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From Cunen Guatemala 2

Sat, 19 Jan 2008

Hi all again....Well this is the first day that I have seen a mirror (which was just as well!)....not to mention hot water, toilets with doors.... but for $12.00/night, Im not complaining!

There was a town dance last night associated with the opening of the school. This was at night and outside of course. The whole town was there and 4 of us decided to go. The much too loud Latin band of 13 members took over the makeshift stage and the crowd danced (marenge and other Latin dances) on the very uneven ground in the front. Everybody danced and everyone from babies to grandmothers stayed well into the night. People watched the proceedings from the second floor of the school and everyone had a blast. I think they were pretty happy that we were there. You need a flashlight to get around this town at night because there are very few streetlights. The thing I don't like is all the stray dogs around. They don't seem to belong to anybody and are generally flea-bitten and mangy.....and there are ALOT of them milling around.

We woke up again to bright sun and a clear day. Women and sometimes children haul (often on their heads) maize to take to grind. They used to grind it by hand at home (very hard labor) but can take it to a grinding place. They are getting used to us and more friendly i.e. even making eye contact! We left early this morning again wheezing our way out of the valley and over the mountain range. The brakes became so hot after repeated hairpin turns that we had to stop to let things cool off. The thought of no brakes on these roads is pretty frightening!

We eventually arrived at Lake Atitklan at about 2pm. This is a much more touristy area and I am now longing for the shy people of Cunen after being exposed to the street hawkers that come with tourist territory. But it is a beautiful place....a volcanic Lake being voted for one of the natural wonders of the world.....and nicer places to stay with hot water, toilets with doors, mirrors on the wall , and of course things to buy. We took one of the tuck tucks uptown to the tourist market this afternoon. They are quite fun to ride in and very cheep.

We had a group meeting...trying to sort out our finances thus far and even that was a lot of fun thanks to the bottle of Havana Club we brought back with us from the town. I am finding that priests and ex priests are really quite a lot of fun! They are very interesting and quite unconventional.....and seem to like rum!. I love hearing their stories of working in the mission field. One particularly funny story was the now ex priest that was working in Peru and conducting a marriage ceremony asked the bride if she would take this asshole (wrong choice of Spanish words) to be her husband......(gales of laughter). The great part is that many of these people (they have an amazing array of interesting experiences) are not spring chickens! There is certainly hope for us aging folks! They want to use some of my pictures that have turned out well for the Rainbow of Hope website.... so I am happy about that!

Well, I am reaching the end of internet time here so will close. There is a nice breeze coming off the lake and one is usually OK in the evening with just a light jacket. Tomorrow we will get up early and go to well see what that holds. The food here is not exciting but not bad either. You can eat a good meal for 4-5 US$ so one cant complain about that especially if you like black beans, fried bananas, rice, goat cheese, eggs,....

I will say adios for now.....Keep well

V & C