Sunday, November 3, 2013

Life in Pasacap, Guatemala

 Our time here in Pasacap has been really nice and calm mostly. Its a very quiet place and the days are filled with nature, walks, swimming, and friendly locals.

 The people near here are always stopping to talk, ask where we are going and where we are from. This woman had been out picking fruit. Saule was even more shy than usual when she approached her with her huge machette, but around here its just a normal garden tool

 While out walking we watched a storm moving in over lago de Atitlan, the tiny water taxi looked like it was unaware of the approaching weather.

                     Ursa loves big trucks and had a good look at one passing along the way.

                                          The rain came rolling in and we headed home.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Some pictures from Solola market and Dia De Todos Santos

Two girls getting on the boat with a turkey

 The turkey looked like he didnt mind being in the bag. Silly guy....

 The cemetery at Panajachel, Guatemala. They were just getting started when we got there.

 Interesting graves often included information about the persons profession or life.

 This one said "Why don't you stop by for a drink."

 And this one reads "Here lies the king of the clowns."

 This artist was offering his services painting graves.

 Someone left this person a fresh glass of bubbly coke, a bag of chips, and an orange.

The transport to the market to buy flowers for the graves was packed!

I sat with the two girls, a woman, and her turkey and rooster- all in one bus seat.

The market in Salola is at a junction in the road where Mayans from all around meet to sell things. This man is weighing out chilies.
These boys were all stopped watching a Chucky movie on TV.

Iguana for lunch anyone?
Or lamb?
Saule navigates the markets like a pro, and she always seems to draw plenty of attention...
Flowers for the graves
Most kids are worn like this, in a Cargador
More baby wearing
and more chilies....
and a palatable lunch at last

We saw several processions that involved music, drinking wine, and Jesus's of various colors.
and we got our kite! Saule picked it from all the kites in the market- and today we will get it off the ground (we tried last night in the dark but there wasnt any wind!)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Antigua, Guatemala

 We made it to the Antigua and have really enjoyed our few little while here.  There is a nice little hike up a hill that gave us a lovely view of Volcan Agua.
 The girls are having a blast exploring together. Saule is leading Ursa into trouble of one kind, and another, which equals all kinds of fun for them both, and LOTS of giggling.
 This is the street we are staying on- right in front of our guest house.
 We have found some really great food since we got here, everything from chicken soup to 1lb burritos. yummmmm
 And a couple great playgrounds.
 And the worlds largest rosary necklace...
 NO trip to Central America is complete without an ice cream in the Central Park.
 Which always has a fountain, that sometimes works.
 Antigua really is a beautiful city, full of ruins and lush green nature reclaiming old buildings and churches. We are very happy to explore here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

And the best toys award for the summer go to.....

This summer was full of great sticks, rocks, plenty of mud puddles, and some great pine cones, but in the "toys we had to purchase department" our newly started collection of animal calls came in first place for best toys of the summer. 

It all started with a couple of turkeys that wandered into Nana and Pappy's gardens, and we ordered our first turkey call so Saule could communicate with them. Its hand held, easy to use, makes a variety of turkey sounds, and would probably attract a turkey if it was used correctly and quietly. Saule stalks them around the yard, shaking her gobbler and living in a world of wild things. Its all fun and games for the turkeys and her!

It was so much fun we also invested in two other calls, a deer buck call and a prey/fawn call 

All the calls are easy enough for Ursa to get a sound out. We have gotten endless entertainment out of them in the yard and forest for imaginative play, and living room for parades! We have yet to attract animals- well not real ones anyway. Each call invokes a different kind of fantasy play- you might find a wounded fawn, a flock of turkeys or even a bear!

The selection to be had of animal calls is huge, and a trip to the local sporting goods store revealed a entire range of "hunting" supplies beyond our wildest dreams that could be put to good use in our games. Hunting blinds for bird and squirrel watching, Camo suits that look just like cut grass, tree stands that make an instant and movable tree house, feeding stands to attract deer, salt licks for porcupines, coyote pee the possibilities are endless!

I highly recommend checking out this new and exciting line of "toys" for kids of almost any age, as they are very well made, and can continue to be used to bird/animal watching later on.

Watch Saule and Ursa in the woods here

Of course no game in the woods in complete without a trusty hunting dog! Or a good hiding place in the yard!

Monday, September 9, 2013

To infinity and beyond! Or Guatemala that is...

To infinity and beyond!

                                Can you guess where we are headed in less then a month?

"Where are we going sis?"

Guatemala! We are headed out in just a few weeks to start our next journey in Central America! We fly in on a one way ticket and will see where the road takes us. Honduras is going to be on the list, beyond that we aren't sure yet. We are all very busy getting ready.

Saule has been working really hard learning about Mayan history and studying the wildlife in Central America. She is also putting a good deal of time into learning all the relevant Spanish such as ice cream flavors, and phrases to use with other children, such as "¿quieres jugar a las muñecas?" We ordered her a dry snorkel for our time in Honduras, and she is practicing using it in the bath. 

Here are some great sites for kids preparing to go to Guatemala, or learning about the Maya:

Paulius will be working on the road, so he is going to carry his pack with his things (Including his big screen!), and I will carry my pack for the girls and I. Saule is taking her small day pack- filled with her workbooks, art supplies, and personal items. All in all we will travel with 2 small packs and Paulius larger one.

 I found a site I really like called  and was able to get some things we needed for Saule, since she has outgrown most of her clothes. While cruising that site I found some other really neat camping gear for kids. They had great prices on things, and ideas for other quality kids stuff. And also had some great kids items on sale.

I discovered a great page for a Spanish refresher It lets your listen, type, and see images of Spanish words, and is very easy to use. My Spanish is all self taught so this is a useful way to correct some of my mistakes quickly, and refresh some easy vocabulary.

Lots of other little things coming together too, Lonely Planet orders, vaccine research done, things here tied up nicely. Just a couple more weeks and we are on our way.

The truth is though, its always difficult to leave, move, uproot, even with great things to come. It was really difficult deciding what to do with this precious time- more and more so it seems as time passes. There are so many wonderful ways to spend the days, and so precious few days. Time seems to be passing so quickly.

 Fall is a beautiful time in the Hudson Valley. The leaves here are starting to turn, and all the fall festivals are in full swing. Pumpkins, apples, and migrating birds seem to be all around us. Its the last of the yard sales and the first of socks and hats of the season as we stretch  out our days with no heat. This morning the shadows here on the mountain side were covered in frost. Is our baby bear hibernating yet?

One of the hidden blessings in leaving is the way it allows you to really enjoy what time remains. I will truley enjoy our remaining days here on the mountain watching the seasons turn. Our last few days of fall at Nana and Pappy's house- apple pie and falling leaves. One last NY pizza. One more story hour. Its all so good. "Kaip mums gerai" as prochuta says.