Monday, May 16, 2011

Bicicletas locas

The adventure continues here in Guatemala. Last Thursday my teacher here had the idea of renting bicycles and biking around Xela for the day. Three of us ended up biking about 25 kilometers - about 15 miles. It ended up being a great trip but for the first half-hour I seriously regretted agreeing to the idea. In my experience with Latin America, the people here take driving aggressively and somewhat crazily to a level unseen in the U.S. From what I've seen when it comes to traffic down here it's basically survival of the fittest - pedestrians most certainly do not have the right-of-way. So last Thursday morning I rode a bicycle through this craziness as we rode from the center of Xela into some small villages surrounding and this after probably 7 or 8 years of not being on a bicycle. During the first half-hour of the bike ride through the very busy streets of Xela I had two thoughts: If one of these buses going 50 mph and passing me about a foot away from my bike clips me I'm not looking forward to undergoing surgery in a Guatemalan hospital. My second thought was that at least if I die this morning it will have been during a great adventure.
Lots of these crosses made from palm fronds are seen around Xela. They are made during Holy Week and displayed during the following weeks.

The streets were much less crazy by the time we got into the countryside with rolling hills of recently sprouted corn and small picturesque villages.
My Spanish teacher and I in front of many acres of corn - all grown without machinery or pesticides and only manure for fertilizer.

Very colorful church in San Andres.

Overlooking the village of San Andres. If you look closely you can see textiles of various colors drying in the sun on the roofs of houses.

The three of us bicyclists in front of another church.

Aside from the bike adventure I checked out some very interesting hot-springs called Fuentes Georginas last weekend and I've befriended a family from the Presbyterian church here and had some very interesting theological conversations in Spanish. Being in Guatemala continues to be a great blessing.
Hot Springs at Fuentes Georginas.


Ed said...

Is that beard military regulation, doctor? ;-)

Matt Perkins said...

My last chance to have facial hair for at least the next 9 or 10 years... I'm taking advantage of it... big-time