Friday, July 17, 2009

Guatemala - May 2009

May 9th, I wrote home:

Happy Mother´s Day!

Woke up yesterday to blue skies, caught a boat to San Pedro de la Laguna on the other side of Lago Atitlán, then to San Juan, to meet Paul. Wandered around, great Mayan artists, weavers, adorable town, sweet and friendly Mayans. Asked around for Paul and was directed to a construction site, he emerged as I approached. He showed me around the clinic (finished - mas o menos), bomberos rooms done too, top floor (training center) still under construction. Rainy season came early and the roof was not finished so lots of wet stuff and damp and molding materials and supplies. Such is life here.

Apparently, the mayor is not impressed with Paul's projects and has been difficult to work with, he gets no recognition for Paul´s accomplishments so he is not particularly motivated. Politics as usual. Paul, undaunted, forges on.

Good example: the dock for the ambulancia aquatica was damaged in a storm and is now unusable. As we were assessing the damage, Paul noticed a work crew on the shore who looked like they were taking soil samples. We stopped to talk to them and the jefe said the mayor is building a water park!!! For the kids!!! Complete with giant water slide!!! Where the water ambulance docks - or used to dock.

As we ate lunch Paul got a call to hit the boats as the weather was becoming a threat. Paul drove me to San Pedro in the water ambulance and I caught the panga for Panajachel from there.

Scary trip, white caps, thunder, black clouds, rough water, thankfully no one threw up in my lap. Got back to Pana and the hotel just as the sky let loose. Rained all night, HUGE thunder, lightening, and downpour all night. Streets transformed into running rivers to the lake. The rainy season has begun!

I think someone came in my room last night. I woke up to a sound like the front door opening, but didn´t feel anyone´s presense or see anyone. When I woke up in the morning the back door was open and the amoire doors were open. Talked to the manager and maid and they assured me I was safe, but couldn´t explain the doors. Tonight I will stack some furniture against both doors. Apart from that, all is well here. Hot water, even. Have negotiated down to 9 bux a day.

I don't get it. How is it I don't get electrocuted?

Went to the mercado today for Mother´s Day, Sunday is their big day. Very cool, veges and weavings and lots of tiny colorful friendly people. I saw: piles of colorful beans, little banana wrapped packages of fish to bake, pathetic little artichokes, elaborate huipils and other weavings, green leaf lettuce that the women buy by the leaf, duck eggs, flowers, and most of the same things we have, but mostly displayed on the floor.

Later will go have dinner with Derik, great guy, has a restaurant in town called Las Pitayas and makes good salads and panini bread sandwiches. Also he´s good company and conversation, he´s lived all over the world. His dad is a doc and is today in Santiago doing humanitarian work with female cancer patients, he practices in Guatemala City. Derrik is German-Guatemalan.

More later!

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