Am I really going to wirte a blog?  It implies that I think I have something to say.  Nothing has happened so far, other than a lot of hours in airplanes, airports, and a bus. 

First, a few details concerning where and what:  Juliet and I got together in Guatemala City last night with no problems, and we rode the bus to Xela this morning (4 hours).  We will attend a language school for a week and we are staying in separate houses at our own request so that we’ll talk with our hosts in Spanish instead of each other in English.  My lovely daughter said I speak “cave man Spanish.”  We walked around quite a bit in Xela today.  School starts tomorrow.  I’m staying with a woman and her grown son, both very friendly and having language students seems to be their main source of income.  Xela is at 8000 feet elevation, and it’s cold at night.  Not cold like Portland, but in Portland we have heat.

So despite all my fanfare and hoopla about going on an unstructured trip, there is a lot of structure.  I will study Spanish for a week, and be a tourist with Juliet for another week, and then go see Elisabeth and Steve in Panajachel.  At some point presumably a lack of structure will set in.


I played the accordion tonight here in the house, and was really glad to have it.  Traveling with an accordion is a pain, but well worth it.  I had some anxiety about whether they would object to me carrying it onto the airplanes, but no one said a word or raised an eyebrow.


I think this is about my tenth trip to Central America, and after so many times I’m prepared for the initial psychological distress of coming to the third world (the re-entry when you return home is worse).  It is not exactly the same thing as anxiety, and only distantly related to depression.  I don’t know if the psychological profession has come up with a diagnosis for existential guilt.  It’s only slightly about being a rich person in a poor place.  All the imagined mistakes I’ve made and wrongs I’ve done people sort of come forward and present themselves.  Come to think of it, this might be a good thing to do for Yom Kippur.  In any case, it subsides in a few days and I’ve learned to mostly ignore it.


So this may be a slow week for blogging, what with studying Spanish and not much else.  Eventually there may be some actual content to write about.  I am hopeful that the accordion will get me into some adventures.