Monday, April 23, 2007

April 23, 2007

April 23, 2007, Monday in Guatemala

Now I tried this once before and I lost everything because I was not saving
it fast enough. I think the problem with my computer is heat. When it gets
hot is shuts down. I had the same problem with my Dell a couple of years

Anyway I am up and running for a while. What I will do is save this to a
drafts file and keep adding to it as thoughts occur.

Had a long talk with a woman from Romania this evening. She has been here
for several years and thinks that this is the place where she wants to spend
the rest of her life. She could write a book about her experiences in
learning Spanish and then building a house. She lived in Oakland for about
ten years and has a grown daughter in Santa Cruz. She is an architect
and knows construction so that helps. Both she and Dennis from last night
have talked at length at how corrupt the government is here. But my
opinion is that it is not any more corrupt than in the United States.

Got my hand made sandals today. They cost me about $10 and are real leather
and real used tire tread for soles. Interesting.

Just finished dinner. Scrambled eggs and beans. Again the Dinner (cena) is
the lightest meal of the day. Lunch is the biggest meal and today that was
a chicken patty with rice. I keep telling Rosa that I am allergic to gluten
but she keeps trying to please me. She has a 19 year old daughter who
lives at home and a 16 year old daughter who is married. She also has a 10
month old who is nursing and walking sometimes at the same time.

Today was the beginning of my last week (ultimate semana) and Estella and I
both are slowing down. I think that both she and I are trying to remember
what we have covered and what we might have to move on to this week.

Made my reservation for the taxi to the airport on Sunday. That was about
$80. It was steep as compared to the chicken buses that run about $2 for
the same trip. I saw a photo in the paper the Presna Libre (Free Press) that
showed what happens when a chicken bus and a person collide. My money is on
the chicken bus. I might have said this before but I think the name chicken
bus comes from the cartoon of a bus with chickens on the top and inside
going down the road. I would redefine it by saying that the chicken bus
plays chicken with all of the cars on the road. You have to be here to
understand. My 43 years as a police officer pales in the light of what they
do here.

You might remember that I do not get any meals on Sunday. So part of the
day is wandering around trying to find good meals. There is a local
restaurant and bar that I have gone to several times and that is where I
ended up this past Sunday. The characters are: Dennis the owner 35. He is
from Boston and has been here for about three years. Very nice guy and very
smart. He is a political activist and a joy to talk to. Julie his
girlfriend 35. She is an American Airlines pilot and has been coming here
a couple of years. She comes down on her long changes. She flies out of
St. Louis but lives in Edwards, Colorado. Nancy Julie's mother 70. She
in Memphis, TN and is a retired elementary school teacher from St. Louis.
Neat lady who really has a passion for kids. David the bartender 50. He is
from Ottawa and left at an early age to travel the world. He landed in
Calgary and Vancouver before coming here where he has been for the past
seven years. And now for the kicker. Shirley from Breckenridge, Colorado
She has been a travel agent most of her life and has lived in Breckenridge
for the past 20 years. She owns a condo in that employee housing thing at
the southeast corner of French and Main across from the Breckenridge
Building Center. She worked for Breckenridge Travel and for the Village at
Breckenridge for years. For the past several years she has been crewing
sailing vessels all over the world. On one boat all she did was polish the
mahogany every day. She said they never sailed and the owners never showed
up. She thought they had the boat so they could tell their friends they had

a boat. She has crossed the Atlantic several
times. Spent a couple of years in the Mediterranean and now has a boat
harbored in Guatemala. So what are the odds of my ending up in a bar at the

end of a dead end street in San Pedro, Guatemala with two of my former
constituents? By the way neither women had ever heard of me. I hate

Interesting thing in the paper on Sunday. The new head of narcotics
enforcement is an American woman who worked for the san Diego police
department, DEA and Homeland Security. She looks like just what they need
down here. There are a lot of American government folks working down here
to bring this country into the 21st century. g

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