More Schooling in Xela

May 11th 2015, 5:37:00 pm

The second time around in Xela I was actually pre-enrolled to head back to Celas Maya and this time I'd opted to stay in a home stay family. The difference in living standard between this one and all my previous ones was astounding. They had a computer, a flat screen TV, a real washing machine, and even a marine fish tank in the living room. These people were definitely a lot more well off than previous families.

After finding last time that 5 hours of classes was just too much for me to take, I'd organised this time to only do four hours a day, giving me a bit of extra time to go and do afternoon salsa lessons.

Unfortunately, I only made it through 2 hours of classes on my first day of school before stomach problems and an aching head had me rushing to the bathroom. I tried to stay for a bit longer but started feeling light headed and decided I should probably go home and rest for the remainder of the day.

I made it back to classes the next day, still not feeling fantastic, but well enough to at least concentrate for the 4 hours. I decided I wasn't well enough to bother with salsa, so I hung out in a cafe and had a nice drink and worked on uploading stuff for my blog and did some homework.

By day three I was finally feeling more normal again. Classes went much better and I organised a salsa lesson for late in the afternoon with Nestor. After lunch, I went to visit Rachel who had enrolled in a backstrap weaving workshop for her afternoons. It was interesting to see the looms in action, pulled tight between a pole and the weavers back, with little rods to move back and forward to alternate the weave between threads.

Dance lessons went well, teaching some foot patterns to side step and pull your partner through to swap places, although I imagine that doesn't make for very interesting blog material.

One afternoon I made a visit to the huge cemetery near my house to explore. The place was enormous and colourful, with many of the plots being stacked 4-5 tombs high. The place was also surprisingly busy with people wandering around. One of the stranger things I saw there was an ice cream vendor selling ice cream in the cemetery. Bizarre!

I found the family I stayed with far less friendly than previous homestays. Conversations never got beyond pleasantries even though my Spanish was the best it had ever been. Meals seemed to be served at very late and inconvenient hours. The room I was in was much smaller than any other homestay too surprisingly, with barely enough space to open the door with a bed, a card table and a little plastic stool that needed to be moved out of the way to open or close the door; not exactly a good study environment. I felt like this family was only taking homestay students for the money (however little). In the end when I left, Marvin Jr (the teenage son), was the only person around so I said goodbye and thank you to him. I felt so little connection to the whole family that I really didn't give a shit if I said goodbye to them or not.

On my last night in Xela, Rachel, myself and another girl from Celas Maya went out and had dinner at the Swiss place on top of the hill called panorama. The place had great views of the city lights and had delicious spiced gluhwein. We shared a big tasty cheese fondue, then followed it up with an amazing chocolate fondue for desert.

This visit to Xela was far less eventful than last time, largely because of me feeling unwell for half the week. Not so many stories or photos to show for it.