Friday, January 8, 2016 - Shopping on Calle Santander, Party preparations

When Aracely and Eddy stopped in before school, we gave them Despicable Me 2 coloring books. We had known that they like Minions, and it was coincidental that we had watched this very movie two nights ago. Paulina brought us coffee and banana bread.

I had many meetings today, and I needed to eat my breakfast (scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, black beans, plantains, and tortillas) in our room at my desk while on Skype. The same happened for lunch (pasta alfredo with ham). Aracely and Eddy get out of school early on Fridays, so they were home for lunchtime.

After a final meeting, I was done with work. It had been a very successful week working remotely.

Craig's brother Steve starts his much anticipated yoga teacher training this evening, so Craig called him on Skype to wish him well.

There is a girl named Grace who just started going to our yoga studio with her Mom. We chatted with them at length at the holiday party. When they found out that we were going to Guatemala, Grace was very excited, as she was adopted from there at age 8 months. "Those are my people!" she said proudly. We wanted to get her a little something as a souvenir from her native land, so we enlisted the help of Aracely, Eddy, Yoselin, and Yasmin. They brought baby Ian as well. We told them that we wanted something that a 13-year-old girl would like, preferebly something that said "Guatemala".

We walked to Calle Santander and browsed in the shops. Aracely was a huge help, showing us various items, taking our feedback into account and refiniing her suggestions. She found a lovely little woven bag that had an embroidered pattern of children holding hands and said "GUATEMALA". It was perfect, and she helped us to negotiate the price.

We stopped into a fairy-themed store called Abracadabra, where it is always fun to browse, and then headed further up the street to Sarita for ice cream. It was a lot of fun, and the younger kids played on the indoor playset. It amazes us how good the kids are with the baby. Yoselin and Yasmin kept him entertained and happy for the entire hour and a half outing, and he never cried.

Aracely and Eddy got grape soda floats, the older girls and Craig got banana splits, and I got a vanilla shake topped with dulce de leche. The girls held onto Ian while he slid down the slide. At first a look of panic crossed his face, but he soon enjoyed it.

When we emerged from Sarita, Craig noticed some mannequins dressed in bikinis. Of course he had to pose with them for a photo op!

We stopped into a little store where an elderly Mayan woman sold stones. Some were polished and others were carved. I found a layered fuschia polished stone which I absolutely loved.

We saw some stones carved into the shape of owls. I have loved owls since I was a toddler. I couldn't pronounce "owl", so I called them "yodeos". I recently recieved an owl bracelet made by Jacalynn Willett, and I wanted a necklace to go with it. Aracely asked teh woman if she had any small owl necklaces. The woman looked in vain but couldn't find one. I spotted one. She said that it was "jade" (a term which is used loosely around here, so we took it as a grain of salt), but later Humberto would tell us he thought it was maybe obsidian. Aracely once again helped us to negotiate, and we headed back to the house with a couple of small souvenirs for myself in addition to the bag for Grace.

When we got home, party preparations for tomorrow night were well underway. Yasmin showed us her shoes for the party - sparkly silver high heels which would look very elegant. Paulina's sister Olga came over to help prepare chicken. Humberto's brother Gabriel came over to help Humberto and Paola paint one of the rooms.

Aracely and Eddy came home from shopping with Humberto. They had each gotten a pair of gloves and a pair of sneakers. And Aracely got a pair of high heeled wedge boots. She couldn't wait to wear them.

Humberto's nephew Juan and his wife Yolanda came over as well, with daughter Fatima. We helped to cut a mountain of vegetables (peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic).

Aracely and Eddy played with their cousins Josue, Fatima, and Neli. Fatima's older brother Junior also came over. When he was younger, the name Junior seemed appropriate. Now he is 14 and is almost as tall as we are! We all had dinner together (huevos rancheros, black beans, and tortillas) and then the adults enjoyed some red wine before calling it a night. Tomorrow will be a big, exciting, fun day!
Yoselin, Ian, and Yasmin on our shopping excursion to Calle Santander

Yoselin, Ian, and Yasmin on our shopping excursion to Calle Santander

Craig, Yoselin, Ian, and Yasmin getting ice cream at SaritaCraig, Yoselin, Ian, and Yasmin getting ice cream at Sarita

Cutting veggies for the party

Cutting veggies for the party

Olga and Yolanda prepare the marinade for the chicken

Olga and Yolanda prepare the marinade for the chicken

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