antigua ended up being such a refreshing week for all of us. bob and i were pretty happy when the school week ended, though! we went out and got a celebratory afternoon beer on friday. i hadn’t celebrated the end of a traditional week in quite awhile. it was just such an intense way to jump into studying, but it definitely improved our ability to speak. we stayed one more full day in antigua to decompress, and i’m glad we did. we were able to get a little more quality time with the other two students in our house. and on saturday we set out with them to tour a nearby coffee farm. it was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed learning the process from start to finish.
here’s the coffee bean in its five forms. the red ‘cherries’ are the bean straight from the tree, the lighter color beans are what you find when you peel the red outer skin off and then dry them in the sun. the top left is obviously the toasted bean, and the other is the grounds. i had never seen the entire process explained the displayed before, so i had a lot of fun learning about one of my favorite drinks!
our guide through the farm did an excellent job explaining the process. here he is walking along the drying beans.
the room where the beans were roasted smelled delicious. we got to eat samples of the beans at different strengths. the shorter amount of time, the milder the flavor but the less caffeine.
the farm we went to was all organic. they let us taste a small cup at the end of the tour, which was a definite perk. but, one of my favorite parts of the tour was a quote on the wall in the museum where they displayed the process, the lineage of the farm owners, and all the coffee making and drinking memorabilia through the years… ”Coffee should be black as night, strong as passion, sweet as love and hot as hell.”
here are our friends from our homestay after our tasting. they were both traveling along to brush up on their spanish and enjoy guatemala, but neither were first-timers. we really enjoyed our nightly dinner conversations with them, stumbling through our spanish (and a little french), and hearing about their former travels and recommendations of places for our next big adventure! i know, i’m getting way ahead of myself, here, but these two definitely have the spirit for adventure. they were both inspiring people to meet on this trip and we feel lucky to have had the opportunity.
it was a good end to a long, studious week. and we were pretty excited to get back on the road by the end of it all. but, having spent 9 days in one city really helped us see how much you can take in about a place in such a short time, especially when you don’t have one to call ‘home’ in the present moment. we started to find familiarity in our walks to school, our regularly scheduled meals, putting our heads on the same pillows night after night. but, i can at least speak for myself in saying that i am not in the mental space right now to get too comfortable. it was nice to slow down. but, i was ready to move on by the end of the week. i take that as a positive sign, seeing as how we have countless pillows left to try out in countless other cities… news from the next one down the road to come soon.