottom end of the grill)
A couple of the local Guatemalan boys serenade the girls with Latin love songs at Julie's despedida.
Rob and Carley enjoy the entertainment at Julie's despedida.
Hiking with friends
Julie (editor of Entre Mundos, a really cool bilingual newspaper that addresses political, social and cultural issues nationally and internationally; Julie is originally from San Francisco, California) and her puppy Lola, on top of Volcán Santa María, near Xela
Laura (from England) and Jill (from Canada), still looking fresh near the beginning of our treacherous hike up Volcán Santa María. (The Guatemalan boy and his horse in the background did not follow us to the peak)
Happy Birthday Carley!! From left to right: Simon and Sam (from England), Rob and Carley, Carina (from Switzerland), and Holly (from Oakland, California) in lakeside Santa Cruz La Laguna
On to Lake Atitlán, our favorite weekend getaway