Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 28, 2007


Saturday Saturday April 28, 2007

There are probably some of you who could hardly wait for this day. Today
will be my last Blog from Guatemala. As usual I will send it out on Sunday
morning from my hut that gets free wireless internet. I will post the
photos in the next week or two.

Raphael is the groundskeeper here. He and Estella are good friends so
Raphael has always taken good care of me. This morning as I was walking
through the jungle to get to my hut he asked if I wanted a table and chair
even though there was no school today. I thanked him for his courtesy. He
has been using a hose on the paths at the school to keep down the dust for
the past week or so. Last night we had heavy rain so this morning the dust
was gone. He and I talked about how nice that was too.

Not sure what I am going to do today. Probably go up to the open market to
see if there is anything different for sale. That place is amazing. You
could buy anything from a wide screen HDTV to one radish. They do have
different prices however. I really like watching the people. It is about
the same as a county fair where everyone gets together to socialize.
Sometimes large groups will actually close off foot traffic with their
friendly discussions.

A young girl came to the gate a few minutes ago looking for Rosa. I have
not seen Rosa or anyone else this morning. I know that she is not somewhere
making my breakfast. The girl wanted to have Rosa pick up little Felipe,
Felipe's nephew and Ramon's son. Rosa takes care of him every day, all day.
Ramon's wife is an attorney and apparently does not do childcare herself.
They also have a daughter in the children's program. Estella described
Ramon's role as Principal of the language school and principal of the
children's school. Of course he also owns everything too.

Not sure that I have described this part before. Ramon is the big boss. He
is Felipe and Rosa's brother in law. He is Estella's cousin. It is a
family affair. Hey, if you can't take of your family who will. Or maybe
Felipe could get a job and take care of himself?

I think I will go somewhere and have breakfast as it is not forthcoming
here.

Halfway up the hill to el Centro I ran into Rosa coming down. She had three
bags full of fruit and vegetables from the market. She explained that it
was from my breakfast. I told her that I was going to the market. Thank
you but I would have lunch at 1 with her. I don't think that I will ever
adjust to Guatemalan time.

Stopped by my favorite juice lady. She has a hand juicer and a large basket
of fresh oranges. She slices them in front of you and then squeezes the
juice by hand for a large glass of orange juice. She uses two filters for
the pulp and seeds and the final juice is pure and clean. A very large
glass costs 3 Quetzales. About 40 cents. It is not cold but it has great
flavor and is fresh.

Went to The Cove Restaurant for breakfast. It is owned and operated by an
American Bill. He has lived in the Caribbean for about 20 years and in
Guatemala for about ten. He was interviewing a young black woman from
France who wanted to rent a room from him. He includes one, two or three
meals a day with the rent. She went for the two meal option and the price
was about $6 a day for room and board. That is about what I am paying here
with Rosa. Mine is a little over $7 a day. But then again I really don't
get all of my meals do I?

Bill commented that Guatemala is the Costa Rica of twenty years ago now.
Property values are climbing but still very cheap. He said that Costa Rica
was ruined by all of the Americans and Real Estate developers. He lived
there several years ago and said it used to be great. What price progress?
We all want to make money but we all don't want to ruin anything for the
next guy or the next generation.

Bill and I also talked about fishing in the lake. I had been watching two
men pull small fish out of the weeds by hand. Bill grew up in Florida and
knew a lot about fishing. He said that some Germans came here a few years
ago and started a fish farm in the lake. They turned it over to the locals
to run and then left. When they came back it was out of business. I have
heard the same thing many times. It is a cultural thing and that some
people just don't want to learn new things or to change what they have
always done in the past. You see that every day in American business but it
is a way of life in Guatemala.

Met a nice couple on the path back from town who were Guatemalans from
Guatemala City and spoke perfect English. People in the cities have an
opportunity for a great education. People in San Pedro and other rural
areas are stuck without that opportunity.

