Saturday, December 4

Boat, truck, bus bus bus

Last night I had a prolonged bad moment during which I wanted to be anywhere but Guatemala. Lots of disillusionment and self-doubt.

But I vowed to wake up this morning with a positive attitude and renewed determination to make the next two weeks super memorable and fun. It wasn't easy as we had to get up at six am, I was still grumpy, and there was no coffee involved. After arriving in Panajachel and having an okay breakfast, we discovered a shuttle to Chichicastanango would be fifteen American dollars - a ridiculous price for the distance. I inquired about a chicken bus to Chichi and was told to take a boat to somewhere I couldn't pronounce, then a pick-up truck to St. something, and then a bus to Solalá and then a bus to somewhere else, and then a bus to Chichi. Are you kidding me? But I was determined to make it to Chichi by Saturday night so we could go to mass at the local cathedral. Down to the boat docks we trekked. A half dozen jewelry vendors and boatsmen followed, trying to sell their craft. By the time we arrived at the docks, I couldn't remember the name of our first destination. We dumbly stared at all the boats.

Amy: If it's gonna be too hard, why don't we just spent the night here and catch a shuttle in the morning?

The voice in my head: AGHHHH. I give up. I have no more energy to fight my disillusionment and bad attitude.

Two boatsmen continued to pester us about our boating needs until finally an exasperated Amy said, "WE'RE TRYING TO GO TO CHICHI," and one of the men said the name of our first destination - the one I'd forgotten and have forgotten again - and led us to the appropriate dock. Thank you, persistent boatsmen.

The ensuing journey was delightful because it was physical, dirty, with-the-locals travel and got us to our destination for less than two American dollars. We didn't end up going to mass tonight, but I don't care. I fought the bad attitude and came out on the other side. In the morning we'll spend a few hours at the market, searching for Christmas presents and honing our bargaining skills. And tomorrow we'll head back to Lake Atitlán where Amy's boyfriend James is studying Spanish.

Congratulations to Auburn (again)! I've been planning a potential trip to St. Louis for New Year's, and now I have a national championship road trip to consider as well. The traveling never stops!

You might notice I've changed the title of my blog and my name from Mary Elizabeth to Mary Beth. I intend to keep this blog for awhile and will be experimenting with different titles, layouts, and content during the next two months. Thanks for understanding.

(I don't know what I was thinking with the whole Mary Elizabeth thing, either.)

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