I did not explain those photos yesterday.  Wayne Hess and I were co-leaders of a Habitat trip 6 years ago (!) and we split into two work groups.  Wayne’s group worked on that house with that family in the town of San Francisco El Alto.  The mother, Vidalia, was pregnant and when the baby was born, they asked Wayne to name her.  He chose the name Marilyn after his mother. Wayne  asked me to take them some gifts.  Marilyn is 5 now.  Her brother is Oscar and her bigger sisters are Diana and Seily.  It was quite satisfying to travel to their town, find them, and give them the gifts.

 

Each trip to Central America feels different.  On the first three, I was wide eyed at the exoticness of it all.  After that, I had work to do, building houses and bringing other gringos here and taking care of them.  This time, there is the dilemma that I’m a rich tourist going to a poor place for my own entertainment.  I want to “simplify” my life, so I imagine hanging out in a quiet place with simple fishermen and dugout canoes, but I don’t want to be a simple fisherman with a dugout canoe.  I want to have my laptop and the internet.  I’m not ready to give up being one of the elite, with slave workers that I don’t have to manage because faceless corporations are managing them for me in poor countries, and they don’t have to manage them either because they contract it out.

 

This Friday, the Mayan 13th era since 3000 and something BC will begin, and it also falls on the winter solstice, a unique conjunction.  I didn’t think through that I’d be in a Mayan place for that event.  It’s a big deal here.  Xela is a pretty big city but still ethnically Mayan.

 

Last night in bed I was freezing my ass off here in the tropics, with three shirts on and three blankets.  So I put on my fleece sweater too.   I was feeling considerable anxiety and thinking of Sartre’s book “Nausea,” which we read in college French or maybe high school French.  The protagonist sits in his hotel room all day listening to a recording of  “Some of these days” (Sophie Tucker no doubt).  If they make a movie of my voyage (posthumously of course), that should be the background music.  Some of these days you’ll miss me honey.

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