A funny story. People in Guatemala see all of America as the same. They do
not have concept of states. They understand the difference between the
mountain and the plains and small towns and big cities. But everything gets
melded together. I tell everyone that I am former Colorado State
Representative. I am very clear about that. That get translated down here
that I am a current congressman in Washington. This is a very small town so
I get called upon to debate foreign policy a lot. I tell them that Colorado
does not have a foreign policy but they don't understand the concept.
America is America and all of the bad stuff that Bush is doing is my fault
and I need to defend it. Talk about difficult. I don't agree with the
President one bit but I can explain his reasoning behind his stupid and
dangerous policies. I find myself doing that as a Congressman, I mean state
representative, former state representative in Guatemala. My head hurts
from all of this. Maybe I should tell them that I was a newspaper
delivery boy, one of my first jobs. By the way the Spanish work for retired
is jubliado. Sounds like jubilation. Maybe it is.

Had a nice lunch from Rosa and it was on time. Maybe she can read minds. I
had cut green beans in a red sauce with rice and tortillas. Very nice.

Went for a very long walk this afternoon. Retraced many walks before. This
will probably be the last one like that. I will walk up to el Centro to get
the papers from Guatemala City tomorrow morning at around 730 am. I buy
both papers and the seller is so happy when I do that. Can't imagine what
he makes.

I thought about this before but I think that one of the reasons there is no
clean water or trash pickup is that there are no activists here. No one
complains. People accept things the way they are. There is an on going
protest about education, the one thing that everyone protests about around
the world including Summit County.

I think that if there was a daily or even weekly paper here things would
change quickly. A lot of bad stuff cannot stand the light of day in the
press. The government would certainly pay attention. I did when I was in
government. The people would know that they are not alone in their
feelings. A lot might happen.

I think I told everyone that Rosa's daughter who was getting married, and
then got married, and no one has ever introduced me to, was 16. I was
wrong. I just talked to Rosa and she said that Andrea is turning 16 today.
Married at 15. Scary. Even more scary is her husband who looks like he is
12.

Quiet night last night. Had a very long talk with David the bartender from
Canada. He is a very interesting person. Rosa and Felipe were walking on
the path as I came home last night. I did not recognize them in the dark
until Felipe grabbed my arm. Some drunks from El Barrio walked me to my
door. I was not concerned but was not sure they were going to make it home.

Maybe I should have walked them home.

It is 6:44 am right now and I will go down to the hut to send this in a
couple of minutes. It will probably be my last transmission for a while.
Have a nice day. I will as I wind down my last day in Guatemala. Buenos
dias mi amigos.


There are probably some of you who could hardly wait for this day. Today
will be my last Blog from Guatemala. As usual I will send it out on Sunday
morning from my hut that gets free wireless internet. I will post the
photos in the next week or two.

Raphael is the groundskeeper here. He and Estella are good friends so
Raphael has always taken good care of me. This morning as I was walking
through the jungle to get to my hut he asked if I wanted a table and chair
even though there was no school today. I thanked him for his courtesy. He
has been using a hose on the paths at the school to keep down the dust for
the past week or so. Last night we had heavy rain so this morning the dust
was gone. He and I talked about how nice that was too.

Not sure what I am going to do today. Probably go up to the open market to
see if there is anything different for sale. That place is amazing. You
could buy anything from a wide screen HDTV to one radish. They do have
different prices however. I really like watching the people. It is about
the same as a county fair where everyone gets together to socialize.
Sometimes large groups will actually close off foot traffic with their
friendly discussions.

A young girl came to the gate a few minutes ago looking for Rosa. I have
not seen Rosa or anyone else this morning. I know that she is not somewhere
making my breakfast. The girl wanted to have Rosa pick up little Felipe,
Felipe's nephew and Ramon's son. Rosa takes care of him every day, all day.
Ramon's wife is an attorney and apparently does not do childcare herself.
They also have a daughter in the children's program. Estella described
Ramon's role as Principal of the language school and principal of the
children's school. Of course he also owns everything too.

Not sure that I have described this part before. Ramon is the big boss. He
is Felipe and Rosa's brother in law. He is Estella's cousin. It is a
family affair. Hey, if you can't take of your family who will. Or maybe
Felipe could get a job and take care of himself?

I think I will go somewhere and have breakfast as it is not forthcoming
here.

Halfway up the hill to el Centro I ran into Rosa coming down. She had three
bags full of fruit and vegetables from the market. She explained that it
was from my breakfast. I told her that I was going to the market. Thank
you but I would have lunch at 1 with her. I don't think that I will ever
adjust to Guatemalan time.

