Back in Xela!

Katie, Mitchka, and I just got back to our host family's house in Xela and we're absolutely exhausted but we did a lot of really cool things this weekend! Let's pick up where we left off in the last blog.

So we had dinner at this place called Circus Bar at the end of the main street in Panajachel. It was a little cramped but the food was delicious and the live music was great! Even though the power went out for like 5 minutes during dinner and we were eating with our iPhone lights out. After dinner we all came back to the hotel and we had some drinks before checking out the bars and dancing around. Shoutout to Kurun for going hard with the tequila shots at literally every bar we visited lol. The following day we took a boat over to Santiago to visit the private hospital there. The facilities they had were very impressive and they took a lot of things into account such as natural light and solar energy. The hospital was very considerate of its impact on the surrounding area and they utilized natural light and other design considerations to make the hospital more welcoming to the people in the surrounding area. However, there seems to be a disconnect because the resources are there but they seem to be underused. One reason for this may be cultural, as some people may want to stick with traditional forms of medicine and may not necessarily approve of Western medicine. It's also possible that word of mouth can steer people away from wanting to utilize the resources that are available. For example, one person may go to the hospital and have a bad experience and then tell other people, causing less people to utilize the resources that are available to them. The cost is something that may also cause people to only go to the hospital in emergency situations instead of going for regular checkups or for preventing symptoms from escalating.

After the hospital, we came back to Panajachel and relaxed and explored for the most part. We were pretty tired so instead of going out we decided to just drink and hangout in mine and Kurun's room. The following day we had our free day so we decided to visit San Marcos and go cliffjumping! That was really exciting until I lost my GoPro after jumping in :( I really thought that I had it secure in my hand but the force of the water just ripped it out of my hand as soon as I jumped in. After San Marcos we went to San Juan to go explore for a bit and I met three ADORABLE kids. I was pretty bummed about losing my GoPro to Lake Atítlan but hanging out with those kids definitely helped cheer me up. Before I left, I gave the oldest girl a quarter from the US and she was really happy and they all hugged me! I probably would've been in a much more sour mood if it wasn't for them.

 These kids made my day :)

These kids made my day :)

After San Juan, we all got dinner again together and had some drinks before going out for our last night in Panajachel. The following day me, Mitchka, Lois, Sofia, Elaine, and John all went kayaking on Lake Atítlan! It started raining literally seconds after we got in our kayaks but I feel like that just made the experience more dramatic and fun. The water in the lake was actually surprisingly warm and it was fun to just coast along and take in the sites. Once we finished kayaking, we went back to the hotel to rinse off before boarding our bus to go back to Xela. On the way back, we took a short stop by a really scenic view point to take some pictures and my goodness was the view beautiful.

 This is absolutely unreal.

This is absolutely unreal.

I had such an amazing time in Panajachel, and even though I'm happy to be back in Xela, I'm definitely going to miss Lake Atítlan and will have to come back in the future! -Scott