I've found an excellent little new school (I'm their third student) named Celas Maya to study Espanol at, run by a collective which is focused to be a learning center for local Mayan people, and we're trading lessons for website design. Whew-hoo!!! There are probably 30 different spanish language schools here in Xela. The family I'm staying with is really sweet - Santiago is the father, a weaver and works with his son Manuel making intricate, ornate blouses and tops. Felicia is the mother and laughs easily. She is quite taken by my digital video camera that puts pictures into my laptop so quickly. We''ll get her some prints yet. Within a couple of weeks I'll get my new domain up and running so y'all can see the pix yourselves. I'll send an announcement when it is up and alive. At this point I'm still in image collection mode.

Other than that, my tongue is fumbling it's way thru the motions of learning a new language, I've had my first bout with food poisoning (not too pleasant and don't know what it was that I ate that caused it, possibly a slice of pizza. But it is really amazing how people you've just met will talk about their digestive systems down here - many fellow travellers from all over the world have congregated here) and its turning out pretty darn well so far. I've met more than a few very nice Guatemaltecos. My Spanish maestra is patient, pregnant and someday will be a lawyer, the school is progressive (today we got a lecture on Guatemalan Constitution reform - cross your fingers for them that it passes) and Xela is muy tranquillo (very cool). Saturday we take a bike ride to the hot springs!

Happy Equinox,

ps - since this is getting sent a few days after I wrote it I might as well mention that the springs were wonderful but the 25 km bike ride kicked my ass. It is sore. Sunday I went to the market day in Chichicastenango. Lots of colorful things for sale at good prices, but I didn't buy much. Checked out some of the Quiche Maya doing rituals on the steps of the Iglesia de Santo Tomas for the equinox and was hit up for quetzales everytime I clicked my camera. Luckily, I ran into one of the guys that runs the school I am attending, and since he's Quiche, I gave him the video camera because people didn't expect quetzales from him when he took their pictures.

next transmission - Heulga de Delores

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