Stopped by my favorite juice lady. She has a hand juicer and a large basket
of fresh oranges. She slices them in front of you and then squeezes the
juice by hand for a large glass of orange juice. She uses two filters for
the pulp and seeds and the final juice is pure and clean. A very large
glass costs 3 Quetzales. About 40 cents. It is not cold but it has great
flavor and is fresh.

Went to The Cove Restaurant for breakfast. It is owned and operated by an
American Bill. He has lived in the Caribbean for about 20 years and in
Guatemala for about ten. He was interviewing a young black woman from
France who wanted to rent a room from him. He includes one, two or three
meals a day with the rent. She went for the two meal option and the price
was about $6 a day for room and board. That is about what I am paying here
with Rosa. Mine is a little over $7 a day. But then again I really don't
get all of my meals do I?

Bill commented that Guatemala is the Costa Rica of twenty years ago now.
Property values are climbing but still very cheap. He said that Costa Rica
was ruined by all of the Americans and Real Estate developers. He lived
there several years ago and said it used to be great. What price progress?
We all want to make money but we all don't want to ruin anything for the
next guy or the next generation.

Bill and I also talked about fishing in the lake. I had been watching two
men pull small fish out of the weeds by hand. Bill grew up in Florida and
knew a lot about fishing. He said that some Germans came here a few years
ago and started a fish farm in the lake. They turned it over to the locals
to run and then left. When they came back it was out of business. I have
heard the same thing many times. It is a cultural thing and that some
people just don't want to learn new things or to change what they have
always done in the past. You see that every day in American business but it
is a way of life in Guatemala.

Met a nice couple on the path back from town who were Guatemalans from
Guatemala City and spoke perfect English. People in the cities have an
opportunity for a great education. People in San Pedro and other rural
areas are stuck without that opportunity.

A funny story. People in Guatemala see all of America as the same. They do
not have concept of states. They understand the difference between the
mountain and the plains and small towns and big cities. But everything gets
melded together. I tell everyone that I am former Colorado State
Representative. I am very clear about that. That get translated down here
that I am a current congressman in Washington. This is a very small town so
I get called upon to debate foreign policy a lot. I tell them that Colorado
does not have a foreign policy but they don't understand the concept.
America is America and all of the bad stuff that Bush is doing is my fault
and I need to defend it. Talk about difficult. I don't agree with the
President one bit but I can explain his reasoning behind his stupid and
dangerous policies. I find myself doing that as a Congressman, I mean state
representative, former state representative in Guatemala. My head hurts
from all of this. Maybe I should tell them that I was a newspaper
delivery boy, one of my first jobs. By the way the Spanish work for retired
is jubliado. Sounds like jubilation. Maybe it is.

Had a nice lunch from Rosa and it was on time. Maybe she can read minds. I
had cut green beans in a red sauce with rice and tortillas. Very nice.

Went for a very long walk this afternoon. Retraced many walks before. This
will probably be the last one like that. I will walk up to el Centro to get
the papers from Guatemala City tomorrow morning at around 730 am. I buy
both papers and the seller is so happy when I do that. Can't imagine what
he makes.

I thought about this before but I think that one of the reasons there is no
clean water or trash pickup is that there are no activists here. No one
complains. People accept things the way they are. There is an on going
protest about education, the one thing that everyone protests about around
the world including Summit County.

I think that if there was a daily or even weekly paper here things would
change quickly. A lot of bad stuff cannot stand the light of day in the
press. The government would certainly pay attention. I did when I was in
government. The people would know that they are not alone in their
feelings. A lot might happen.

I think I told everyone that Rosa's daughter who was getting married, and
then got married, and no one has ever introduced me to, was 16. I was
wrong. I just talked to Rosa and she said that Andrea is turning 16 today.
Married at 15. Scary. Even more scary is her husband who looks like he is
12.

Quiet night last night. Had a very long talk with David the bartender from
Canada. He is a very interesting person. Rosa and Felipe were walking on
the path as I came home last night. I did not recognize them in the dark
until Felipe grabbed my arm. Some drunks from El Barrio walked me to my
door. I was not concerned but was not sure they were going to make it home.

Maybe I should have walked them home.

It is 6:44 am right now and I will go down to the hut to send this in a
couple of minutes. It will probably be my last transmission for a while.
Have a nice day. I will as I wind down my last day in Guatemala. Buenos
dias mi amigos.

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