Edit Blog Post
Published: January 19th 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I was picked up by my driver, Freddy Luna, which I arranged thru Pierre, the Parisian man whom I am renting my apt from on Lake Atitlan.... at about 9:45 this morning. We headed to Guatemala City to a large inexpensive grocery store to stock up with provisions for my month stay. I bought more groceries than I probably needed, but all the fruits and veggies looked soooo delicious! We got back in the car at exactly noon, and headed for the lake. I had heard that the lake was a two and a half to three hour drive from GC, but that depends where you are going on the lake! It took us five hours exactly to my door.
The drive was spectacular. Breathtaking and Heartbreaking, all at once. Freddy took the secondary road as the new highway was under construction and he knew there would be several stop points along the way that would add more time to the trip, even though we were taking the longer way in distance. He also said the secondary road would be more panoramic...more interesting...more cultural. It was.
We drove thru remote village after remote village,
take from the car...my camera can not capture adequately....the beauty
passing only Mayan woman dressed in their traditional traje of hand embroidered huipeles (blouses) and handwoven skirts...the men all dressed like cowboys out of an old Clint Eastwood flick. One village we passed thru was where tiles were made, red roof tiles...floor tiles...boveda ceiling tiles. Then another village we passed thru, on both sides of the street, shop after shop were car repair shops. That's all. Nothing else. So if you need your truck repaired, you must go to that village, and then choose your repair person. We passed thru miles and miles of farms...corn fields, and carrots and potatoes... all being worked by men, woman and children. We approached two young girls walking alond the road and Freddy asked them if I could take a picture of them...one of the girls shyly walked away, the other one proudly posed!
We passed caves being dug into the mountainside....by hand... for stone dust... for the tile and brick making. There were no machines used at all. All picks and shovels. We passed men climbing these steep mountainous roads with huge bundles of sticks on their backs. Freddy said they use corn stalks after the corn is picked for use in
building their huts...their homes. We approached a huge roadblock. On both sides of the road where men and womanwere sititng with huge sacks of vegetables...lining the road. So at the end of each day, they must bring their supply that has been picked and haul it up the mountain to this particular stop point, and then they wait for the buyers to come and pay them for it! These people are sooo poor and they work so incredibly hard! It is so hard for me to reconcile this level of poverty against this backdrop of such staggering beauty. It's landscape could not be richer. The people could not be poorer. I just kept putting my hand to my heart, and thanking God for all my blessings!
Finally, Lake Atitlan came into view!! Freddy kept warning me that I had not seen winding roads yet!! The only way to make the turns in the mountains was to be on the wrong side of the road to make it around the bend! The driver gives a little 'toot toot' as he approoaches the curve. You can only hope and pray that an approaching vehicle hears the beep! The road was so
narrow and yet they would pass another driver...again with a toot on the approach...and then they would wave to each other...like a thank you! There is no hostility involved. I was taken many times by the apparent respect they have for others Everyone acknowledges each other with a "Bueno!" when passing...on the street, in the grocery store, on the roads..everywhere. There is a sincere graciousness about these people, that I just love. There smiles tell you so much. I am drawn toward their spirits. It is in their eyes. There is an inner peace...that does not come from having bigger or better or more of. I want what THEY have...and I am here to try and get some of it for myself!
Tot: 2.868s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0262s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb