Saturday, April 3, 2010

March 31

Buying those crutch tips was only part of our challenge. We now had to get them to Joan in San Antonio Palopó, which was no small task.

They do have a postal system here in Guatemala. We've heard that mail even gets delivered...sometimes. We had used the post office in La Antigua to mail a postcard to Linda's mother on Ash Wednesday. To date, it still hasn't arrived. I imagine it's now decorating some postal employees wall.

Our first task today was locating the post office. We eventually found it, but didn't recognize it as the walls were plastered with Tigo (a cell phone company) signs. The young woman "working" there, who never stood up the entire time we were there, let us know that we had come to the right place.

I foolishly thought that they would sell mailing envelopes, like our post offices do in the states. How silly of me. We left to find something to put the crutch tips in so that we could mail them.

Our first stop was a papelería (stationary store), where I purchased a manila-like envelope for Q0.50 (6 cents). It promptly tore when I pushed the box into it. The clerk assured me that they didn't have anything else that would work.

We then headed over to a well-know Guatemalan restaurant, Casa Ut'z Hua, for comida tipica, or so I thought. While the food was fine and the serving was appropriate for comida tipica, the service was lacking and the cost was strictly for gringos - Q95 ($11.90). Typical comida tipica costs Q20-25 each.

Leaving the tourist trap, we located Trama Textiles, the weaving cooperative where Linda intends to learn how to use a backstrap loom as soon as Semana Santa is over.

Walking on towards Parque Benito Juarez, we tried several other papelerías with no better results. Finally, we went into the Paiz Super Mercado in Mont Blanc and bought a kraft paper gift bag and some tape and I got out my Swiss Army knife and used the scissors to take it apart, so that we could wrap and prepare the package for mailing.

That done, we walked back to Parque Benito Juarez and took a microbus heading for Parque Central, where we then walked to the post office to mail the package. This time the young woman did stand up so that she could walk across the room to weigh our package. Having done that, she then sat down, filled out the receipt for postage, took our payment of Q30 ($3.60) and our package for mailing. Now, if only a miracle will occur and it gets delivered!

As is often the case, we then walked over to Despensa Familiar to pick up a few things that we needed and headed back to the to our guest house. This trip only took us about three hours.

All in all, those crutch tips cost us about $10.00 and at least eight hours of our time. Thank heavens most things are so much cheaper here in Guatemala.

During the evening, we once again heard a processional band playing, but couldn't locate it, so we didn't bother trying to track it down.