Field Work: Day 23 Part 2, The Good Stuff

While data collection morale is at an all time low, the “vacation” aspect of this trip has been going quite well. Over the weekend we visited Universidad del Valle Guatemala- Altiplano for a conference-type thing and spent the night in Antigua. I gave a presentation at UVG on my research and why I’m interested in it, in Spanish, which was a massively anxiety-provoking event.

Luckily I had some borrowed Xanax, so when my presentation time came I was cool as a cucumber. About the same time I started to feel flustered (about halfway through my presentation) a loud marimba band kicked up right outside the door, which gave me time to recollect my thoughts and get back into a proper groove. I also got to make a joke about doing the rest of my presentation in interpretive dance, which was fun.

From UVG we went to Antigua. The bus ride was long and only semi-torturous towards the end when we got stuck in traffic in Chimaltenango, but reggaeton and Trivial Pursuit helped us keep our sanity.

We went out drinking and dancing on Friday night. I’ve decided that Café No Sé is my very favorite bar on the planet. It was dark as all hell inside, they only serve beer & mezcal, and they had old school 40’s-50’s bluesy rock playing over the speakers, in addition to a live jazz band up front. There’s also an attached bookstore that offers a free beer when you buy a book worth 40Q or more!

Dancing was also very fun; it was the first time I’ve ever been and I bought a “fancy” dress just for the occasion. Towards the end of the night, one fellow did get extremely handsy and wasn’t listening to my “NO” that I was shouting over the salsa music, so I ended up grabbing his hand and biting it. Apparently hard biting gets the message across, in case you ever need to fend off overly-touchy salsa dancers.

On Saturday morning, despite all the mezcal and tequila the night before, I felt excellent and alive enough to hike up to the Cerro de la Cruz.

Antigua is so beautiful from Cerro de La Cruz, even when Volcan de Agua is covered with clouds.

A post shared by Emily Speed (@em42speed) on Jun 17, 2017 at 1:44pm PDT

I spent the rest of the day sort of aimlessly wandering, showing others in the group around the city, and buying souvenirs and gifts for people back home (in Patzún and in the States!).

I did get pickpocketed about 300Q at some point, didn’t buy a set of brass knuckles that I really wanted to get and in retrospect totally should have, and for lunch on Sat I had a side salad that made Saturday night and Sunday completely miserable, but it can’t all be perfect all the time, can it?

 

The collapsed roof of the cathedral in Antigua #Guatemala #USUsummer #AggieTravel #UMDfieldschool

A post shared by Emily Speed (@em42speed) on Jun 17, 2017 at 4:43pm PDT

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