Last week I attended the national teachers conference hosted by the Instituto Guatemalteco Americano (another binational center kind of like Centro Cultural Salvadoreño, where I'm at). Guatemala is FREEZING in November and December, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I no longer own any closed-toe dress shoes, and was seriously regretting this, but it also got me in the mood to do my Christmas shopping, which I'm proud to say I'm almost finished with. The Christmas cooking is more of a problem, since no grocery store seems to stock all of the baking goodies I need. Semisweet chocolate and canned pumpkin have alluded me so far, but I found cream of tartar in Antigua (yes, little things like that make me happy). Antigua also gave me lots of yummy chocolates, some of which were supposed to be gifts, but which ended up in my stomach.
Anyways, this was an excellent conference, and I came back motivated to try out some new ideas, and having gained some advice and observations on hosting a conference (ours at CCSA will be in July). I now know that you can make ice cream in ziploc bags with groups of over 250 teachers, that the number of Americans who adopt Guatemalan children and then stay at the Marriott hotel in Guatemala City is scary, and that there's lots of really neat people who travel around to present at these conferences. My sessions went well, and it was much easier having Internet access to talk about blogging.
I was also amazed that I could increase the amount of food that I ate, but lose weight at the same time. The difference between healthy food and food in El Salvador. Or maybe I frooze off the food. Guatemala is different in so many ways from El Salvador, even though Guate City is less than four hours away by bus, including the time that you get stopped at the border. When I got back, El Salvador was also a bit chilly, but not frigid!