Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wednesday, July 27

I ran this morning, but couldn’t find the entry to the hill with trails, so I ran around the city, looking for uncrowded streets at 7:45 am. I saw several massive ruins of old churches that were destroyed in earthquakes decades ago, but had no camera. They were very impressive, with walls about 4 feet thick! They were all gated off, but as I was looking into one, a man walked into what seemed like a desolate space with massive boulder-like chunks of plant-infested building lying around. I immediately got the feeling that I was intruding, so I smiled, nodded, and walked away. I think he might have a house somewhere within those ruins. This isn't a picture of those ruins, but it is one of the many ruins in town.
I ended up on the main avenue that has the big market, but didn’t realize it at the time. It was crowded with traffic and pedestrians, so I got away from it as soon as possible. I returned later after a shower and looked around a bit. The number of closet-sized stores is unfathomable! A fellow house guest asked me later if I got lost and was impressed when I said no. I guess a lot of tourists get very turned around in there. I guess I got lucky and just wandered in the right directions. I did pop out in a different place than I entered, but I quickly found my bearings.

I finally got on the internet and was able to read e-mail and find out where I am supposed to meet the group that I will go with to Chajul. I was relieved because I am meeting them tomorrow right after my last class at CSA. It is very difficult to find specific places because 1- there are no street signs (other than one-way and two-way traffic signs) and 2-the business signs are not hanging, but are on tiles that are pressed into the sides of the building or address which they name, so you have to have a rubber neck to see the names and addresses of building on along the sidewalk that you are on. It’s easier to read the ones across the street.
Interesting observations today: Forget about grass growing on rooftops, there are full-on jungles growing on fully operational businesses and homes! It is winter here. Winter in Antigua means morning sunshine and afternoon RAIN with occasional but intense lightening that tends to disrupt internet service.

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