October 12, 2003

Xela, Guatemala

After spending yesterday in Guatemala City, a four-hour bus ride has landed me in Quetzaltenengo. That's the city's official name, though everyone in Guatemala calls it by its Quiche Maya name: Xelaju or Xela (SHAY-la) for short. Xela, unlike Guatemala City which was noisy, smelly, dirty, and a waste of time, is gorgeous. Surrounded by volcanoes, the city is high in the mountains and the temperature reflects that. While warm during the day, it drops close to freezing at night! Just a few hours drive from here, it's over 30 degrees at night.

I'm here to do a combination Spanish school/homestay. There are a number of such schools here in Xela, and I chose this one based on a recommendation from some Israeli travelers I met in Tikal.

I speak Spanish well enough to do everything I need to down here, but I think I'm cheating myself out of an understanding of the people here by not being able to speak with them in greater depth. I'll be here studying for at least a week and probably for a second as well - a welcome break from the frenetic pace I've been keeping.

Being in one spot for awhile will also give me the chance to post some writing to the log - something I haven't done since Mexico City. I'll get some images up there too.

Posted by dhuska at October 12, 2003 09:45 PM