Monday, December 21, 2009

day 13 - travel day

San Lucas Toliman Church


working in the fields

Lago Atitlan

our kids with the shoe-shiners and other local passerbys

We made it back to our friends' house near Guatemala City. Even a travel day can be an interesting day in Guatemala. While waiting for our ride to pick us up, two small children wanted us to let them shine our shoes, we said no several times but finally agreed to have Pietro's shined. It costed 25 cents, but by the time they were done about 15 children were surrounding us asking for money. Considering that and considering the expensive (for Guatemala) hotel where we stayed by Lake Atitlan for the past 4 days, we really felt like British colonists in India. Last night we ate at the hotel's restaurant. For the 6 of us and a lot of food (vegetable properly sanitized, they assured us) we spent $50 dollars. Not so many Guatemalans could afford that, but still the hotel has a heliport. Apparently wealthy Guatemalans come over from Guatemala City o weekends to eat here in helicopter...
On the way back today we had a great TIG (see earlier posts) moment. Looking for a bathroom we stopped in a small town. The only small restaurant we could find does not have a bathroom. We found one behind the main square but, ... you have to pay to use it. And... the price depends on what you need it for: number 1 or number 2? Number 2 costs more because you have to buy the toilet paper... There is more, but this is enough information for the blog. :)
Then in the middle of Chimaltenango, a typical chicken bus is in front of us. The helper is on the roof while the bus is moving and while we film him, we notice he is stealing two pieces of fruit from a basket of one of the passangers... This will end up on YOUTUBE, when we get back to a faster computer.
To top the day, when we arrive home our friend Anita had to leave on an international trip due to a family emergency. She won't be here for Christmas and won't be back until after we return to the States. It will surely be a different Christmas and without Anita, and away from home it may feel somewhat sad. One thing for sure. It will be the simplest Christmas we have ever had and because of that it may actually be the most meaninful Christmas of all. It will make us feel closer to the very first Christmas. We don't have gifts, the Christmas tree is a small fake tree and the house is cold without heat. It is usually 75 degrees this time of year in Guatemala, but this year it has been cold and rainy. It will be a time of sharing and reflecting about the reality of what Christmas is for so many people.

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