So here I am at the Posada Santiago, and it truly lives up to its slogan “rustic elegance.”  This is the most luxurious place I’ve stayed since arriving in Guatemala a month and a day ago.  It’s 10 PM and I have played my set, and eaten a huge steak dinner, and visited with David the proprietor and his friends.  I practiced hard and played well (funny how that works).  It’s a big dining room and there were a lot of people, and a few of them were enjoying my stuff, and that’s good enough for me.  If I could choose my audience, it would be only those few, but as an employee, my job is to play for who is there. And by the way, I read the story about the San Lucas Band and Alexander Olshanetsky’s ex-grand-daughter-in law, and then I played Ikh Hob Dikh Tzufil Lieb.  But it’s funny that after all that buildup about this gig, there’s something else that I’m more excited about.

There are pickup trucks from here to San Lucas, and I had in mind that I might go over there tomorrow, but I stumbled upon something much more wonderful than blundering around ignorantly in another town.  Last night in Pana, I was at a Sufi dance (I know, reader, you are doing a double take.  Sufi dance?)  and one of the people I met was a woman named Jennifer.  Today here at Posada Santiago, I unexpectedly encountered the same Jennifer because she is the masseuse here at the Posada on Wednesdays (are you getting the picture about rustic elegance?)  She was sitting and talking with a woman named Susanna and we got into a conversation, and I was mentioning the San Lucas Band, and it turns out that this Saturday night Susanna is going to attend the fiesta of San Sebastian at a local confradía, which is a Mayan place of worship, analogous to a church or temple.  There will be music, including marimbas and horns, celebrating the fiesta. And I can go there with her.  I am in heaven.

I told David (owner of the Posada) about it, and he said the confradía music is horrible, painful to listen to.  But he offered me a discount on a room for Saturday night and I am taking him up on it.  And none of this would have happened if I hadn’t had a gig to play here.