Friday, December 11, 2015

More Than a Week's Worth of Pictures

Sorry for the long time between blog posts! We've been busy and having fun and working and walking and shopping and discovering new hobbies. :)
Just gonna dump recent photos and explain what's been happening here with us in gorgeous Guatemala.
These are our kitchen shelves. Do you see our spider-bro? Yeah, HOW CAN YOU FREAKING MISS HIM???
This is Jacques Le Sept. (He's French. All Huntsman spiders are, in our opinion!)
We know it's him cuz he only has seven legs.
He is our bro and keeps other nasty bugs away. :)
Last Saturday I met up with my friend, Jo-Lori, and we went to the Christmas Bazaar at The Galeria in Pana. It was a totally fascinating building and gardens, with many awesome vendors. I felt a bit shy taking pictures of people's crafts and goods for sale, so I only snapped a few. After browsing the wares, we went to La Palapa for Smokin' Joe's BBQ. YUMMY!
There were old instruments hanging from the ceiling of the porch.
Interesting way to display art.
Some vendors set up along the hallway.
Gorgeous quilts by Sara!
These fellows were playing some lovely soothing music with a Tibetan bowl and bells, plus a lady drumming softly nearby.

Mayan Families has a woodworking class and they were selling their students' projects. Amazing work!
The rainy season is officially over, and the dry season has begun. The roses are blooming again, and the hills are getting dryer and yellower every day.
So nice to have flowers in the garden.
Some of the trees actually have leaves that change colour! It feels kinda like fall. :)
I haven't been going out much the last few weeks as I've been trying to sit my butt down and work to make money. What usually ends up happening though is that I get distracted and end up playing video games! I did stop by Gringos Locos the other day and noticed that the Christmas decorations are merging with the leftover Halloween decorations!
I guess we never took down the scary Halloween eyes!
I asked on Facebook if there is a traditional Christmas party for expats in Pana but there apparently isn't one. There are several restaurants that offer an Xmas dinner but there didn't seem to be any info on just a plain ol' rip-roaring festive party. Cassidy at Gringos Locos was the only one who said he's done a party before so guess what? Yeah, I'm helping to plan one. I kinda wish someone else would volunteer to organize these shindigs so I could just enjoy them, but if no one else will, then I'm gonna do it! We need a party!
So now work is being pushed aside by my new obsession with Google searches for "cheap Christmas party decorations", "punch recipes", and "how to host a great party". We're also hoping to get some donations for Mayan Families, a local charity, either in the form of money or toys for the kids. It's not for a week and a half, but be on the lookout for that blog post!
A Christmas tree in a little strip mall near the market.
Xmas is BIG here, so there are tons of decorations and lights for sale everywhere. 
Anyway, as you know, Bert and I love to go out for walks on Sunday. Here are some pics from our last epic walkabout. We went all the way up Principal to the metal bridge and then back down through Jucanya.
Pachi gets to walk off leash, the lucky girl. Calvin walks well on his leash and his manners are improving.
We met Calvin's old friend, Jiraffa, on our walk so he accompanied us!
Puffy white flowers and puffy white clouds!
I stopped to take pictures while the gang went across the bridge. 
A gorgeous sunny Sunday in Panajachel. 
Bert's been trying to remember to take the camera with him when he goes dogwalking. He walks a lot! Here are some of his photos.
A very iconic dock here in Pana that shows up in many postcards and travel blogs.
A Great Egret in the morning on Lake Atitlan. (His species is Great, but he is also great!)
He climbed up the mountain behind our house and took some lovely photos. I wish I could post them all but this post would be even longer than it already is! I'll try to remember to get them up to my Shutterfly page.
View from up the mountain a bit, showing Pana and the Lake towards Santa Catarina.
On Tuesday, our good friend, NJP, had a bad day so what does he do? Invites us over for pizza! It turned into quite a fun little party of three. Yeah, there was a bit of drinking. :)
We split open some coconuts and ate them with a spoon. They're never quite ripe. Always green. But when you're drinking, they're quite tasty! (My tummy didn't appreciate it the next day though. But that may have been the rum also.)
NJP putting a TON of cheese on homemade pizza. It was AWESOME. 
NJP is heading back to the States for a few months. He works in the winter doing snow removal and saves his money so that he can come back and spend the rest of the year in Guatemala. We'll miss you, NJP! Don't worry, though. We won't party TOO much in your house while you're gone. :D

Speaking of partying, the other morning I woke up to the sound of marimba music. It was a lovely sunny morning, so I decided to skip out on work and follow the sounds until I found the party.
Well, of course it was in the main square in front of the big church. What an odd sight! People dressed in all kinds of costumes were doing some sort of choreographed dance to music. A huge amount of people were just watching silently. There was a bit of applause when they finished, but most people just walked off.
There was a large crowd, so I stood up on the cement ledge to see!
Can you spot the red dude from that movie, Inside Out?
Cotton candy vendor walking thru the crowd. 
The marimba band was on the back of a truck with GIANT speakers nearby. There were also sexy dancing ladies!
Here is a video I shot while watching the show. It's loud, like all parties in Guatemala, so prepare your eardrums!

After the show, the characters got helped up into the back of pickups trucks and drove off.
These guys got stopped a few times for pictures with kids.
A viking and his scary human companion walk away down the street.
Some of their human masks are very creepy, I find. 
We've been locking Pachi in the living room at night because she likes to bark at cats, but one night I let her out cuz she was whining to pee. She took off thru the garden and disappeared so I just went back to bed. The next morning, this is what we saw!
Pachi obviously found a treasure trove of garbage to get into and her belly was STUFFED FULL.
"Don't take my picture! I'm feeling fat."
Of course, after eating a buffet of basura, she farts like a foghorn! I have to lock her OUT of the living for the next day so I don't die from poison gases.

We were super excited to find out that our favorite tienda in the alley nearby has got a new freezer for ice cream. Bert went down and bought a lovely treat for only Q6, or about $1. Delicious! A creamsicle is Q3 and some of the smaller treats are only Q1. Awesome to have now that the heat is coming back.
Mmmm ice cream!
We are still childish enough to be amused by local foods.

I thought this was funny. Satis-FACE! It means "satisfies" in Spanish, and is supposed to be pronounced "sat-is-FAH-say" but all I could think of was, "Put on your satis-FACE!" Like there's some special face you make while eating a Snickers!  :)
Ooh, another great segue... Faces! Bert's face had a run-in with our neighbour's taco cart. She had put the metal awning up to clean it, and Bert walked into it. Owies! It got bluer and uglier the day after but we forgot to take pics.
A near-miss! A cut under the eye, and a bigger cut and swelling in his eyebrow.
(And look at how pretty Bert's eyelashes are! I'm jealous.)
Bert's not been working much lately, so he's been trying out a new hobby: mosaics! There are tons of broken tiles littered all over the riverbed and streets, so he's been picking them up on his walks and plans to reassemble them into a beautiful table-top. Go Bert!
Pieces of tiles ready for re-assembly
Bert made a side table and is plotting out his mosaic.
Okay, so I'd better wrap this up. Bert is anxiously waiting for me to finish writing and post it so he can read about his own adventures. Ha!
I hope you all are having a wonderful December and are looking forward to joyous holidays!

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