Monday, June 6, 2011

Market Day & San Pedro

We started yesterday morning off with our first trip the market – quite an experience! Though the market is open every day, Sundays are the biggest market days and it definitely seemed like nearly all of Pana was there buying their food for the week. The market was HUGE, full of stands with fresh produce, meats, seafood, and other necessities, and it took a while to go from seller to seller and negotiate prices, but Darcy and I returned home with two full bags of food to stock our kitchen. My favorite purchase were beautiful pink and green pitayas, a fruit native to the region that’s only in season for a few weeks out of the year. I have no idea what they taste like, but I’m excited to find out :)

Then, we spent the afternoon wandering around San Pedro, another small town directly across the lake. We took the public boat over, a short 25 q ride, which in itself was incredible. San Pedro is somewhat more touristy than Panajachel, and has a more prominent hippy vibe to it, but is full of cute shops, cafes, and interesting people, all overlooking the water.

On the return ride, we were able to spend some time talking to locals and Pana natives, and we also saw some of the other beautiful towns surrounding Lake Atitlan which we will hopefully have time to visit during our time in Pana.

After returning home, we had to wash all of our fruits and vegetables with a special disinfecting solution before we could make dinner. The process involves adding 2 tablespoons of the solution to a liter of water, submerging the produce for 5 minutes, scrubbing the residue off with a sponge, and then rinsing and drying each piece. It was a time-consuming process, but well worth it - we ended up with an amazing spread of fresh produce, all of which costed around 90 q ($12)!

With the limited cooking supplies available in our small kitchen (and with the help of our landlady, who graciously taught us how to light our gas stove with matches), we made a quick dinner of teriyaki stir fry, and then we were invited by some Pana locals whom we met last night to the estadio to watch a basketball game between two community teams. The game was a lot of fun, and like so many other things, it demonstrated just what a small, close-knit town Pana is – we recognized quite a few people at the game, including our landlady. We ended the night at Pana Rock, a local bar modeled after Hard Rock Café with some of our new friends. It was a wonderful opportunity to relax before our first day of work, and also a great way to practice our Spanish. Already, I feel so much more comfortable in speaking Spanish, and I’m sure that it will only continue to improve as I start to work with the local women and communities involved with Nest and OB.

No comments:

Post a Comment