In The Way

First Day Staying in a Homestay in Antigua

I’m finally settled in one spot for a few months now. That may not be long, but after packing up and leaving every day all summer long, it feels good knowing that in the morning I don’t have to gather all of my things to leave for the day.

Today was a wonderful day. We awoke in Detroit around 3AM (1 AM Antigua Time), flew on Delta out of Detroit to Atlanta, and then to Guatemala City. I hate to summarize the miracle of flight in such short terms, but it is indescribably incredible. There is nothing like floating 25,000 feet above sea level and 10,000 feet above the clouds you went through a matter of minutes before. Just amazing. I hope that I never get over the joy I have when I fly. I tried linking back to my journal post of when I flew for the first time on the ol’ Xanga, but I can’t figure out how to manage that finagled site.

Anyways, this is a picture of us coming into Guatemala City.

If you didn’t know already, Valerie is not here in Guatemala with me. We are sadly separated until December 16th, when I return to Michigan when the semester ends.

I can already tell though that the semester is going to be a good one. I’m excited to be able to blog with a real computer and be able to upload pictures and things like that. If there is any city in the world that demands to be photographed, it is certainly Antigua. Everything here is photogenic. Even the rubble that is falling apart resemble Spaniard architecture and beautiful overgrowth of jungle plants.

When we arrived in Antigua we went straight to La Union, the language school that us students will be taking Spanish lessons at, and who have arranged our homestays. They had a line for us applauding, the kind of thing you would expect to see at the end of a 12-year old’s undefeated soccer season. There were beautiful blue and white balloons reflecting the Guatemalan national flag, and a banner that read “SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY BEINVENIDOS” You know, like the tunnel with all the parents in the air cheering, and yelling so that you can’t understand anything anyone says. Except this time it’s because they’re speaking in Spanish. The spanish is exciting. I’m excited and determined to learn as much as possible. I’ve been writing down different words and looking them up and I have already decided that I shall need flashcards, definitely. Our lessons start on Monday morning, and I sure am excited! Estoy emocionado!

I’ve got my own room just inside our house here in Antigua which I am thoroughly enjoying! Us 4 male students are staying in one house together, while the other people with are group are set out in four houses, two with four students each and two with two students each. This message awaited me when I arrived:

The national election takes place this Sunday, which means there is a whole lot of political propaganda and such taking place throughout the nation. In fact, one of the nine possible presidential candidates spoke in Antigua today at a large gathering in La Parque Central. We weren’t able to attend his speech, but we did catch these clowns watching these guys perform!

Yes, this picture is real.

Yes, the clowns in this picture are real.

We have been warned about potential political turmoil, but so far the only political action I’ve seen are a bunch of Orange balloons, some orange clowns, families of children dancing, some guys selling ice cream in the streets, people in costumes dancing, and a very large fist (to the left of the stage if you look closely). I’m not sure why they picked orange. Ever since a particular Lightfoot Company t-shirt in high school I am convinced that noone looks good in Orange. That, and it made the orange traffic barriers look like they are biased towards this political party.

At this point I’m not particularly concerned.

There are some other students on the trip keeping blogs, which I will be sure to post on here, and I will do my best to update on the whole political situation in regards to safety, security, and how much danger we’re all in for being in this country. That’s what you want to hear about, right? In the meanwhile, I’m learning what I can.

Hasta Luego!

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7 thoughts on “First Day Staying in a Homestay in Antigua

  1. You might want to think about changing the name of the blog or something, now that you’re not really on two wheels any more…

    Anyways, I’m really excited to hear and see all the awesome things going on with you in what is sure to be another colorful adventure for the superhero David Shinabarger. Props for the Lightfoot Co. reference, and good luck fighting off those political clowns!

  2. Dave! tell me about your host family! the orange room reminds me on when I stayed in Antigua. too cool

  3. Nice post, David! Following you closely, praying for safety AND an incredible experience! If at all possible, you and Val should slip up here during holiday break … just to say “Hi!” We always have space, and would love to just hear you and her talk about your adventures! Peace!!

  4. Sound great, David, and love the pics, too! Incidentally, the article about Val’s and your tandem
    trip came out in our local Woodstock Independent about the time you arrived in Guatemala, and
    it’s AMAZING! There’s a 1/3 page color close-up shot of your faces and helmets, while biking,
    a mountainous pass in the background. There are also two other smaller color photos that
    accompany an excellently-written article. I’m not sure yet if they offer the periodical electronically, but I’ll check. And I’ll go to the building next door, where their offices are, to obtain extra paper copies. Your article occupies the entire third page.
    God-speed to you–with prayers! (MOM)

  5. Pingback: The Election of Molina-Perez « Living In The Way

  6. Pingback: The Election of Molina-Perez « Living In The Way

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