Thursday, October 21, 2010

some overdue photos

highlands of guatemala on the way to Xela

something about this statue.

looking over san pedro to atitlan

another of lake atitlan

traditional dress

Antigua church - never rebuilt after earthquake in the 1700s

I haven't taken photos of Xela off my camera yet. The last couple of weeks have been spent learning a lot about the political history of Guatemala. The civil war and the years preceding it. Feeling some uncomfortable ownership of the role that the US played in creating the civil war. That's always hard, then I feel glad to not be Spanish anyway because there is no escaping the conquistador stories.

Talking a lot about the ways that trying to help so often ends up hurting. Interesting perspectives from smart people who have been doing aide work for a long time, trying to find the balances always. Different opinions about what is helpful vs what is harmful, not finding all the right answers but getting so much smarter. Realizing so many things I've just never thought of before, spending a lot of time just sitting and watching and thinking.

I'm looking forward to getting out to the coffee plantation and doing. There are a couple that I'm interested in and hearing great things about. They are both in their infancy and reportedly really open to ideas and embracing any volunteers that come (and there aren't too many) into the communities for as long as they stay. My thought is to spend a month with each of them, but we all know how my thoughts often change. I look forward to getting there and reporting back.

I went to the cemetery yesterday and everyone is getting everything all cleaned up and freshly painted and ready for Day of the Dead. There are lots of wildflowers growing and in the old parts the cemetery looks more like a meadow where the graves have overgrown with flowers and it's really pretty. I look forward to more walks there.

Love to you all,
be well,

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