Happy May and welcome to part 2 of the recap of my fabulous adventure to Guatemala! Sidenote: fabulous is my adjective of choice at the moment.
Part 1 is here if you want to or need to catch up.
Let’s dive in, just like I’m sure you want to dive into that clear blue water in the picture above. Actually you don’t since Lake Atitlán is filled with waste water from toilets and such that people dump into it. ICK.
We woke up to the sound of a very loud, very repetitive gong. Meditation time. We decided to try it. Key word: TRY.
I had really bad allergies for about half the trip (due to volcanic ash and fog). I write this because I was really feeling them during meditation so the deep breathing of meditation was difficult. About half way through meditation, my mom laid down… so I decided to follow her lead. This caused my mom to crack up, so I started cracking up, and because we knew how inappropriate it was to laugh while meditating we decided to laugh even harder (??). We FAIL. At least we didn’t fail the yoga class after meditation! I was the most focused I’ve ever been in a yoga class thanks to the meditation, and I actually fell asleep during shavasana for the first time ever!
After yoga, we enjoyed multiple servings of the usual breakfast.
Then Mom, Katie (our friend from contact dance), and I walked down the mountain to the nearby town of San Marcos. San Marcos was pretty small (there are only a few streets), and a lot of people speak English since the town is populated with expats from English-speaking countries like the United States and Australia.
We walked around and ended up at a smoothie shop where we split a mango/ coconut/ lucama/ macadamia nut mylk smoothie. We also went into a place that makes their very own kombucha (probiotic drink) and got some! It was yummy, and great for our bellies.
We walked back up to TYF for a lunch of veggie curry, veggie stew, rice, corn tortillas, and salad.
After lunch, I hung out on the hammock on the deck of our room.
Then we went to town again to get dessert since there isn’t much of it at TYF and WE NEED DESSERT! I savored a deliciously rich (vegan!) chocolate tart with an oat base, a creamy banana filling, and a silky smooth chocolate topping from a local restaurant and hostel (Circles) for 20 Q (Guatemalan currency- 20 Q is about 3 US $). Mom got a non-vegan chocolate macadamia nut brownie.
We traversed back up to TYF when we finished our dessert for an acro yoga class! Acro yoga is balancing yoga with a partner. I was a “flyer” so I got to balance on the “base.” We did some cool poses like the ones below.
This evening was awesome because first there was acro yoga and second… it was PIZZA night for dinner! The local kitchen staff made thin pizza crusts and sauces, but we got to assemble the pizzas and put whatever toppings we wanted on them! The sauces were tomato and pesto, while toppings were grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, onion, mozzarella cheese, and homemade goat cheese made from the milk from the goats cared for by TYF! There was also a side dish of roasted potatoes, beets, carrots, and herbs (my FAVORITE).
Putting personalized pizzas into the pizza oven!
Some people also made a delectable dessert pizza with a peanut butter base and topped with plantain slices and raisins. Everyone shared the pizzas while they listened to the live music (drumming and singing) performed by TYF staff. It was such a fun night.
My allergies were bugging me again, so Mom and I decided to skip meditation and just go to yoga. Right before class started, I needed to blow my nose (bc allergies). There were no tissues in the studio, so I ran to our room to get some… but on my way there, running down the steep steps, I twisted my right ankle inwards and fell down onto it and onto the stone step below. I heard a loud pop and then I could barely walk. But I ignored the woman who saw it happen and told me to sit down because class was starting in any minute. Instead, I hobbled to our room, grabbed tissues, and limped as fast as I could back to the pavilion where class was taking place. Then I participated in class. And found out after class that my ankle had swollen up. Good job, Ellie.
On the bright side, breakfast was fab and the view was finally clear enough to see the mountains across the lake!
Above: One of the local chefs flipping bread for toast, as well as a picture of our typical breakfast.
After breakfast, Mom and I put on our bathing suits and worked on our tan until lunch (while wearing copious amounts of sunscreen of course). Lunch was leftovers from pizza night- toppings plus the potato/ beet/ carrot medley. After lunch we continued to relax in the sun, and then we went to restorative yoga from 4 to 5:30.
Dinner after yoga was pad thai and salad with zucchini and cashews- delicious as usual. Dinner was always one of my favorite parts of the day at TYF since I loved learning more about others at the Forest… and the food rocked! I showered after dinner in the dark under the moon and the stars. I felt so outdoorsy and I loved it.