Page 4 of Fryor Duck Travel Blog Posts

Finally I´ve been able to upload a few pictures, but not to my good photo site. These are my most recent ones, of the hot springs and the school. I´ll try to have more soon but this computer cafe, though supposedly having a fast connection, has an awkward place to work and is terribly noisy (the shouting amd booming music is driving me nuts! And it won´t let me upload to my usual album space. And my left shoulder is jammed against a movable partition! Today we has a walk downtown to a cafe specializing in chocolate drinks and also housing many antiques. We had a conversation about Holy Week and Easter customs - in Spanish of course!... read more
Family at Fuentes Georginas
Fuentes Georginas
Fuentes Georginas

Yes, it´s true! I finally figured out how to get to and from school from my family in two different ways, and then on Saturday morning I moved! The other place was OK, but I was hoping for a place near Zona Tres (3) where San Marcos is, and with kids. Well, I have found it, and its only about two blocks from the school. A young couple moved into this house (Helen and Olger) and they have a baby daughter of a few months called Eliza. Helen also has two sisters living close by (Maciel and Norma) with spouses, and her mother Gloria. Then there is her brother Darwin and his wife Ana, who have a little boy whose 5th birthday was celebrated last night at our house (his name is Daniel) Also at the ... read more

Well, I'm still dragging my behind, but I did manage to walk all the way to the top of Volcan Pacaya. It is one of only two places in the world that our guide knows of that you can walk right onto the lava bed, the other being in Hawaii. The red hot lava is visible peaking through the cold to warm hardened lava you can sit and walk on. And yes, we toasted marshmallows over the lava (with LONG sticks!) My tongue was hanging out so far I nearly tripped on it, and I had a pain in my side such as I've not had since I was a kid, but with the encouragement and patience of our guide (a young American) I made it. My daughter and I also hired a boy each to ... read more

Now where was I? In Gaut City I think, waiting for Rachelle and Vitaliy to arrive, which they did, and only one day late! The next morning (Tuesday), our shuttle picked us up as promised. The trip to Lago Atitlan and the Town of Palajachel was uneventful, except that it is a very winding road up and down the mountain sides, and takes quite a while to navigate. When we arrived, we learned that we needed transportation to our home stay, and so obtained a ride in a small Toyota truck. My back was killing me, so they let me ride in the front and carried most of my luggage. The home we stayed in is located on a cliffside overlooking the lake - quite a view. But the road dead ends there so they had ... read more

Go with the flow, as I said before I left. My plane from Toronto to Dallas was delayed repeatedly, and we didn´t get there until 1 M. So instead of trying to find the hostel i was booked to stay at, I just slept at the airport. I had the place to myself most of the night, and though it wasn´t a great sleep it was better than I had feared it might be. I had my bag checked for the rest of the flight before 6 AM and had a nap again later. You know those forms they give you on the plane for customs after you land? Well, i filled it out but nobldy asked me for it in Mexico City until I wasa reboarding and the asked for myt customs form. Oops, that ... read more

North America » Canada » Saskatchewan » Esterhazy March 19th 2009

Wednesday 1900 hours: Well, I've finally settled on which shoes to take for serious walking - cheap joggers I bought over a year ago. They're comfortable, easy to replace, and if they fall apart I'll get a new pair somewhere! Unlike my last trip. I've actually worn them several days now, and while I wouldn't say they are broke in, the process has at least begun! And my mole skin is packed (hardly anything else, but that's another story!) As for all the things I had hoped to do here before I leave, I'm working on that list! Some will undoubtedly not happen. Today I attended my last Cub meeting, and my last Lenten service. And I got the problem with getting gas into my van gas take at least temporarily resolved (it was starting to ... read more

North America March 10th 2009

Yes, in 12 days I'll be on my way. I've spent several hours yesterday and today putting together an audio-visual presentation to share with people here on Sunday. In so doing I found an organization called "Cafe Feminino Foundation who try to advance the conditions of women in poor communities. They are currently building a library for a school in a remote mountain village in Guatemala not so far from where I will be, and I hope to visit it. It is a coffee growing area, and I want to see how they grow and process coffee on small farms. Their "Coffee Can" project (see and others are geared to providing people like us with a way to help out. I talked with the chairperson on the phone today, and by email with the founder. ... read more

North America » Canada » Saskatchewan » Yorkton March 4th 2009

Will Vitaliy get an American visa so he can get through customs on the way to Guatemala? He and my daughter Rachelle are driving to Edmonton right now and plan to catch a 7AM flight to Vancouver. On Thursday morning he has an interview at the American consulate (he's a Ukrainian citizen, with permanent residency in Canada). Later that day they'll catch a late afternoon flight back to Edmonton, and then drive back to Saskatoon so he can go to work early Friday morning! I leave Esterhazy on March 20 in the afternoon, fly to Dallas via Toronto Sunday, and then to Guat City via Mexico City on Monday, arriving late afternoon. Rachelle and Vitaliy fly Monday morning and arrive Monday evening via Dallas, Tampa, and Miami. What follows our arrival there is a week and ... read more

North America » Canada » Saskatchewan » Esterhazy March 1st 2009

Welcome (or welcome back!) It is now only two weeks until I leave Esterhazy for a "sabbatical" of three months. I hope to use this time to help me determine my goals for the months and years ahead. If this is of no interest to you, and you do not wish to receive notifications of new entries as I travel (or if you are getting more than one email about each one), please let me know. Another five weeks in Guatemala will include visiting a nature preserve, meeting local people, hiking up an active volcano with my youngest daughter and boyfriend (hers, not mine!), and then three weeks of hanging out with Cubs and Scouts as well as helping out in an orphanage while I study Spanish 25 hours a week. The people there are fantastic ... read more

North America » Canada » Saskatchewan April 22nd 2006

How can I summarize my experience? What did I like best? What did I find most difficult? Did I enjoy it? It was a very challenging six weeks. Aside from the obvious struggle to understand and be understood in a place where English was minimal, and where most folks know only a few words, there was also the very real challenge of understanding and appreciating a very different culture. So many things are quite different in Central America. For example, there is no such thing as pedestrian rights, and though it is necessary often to step off the very narrow sidewalks into the street, one must constantly be on the lookout for vehicles speeding past - and I do mean speeding, because although there are man-sized speed bumps, and the occasional speed limit sign, the latter ... read more

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