Normally at this time of year, the girls would be in school. But there was a teacher’s strike throughout Guatemala, and their schools were currently closed. This meant that nobody woke up as early as they would on a school day.
We woke up at around 8 and headed over to the house to see Paulina and Humberto. The girls were all still asleep, and they woke up and wandered out to the dining room one by one.
We gave Eddy his gifts: little durable plastic Playskool bugs on wheels - a cute ladybug (mariquita en Español), ant (hormiga), grasshopper (saltemonte), bee (abejito), and caterpillar (oruga). He sat on Humberto's lap and played with them at the dining room table. All of the girls loved them as well, especially Yasmin. Whenever Eddy wasn't playing with them, she was. The morning sunlight shone in through the east-facing door of the dining room, so even with my broken flash, I was able to get a few decent morning pictures.
Eddy was sitting in a little cubby under the TV stand, and Humberto said that was his favorite spot. He looked really cute in there. Paulina served us some coffee, and we had toast with Anna Belly strawberry jelly for breakfast. We had given the girls Scratch Art pads for Christmas (pieces of paper where if you scrape off a black coating, you expose bright colors underneath), and Paola was drawing on one.
Humberto had clients today, so he headed off to the office. We played in the hallway in front of our bedroom, giving piggy-back rides, picking kids up, etc. Eddy was fully part of the action, choosing to play with all of us. He’s so mobile now!
The foam rubber pad that had once served as the girls' mattress was spread out on the floor, and they used it as a gymnastics mat. They tumbled around, climbed on each other and us, etc. They are just as energetic as ever. We took our showers, and Paulina gave Eddy a bath. He has graduated to the outdoor sink. We're not sure whether it’s because he’s bigger or because they feel that at this time of year the weather is warm enough to bathe outside. He cried when she washed his hair.
We walked to the market with Paulina, Eddy, Yasmin, Yoselin, Aracely, and Paola. Each of the girls carried their new pocketbooks. Paulina stopped in at the bank, and we took the kids into Quick Photo next door to look at their camera selection. We saw a promising Canon Power Shot that took AA batteries and SD cards, so we wouldn’t need to suddenly invest in a new proprietary battery or card type. We wrote down the details and told the guy we would probably be back.
We continued on to the Fuji store, to see what they had. The Power Shot seemed to have been the best out of the limited options, so we decided we’d go back to Quick Photo later today to buy it.
As we walked through town, we noticed that the streets were busy and we saw many tourists. Stalls were set up with merchandise. This was a good sign for the economy of Panajachel. On our last visit there had been very few tourists, and some of the merchandise stalls had been empty and abandoned. Things seem to be looking up.
We continued on to the market where each day, Paulina buys fresh food. We were glad to see that this tradition had not changed now that they owned a refrigerator and now that there is a large Wal-Mart owned supermarket in town. It was bright enough within the marketplace that we were able to get some photos with the old camera without needing to use the flash. Paulina bought supplies for lunch and dinner, and then bought us each a slice of watermelon as a snack.
Paulina left us with the kids in the shade while she did a small errand. Then she bought us each a granizada, a shaved ice snow cone with fruit on top. These are always quite refreshing in the warm sun. While the young man was grinding the ice for our granizadas, Yoselin crossed the street and took some photos of bunnies and kittens in cages at the pet store. Paulina hired a tuk-tuk to drive us all home, and we all fit inside somehow.
The girls had been asking me about Jenga since they saw it in our bag last night. I asked if they knew Jenga, and they said yes. We decided that now was a good time to break it out. The girls knew the rules, and we had a fun time playing together. After a few games, the girls then used the wooden pieces as building blocks, or stood them up and knocked them down like dominoes. They built houses for Eddy's little Playskool bugs. Eddy sat in his high chair and rolled the bugs around on the tray.
Paulina grilled steak and tortillas over charcoal on their grill made from a car tire rim. She then served it with fresh home-made salsa and guacamole. We also had rice with diced vegetables. It was a delicious lunch. After we had finished eating, we played some more Jenga.
Then we decided it was time to buy the camera. We walked with Paola, Yasmin, Yoselin, Aracely and Eddy down Calle Santander to Quick Photo. I carried Eddy. Young women at the shop loved him. The girls were outside the shop swinging from a tree limb. We bought the camera along with some AA batteries, but they didn’t have any SD cards. So we walked to the Fuji store and bought two SD cards there. They were more expensive than they would be at home but we didn’t want to have to be stingy with photos.
Craig’s stomach bothered him a bit on the walk home, so when we got back we both laid on the bed. He rested and I read the manual for the camera. The girls played in our room, running around while I took photos of them to get a feel for the camera. Humberto came home from work and we showed him our new purchase. He was glad that we were able to find a suitable replacement.
Aracely climbed into our bed, got under the covers, and played with the old camera. Cousins Andrik, Junior, and Neli came over, and everyone played Jenga on our little area rug. The girls asked us to write our names and phone numbers in the notebooks we had given them. Then they also wanted our parents’ names and numbers, as well as Craig’s brother's. We laughed at the thought of our parents answering the phone and finding one of the girls speaking in Spanish.
Tonight was the pre-baptism "class" that we needed to attend at the church, as we had for Aracely's. We got ready for church and walked over for 7 o’clock: Paulina, Humberto, Yasmin, Aracely, and Eddy. On the way, we ran into Paulina’s father, who was very happy to see us and stopped to give us a nice friendly handshake.
We continued on to the church, Iglesia de San Francisco. After the brief weeknight Mass, they had the baptism class. We listened to parishioners speak in Spanish about the importance of the sacrament of baptism and the role of godparents. We could understand the gist of it, even though we didn't comprehend every word.
On the walk back to the house, we stopped at Paulina’s sister Isabela’s restaurant for tea. It was a bit chilly and we were glad we had brought our fleeces. Yasmin was bundled up in her sweatshirt with her hood on. Aracely went behind the counter and pretended to serve us. Humberto wanted to do something special for the kids so on the walk home he stopped in at Ulsan to order a pizza delivery.
We walked home to find Rocio playing with the girls who had stayed behind. We all played together, and Yasmin built a tall tower out of the Jenga pieces. Two large mushroom pizzas soon arrived, along with a three liter bottle of Mirinda orange soda. Aracely was so excited that she couldn’t sit still in her seat. As usual, the girls put ketchup on their pizza slices. They also devoured the hot pepper mixture which came with the pizza.
After pizza, we played Jenga and dominoes. Aracely was surprisingly good at Jenga, considering she’s only 4 years old. Eddy was standing on the table running from person to person, stepping off the edge of the table and falling into our laps. It was quite cute and we all had a lot of laughs. Paola lined up Jenga pieces in elaborate patterns as dominoes and knocked them down.
At 11:30, we went to our room. I wrote in the journal and then we went to sleep. I was quite relieved that we now had a functioning camera once again.