well I met my first friend. Francisco. An older man, possibly in his 50's or 60's today at the park.
I searched for an empty spot on a bench at the park; which is rare during the afternoon, but there is was, occupied by the sun. A completely empty bench. Knowing how Dominicans feel about the sun, I figured it was probably safe to say Guatemalans feel the same. Stay away. Light skin is something to be adored, so the less exposure to the sun, the better. I on the other hand, desire to be dark, so the bench beckoned me closer. I sat alone for a few minutes, thinking no one would sit next to me in the sun. But I was wrong. An older gentleman approached the bench and asked if he could sit next to me, I happily obliged. He asked me my name, and responded with his. Francisco. He asked where I am from, what I am doing there, if I like Antigua. All of which I know how to respond. Telling from his body language I gathered that he wanted to speak more. So I quickly told him, I understand a lot more Spanish then I can speak. He smiled and told me that I can practice with him anytime. The sweetest gesture. He then proceeded to tell me about the history of Antigua, the churches built, and the buildings that fell during an earth quake (I think). He asked a few more questions, of which I was able to answer briefly. I explained that I was a teacher back in the states, and he told me about the school system in Antigua. He then told me he had to go and that it was nice to of met me, I said the same. He said that I was his new friend Corney, (they cannot pronounce the T, which reminds me of my nephew and being in the D.R.). He told me to call him my friend Francisco. Through a hand shake he gave me kiss on each cheek and went on his way.
I loved the candidness of our conversation. The way he allowed me to speak the little Spanish I know. How he corrected me with gentleness. And how he greeted and left the conversation with kindness.
So thankful for my small interaction with Francisco. I hope to see him again.