Big news of 2013 – We are engaged!

We are happily settled here in Antigua, Guatemala and enjoying it a lot. Christmas was obviously not the same as being at home with our families, but we made the most of it.

Ginger all decked out in her Christmas lights

Ginger all decked out in her Christmas lights

We had a good sleep in because Christmas Eve was incredibly noisy with all the firecrackers and fireworks that each and every household sets off in the streets, or what seemed like directly under our van. After a good pancake and maple syrup breakfast we wandered the streets, joining all the crowds of families.

The busy streets in Antigua on Christmas day

The busy streets in Antigua on Christmas day

Old ruins around Antigua

Old ruins around Antigua

Christine tidying up around town

Christine tidying up around town

Apparently these foosball tables are also good for washing clothes

Apparently these foosball tables are also good for washing clothes

We had a very festive Christmas dinner with a Mexican theme – nachos. It was an early night though as Boxing Day was the start of our Spanish lessons.

Xmas nachos as big as my head!

Xmas nachos as big as my head!

Our school is ‘Antiguena Spanish Academy’ and where we study is in a beautiful garden with avocado, coffee, and banana trees, poinsettias as well as hammocks strung throughout. Pretty darn nice! And the learning espanol thing is going OK too.

Christine with her maestra Clarivel

Christine with her maestra Clarivel

Christines favourite time at school - break time!

Christines favourite time at school – break time!

We each have our own tutor and study one-on-one for 4 hours each morning. Then we have to do our homework and study in the afternoon or evening, and often find a nice park or cafe around town for this. It’s not stressful but your brain gets overloaded quickly and you get to a ‘maximum memorization’ point. The school also organizes activities around Antigua in the afternoons and we took part in one that walked up to the Cerro de la Cruz or ‘Hill of the Cross’ which is what it says, a look out point on a hill with a cross.

The view over Antigua

The view over Antigua

We also decided not to do a Homestay and instead continue to camp in the van at the Tourist Police Station. The price is right at less than $1/day including electricity, use of bathrooms and cold showers, good security and a great location close to the centre of town. Plus its only a 7 minute bike ride to our school. However there are a few downers like the fact that it’s in the ruins of an old hotel and hospital, no shade in the grassy field where we’re parked, lots of biting fire ants, not the cleanest toilets and there is a ‘Peeping Tom’ in the showers. We now also have great camping neighbours, Renee and Denis, who are from Quebec and are also taking Spanish classes. They’ve remedied the problem of cleanliness by doing a complete scrub down of the bathroom and ‘Tom’ seems to have disappeared too thankfully.

On Sunday, our day off, we signed up for a tour to hike up one of the surrounding and active volcanoes, Pacaya. We’ve had beautiful blue skies and sun every day except for that day! It was cloudy and chilly and at the top of the volcano there was a gale force wind and you felt like you were right in the clouds, which you actually were. But it was an experience and we met a lot of other interesting travellers.

On the way up the volcano

On the way up the volcano

With traditional mayan makeup

With traditional mayan makeup

Into the clouds - very windy and very cold

Into the clouds – very windy and very cold

Cooking marshmallows in a hot vent

Cooking marshmallows in a hot vent

Dave with his slightly warm 'steamed' marshmallow

Dave with his slightly warm ‘steamed’ marshmallow

Dave at the volcanoes crater (we think - we never saw it either...)

Dave at the volcano’s crater (we think – we never saw it either…)

New Year’s Eve was great! We joined Renee and Denis on a bit of a walk about town to see all the sights before heading for dinner. After dinner we went back to the crowds and waited for the big countdown.

Beautiful Antigua

Beautiful Antigua

Dave and Denis with the dancing giants

Dave and Denis with the dancing giants

Dancing in the streets

Dancing in the streets

Dancing giants

Dancing giants

We were in the central park where there were so many fireworks and crackers that you could hardly hear. It was beautiful with fireworks coming from every direction.

The lights and crowds at Central Park

The lights and crowds at Central Park

Waiting for the fireworks with Renee and Denis

Waiting for the fireworks with Renee and Denis

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We went back to Ginger for a toast to the New Year and that’s when Dave proposed! He had a ring and everything! It was a great way to start 2013 and we hope you all have a happy and healthy year!

Christine with her New Years bling

Christine with her New Years bling

 

This weeks banner - New Years eve in Antigua

This weeks banner – New Years eve in Antigua

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7 Comments

Filed under General News

7 responses to “Big news of 2013 – We are engaged!

  1. Madeleine

    imagine receiving your diamond on New Years Eve in Antiqua Guatemala . What a romantic start to your new life together. We wish you both every good thing in 2013 ! Best of luck with your plans.

    Mom and Dad Berrigan

  2. Rob Moore

    Enhorabuena!!!!!
    AMAZING NEWS and congratulations to you both! What a way to bring in the new year. The ‘Moore’ family does seem to growing fast at the moment.
    Awesome! love you both and keep having a ball.
    Love,
    Rob M

  3. ez-en

    Nice shot of the car with Christmas lights…oh, and nice work on the bling too. Congratulations.

  4. Betty & Eugene

    Congratulations ! We are so happy for the two of you. Am really enjoying your travelling news. Look forward to it.
    Love, Betty & Eugene

  5. Sharry

    Congratulations! You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of your Mom & Dad’s. I’ve been enjoying your blog so very much, just as I did Richard’s in the past. I feel like I know the whole family, so had to say how happy I am for you and Dave! Looks like you belong together.
    Sharry in Texas

  6. Andrew

    Congratulations Christine and Dave! All the best to each of you in 2013.

  7. Thanks for all the congratulations! We appreciate the positive thoughts and are both very excited for our future together.
    Thanks again and thanks for following our blog.
    Dave & Christine

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