Friday, April 16, 2010

The angel from Guatemala City

We decided to pull ourselves away from the finca and head back to Antigua to do another week of language school.  We walked our packs down to the main road and waited for a passing bus to stop.  When it did, the handler jumped out and opened the luggage compartment underneath for us to put our bags in, and pointed for us to put them behind a burlap sack.  As I heaved mine over it hit the sack, which began to move and chirp - the sack was full of live chickens!  I jumped and the luggage guy laughed at me for almost squishing the chickens.

We had to change busses only once, and we arrived into Guatemala City about three, so still had plenty of time to find a cab over to a different bus station where we could get a chicken bus out to Antigua.  Guat City has a few ritzy, nice areas, but in general is not thought of as a safe (or interesting) place for travelers.  Just before our bus stopped, a girl sitting across from us leaned over and asked if we knew where we were going.  We started talking, and she told us she lived close by where the Antigua busses went, and if we wanted she could take us.  Since we weren´t sure of where we were or even which bus station to tell a cab driver to take us to, we readily agreed.   She walked us over and we got on a local city bus, which travelers are always warned never to take, and that we never would have been able to figure out which bus to take even had we wanted to.  Her name was Claudia, and she is getting ready to graduate with a masters in architecture.  We rode the bus out quite a ways, with Claudia pointing out various landmarks for us.  When we got off the bus we had to walk through a back alley, and I was thinking, OK, here is where the sweet angel girl turns out to be luring us to our doom.  But no, on the other side of the alley was a huge shopping mall, and on the other side was a big bus stop.  She waited with us and even helped explain to us some of the method to the madness of the chicken busses, how they are named and painted according to their routes.  It won´t suprise anyone in my family to learn she is LDS.

So our Guatemala City angel got us through town and onto the right bus, saving us a ten dollar cab ride and giving us a far more interesting experience.  It is experiences like this that make me love travelling.  People are just awesome the whole world over.  It isn´t easy to approach strangers, especially with a language barrier (though her english was better than my spanish), and we sure appreciated her going out of her way for us.


  1. Robb, you are right - I love the story about Claudia - wish I could meet her and give her a huge hug - partly for the scary part down the dark alley..... heh. Love you!

  2. Hey..Hey...
    Wow!!! thanks for the "angel" part...jejeje

    It´s always a pleasure to help people...=)
    Sorry about the alley, but I know a lot of short cuts...but i forget to tell you about it, so you woudnt scared...

    You guys are great, and i hope to see you again...(maybe i visit NY)...Take care, and i wish you the best on the rest of the journey... =)...Have fun..take a lot of pictures ok...
    ---God Bless you---