Friday, September 18, 2015

A Crazy Move and Crazier Few Days

Sorry I've been out of touch but we moved to our new casita (little house) on Monday and it's now Friday and we still have no internet. I'm using a Tigo stick right now to get online... That's for another post!

Our move was stressful, as most moves are, although nowhere near as stressful as moving from Canada to Guatemala almost six months ago! It only took us three tuk-tuk trips (tongue twister!) to move all our stuff from what we're now calling The Lake House to our new house in town (nickname yet to be determined, although I'm leaning towards Palace of Limes.) Big thanks go out to Bryan (tuk-tuk #132) and Victor (tuk-tuk #88) for their gracious help! They even carried stuff into the house for us. Such nice guys. :)

Here's a short video of us in Bryan's tuk-tuk on our last trip, heading into town with Pachi at our feet and Willow meowing in her cage. Good times!

Another crazy part of our move was that the day after our move-in date was Guatemala's Independence Day. Apparently, they party like madmen the night before -- sirens, fireworks, and men shouting through megaphones at midnight. There were also a bunch of people running through the town during the day on the 14th, dressed up in blue & white, sometimes carrying torches, and blowing through whistles and horns as they ran. Minivans decorated in blue & white streamers and painted with slogans accompanied the runners. Viva Guatemala!
The day before Independence Day, people ran thru the town in groups.
I'm really glad Victor warned us not to try to move in on September 15th cuz the main streets in Pana were shut down,  and miles of marching bands and school kids were walking all over, with the entire town lined up along the sides of the roads watching in silence.

It was a rather strange procession. I'm used to people cheering and laughing and waving and sometimes catching candy that is thrown into the crowd by the parade participants. This parade was fabulous to look at but no one cheered and very few spectators even smiled at the bands and performers going by. Odd.
Sometimes the parade was just kids from a school.
Adorable girls in costumes swirling their skirts!
I only got to videotape a few parts of the parade and then my battery died. Bummer!

So, back to the house! The Internet was supposed to be hooked up when we arrived on Monday, but the guys never showed, and then Tuesday was a holiday, and they didn't show on Wednesday or Thursday.... so that meant I had a lot of time to unpack, clean, organize, and go shopping for all the little things the place was missing.
Willow having fun exploring the shelves.

We don't have a coffee maker yet but we did find one of these things!
When was the last time you made coffee like this? :D

If you look closely, you can see that the chair used to say "Circus Bar". The dining table and chairs came from a very popular restaurant when they moved locations.

There is a path up the mountain near our house. Bert ventured up there and took this photo of our neighbourhood and the lake and volcano in the distance.

Looking down from the gardens at our casita. Very colourful, isn't it? 
The house is what I call a Guatemalan style building, meaning that all the rooms have doors leading to the outside. There are no connecting doors between rooms, so no inner hallways. Guatemaltecos spend a lot of time outdoors, and with this lovely weather, you can't really blame them!
So when you come out of the bedroom door, you're on the porch. Then you go in through another door to the living room... or the bathroom or the kitchen. All separate doors from the porch!

I suppose you could enclose the porch area (the red floor in the picture with the table and chairs) but then it wouldn't feel nearly as airy and spacious. It's all covered over with tin roofing anyway, so it's dry. We really like sitting at the table outside!
Bert stretching for jocotes in the garden. Yummy! 
Bert being smarter (plus more fashionable) and using a ladder to pick jocotes.
We're happy to have plenty of gardening space at the new house, and already have a jocote tree, two papaya trees, and a lime tree. There's also basil and rosemary. (Pasta sauce will be AWESOME!) We are going to plant some veggies too, when we get a chance. Red peppers and tomatoes for sure, plus maybe pumpkins if we can get seeds!

We didn't have our kitchen stocked yet, so on Wednesday we took a walk down Santander to the waterfront and ate at the barbecue I wrote about in a previous post. It was freaking delicious! And cheap too. 
Each of our plates cost Q15 or about $2.60 Canadian.
I got BBQ chicken and Bert got BBQ chorizo sausage.
On the way back from lunch, it started POURING rain. We hid in a closed storefront and watched the street turn into a river! We were getting dripped on, so Bert & I raced across the road to a more sheltered spot. Pachi refused to follow us!
Pachi hiding from the rain!
The rain eventually eased a bit so we trudged uphill through the river/street back to our house, completely soaking ourselves in the process. We saw some gringos walking barefoot. BAD IDEA. Don't do it! It's much better to get your shoes wet, trust me. There is a lot of garbage in the water, plus dog poop, broken glass, potholes, and sometimes even a parasite called a hookworm that can get into your skin. Keep your shoes on, people!

So more about our little house: the weirdest thing is all the SOUNDS. We're in town but right at the very end of a small street, so we figured it must be quieter than other parts of town, but still, there are so many interesting noises to listen to: neighbours talking, babies crying, kids hitting a ball against our gate, someone playing trumpet on their roof, hammering from construction (Guatemaltecos are early risers), something that sounds like a triangle dinner bell being rung every morning at 6:30, 6:45, and 7:00 am, dogs barking, birds and cats running across our tin roof, roosters (oh the freaking roosters! 2am is not dawn, you feathery idiots!), some chatty turkeys next door (!!), plus the neighbours own some budgies and a parrot that speaks Spanish. As it turns out, the most soothing sound is rain on the roof. It blocks out the other noise!

I'll leave you with this lovely picture I took of the limes on the tree right outside our bedroom window. Totally going to make lots of lime-aid and pies with these babies! Loving the new place! :D
Did you know that limes turn yellow?
Apparently that means they're TOO ripe. Still taste good to me!

1 comment :

  1. Great blog Cee! I laughed at the rooster comment. Same in CR. He was almost dinner. Can't wait to get there and meet you!