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From Cunen Guatemala 8

Sat, 26 Jan 2008

Hi again.....After closing the email yesterday, I realized that I had forgotten many important details. I think that I was so overwhelmed with the roads ie. NOT getting to the top of those hills ...stalling ....and then rolling back down.....being catapulted over the edge on one of the hairpin turns etc.

We were given a wonderful banquet under that gigantic mango tree. This consisted of rice and beans and a kind of thin soup with river crawdads (?) (anyway they were BIG shrimp). I didn't eat any of them but was told that they tasted like lobster. This was followed by a round of oranges...that grow locally here. Of course dessert in terms of what we know it does not happen in these seasonal fruit is what you eat....and why wouldn't you when it tastes like that!

As far as the water project goes, they have been told that a solar pump is the way to go. They have investigated the water sources and have an ambitious plan of a `pumping station in one of the houses. It all comes down to lack of resources (capital expenditures in our world)....does anyone have $20,000 they don't know what to do with! There is also the latrine project. I believe that this is being supported by their local municipality. For the first time (I think ever...) there is a mayor from the leftist party FMLN and some of the tax money is coming back to the this case composting latrines for every household. Some of them are already being built. They are being built out of cinderblocks. All shaping of the blocks seems to be done by a tool that looks much likes a machete...and maybe it is one. This was another one of their build with cinderblocks rather than just the adobe which doesn't stand up to much. But as you can imagine, there is a lot of manual labor just getting the materials there, up those rocky steep trails. But they're willing to do it if it means a better future for their children. On the way back down the first treacherous part of the road we encountered a big truck hauling the cinderblocks. Fortunately, we encountered it at one of the few places in the road where 2 vehicles could get past each other! We later were told that this truck broke down. If that would have happened while we were there, we would have been trapped on the road by this broken down truck!

Well it is the cool of the tropical morning here....the best time to be up and about. The group is gathering for the day so I will have to close for now.

Today is a small solar panel project and an afternoon at the beach so I am not anticipating pages and pages to report.

Adios for now....V & C