Hola a todos!
It´s becoming abundantly clear to me that I´m not going to be able to tell you about all the places we visit on this adventure. I have notes in my journal of stories that I want to write about, but the last time I had a chance to write to this blog I only had time enough to tell about Oaxaca and Tuxtla. Since then we´ve stayed on the beach in Puerta Arista, Mexico, crossed the border into Guatemala, gotten lost and then found, blind and then seen...no wait...I mean we got lost and then found our way, I got super sick for about 24 hours from something I ate, and now we are in Quetzaltenengo, Guatemala at the home of a lovely family who we met through a Guatemalan Quaker named Christian Sosa. I haven´t met Christian yet but he´s joining us once we get to Guatemala City. Soooo, hope springs eternal, but I don´t think I can tell you about all of that in one or three posts. I´ll just tell you about today and hope that the stories from the past few days will come out in their own time.
Before I proceed I want to put out a request, a plea, if you will: write to me! I can´t tell you how wonderful it is to get news from home, even boring news. It´s very sad to open my email and only have one from my credit card saying my bill is ready and another from Netflix wondering if I want to open an account. That is not exciting, not at all. Tell me stories about how you went to work and an idiot pissed you off, or how you had dinner with a friend and they paid the bill, which made your day, or how you didn´t do anything today except eat saltines and watch the entire first, and only, season of My So Called Life. Tell me anything about your life or just tell me you love me (if you do) and miss me (you must by now!). Ok, end plea.
I can´t add any pictures today because my camera cord is out in the car. Let me explian the car situation because when I told you all I was walking across Central America I was mostly correct, but slightly uninformed. This is a project built around walking. However, when Rolene was getting ready to set out, she was happy to take a burro (como un burro!) and just start walking. Walk With Earth is a non-profit started by Rolene, but run by a board of directors who have some say over how the walk goes. They insisted that Rolene have a support vehicle in case of emergency, medical or otherwise. We have this small RV that we can sleep in when we aren´t taken in by generous people like we were tonight. It´s calming to know that if one of us got sick or hurt or if some danger presented itself, we could get to help quickly. But, the truck presents us with complications also. At the beginning of the walk, in northern Mexico, Rolene´s friend was driving the truck ahead of Rolene and the other walkers. At this point, we don´t have a driver so we have to drive to a town and find a safe place to leave the truck, then bus backwards and walk to the truck, or walk forward and take a bus back. Kind of silly, but we don´t have another option (unless YOU want to come join the adventure, for any amount of time, and drive for awhile. It´s a really fun and cheap way to travel and see this beautiful area of the world. Think about it, you will not regret it!).
Today we left Retalhuleu, where we spent the last two nights in a hotel (I was way too sick to travel, even by car, so instead I lay sweating through the sheets of my bed while Rolene did a bunch of work on the computer) and arrived about an hour and a half later in Quetzaltenengo. The drive was beautiful, with sharp mountains covered in pine trees and precarious looking corn fields on either side of us (the Sierra Madres mountains, I believe). The curves were reminicent of the drive to Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco. Rolene had a speaking gig at the Universidad San Marcos at 5pm so we had enough time eat lunch and take a bus a few miles out of town and walk back to the University. The walk was easy, though the traffic offered us a healthy dose of fumes and dust. When we got back to the University we had a little time to rest before Rolene spoke to a group of agriculture students about the walk and her ideas about how to move towards a sustainable human existence on earth. The 30 or so students were very interested and receptive, and were kind enough to stay for the talk after finishing an exam. I´m not sure that, if I were in their shoes, I would have stayed to hear a strange gringa talk, but either they are more obedient than I, or maybe more polite.
Alex, who came to the talk, then took us to his aunt and uncle´s house where we were given a delicious and simple dinner of scrambled eggs, refried black beans, and fresh tortillas. After dinner, two of their kids came home and in conversation we learned that they lived for two years in Las Cruces, NM! It was very exciting to hear this because a) I was just living there with my sister, Brooke, her husband, Issa and my new nephew, Kouli; and b) it means they speak some English! My brain gets so tired of constantly listening to Spanish and trying to respond appriopriately. It´s nice to let my brain relax for a little while. Granted, Rolene speaks English with me, but still...
As I was writing this, Rolene was playing her harp (not a full-sized one) and Marco Antonio, the father, was playing the guitar and people were singing. It was beautiful and peaceful and altogether lovely. It´s time for bed now. I´m so grateful to be where I am right now and am excited to wake up and see where tomorrow takes me (about 10 miles, give or take, from where I am now). Goodnight and buenas noches!