As I begin my last day here in El Remate, I am pleasured by the sound of UB40 and Bob Marley playing in the background. I´m also humored by the pigs, dogs and chickens passing by the door entrance to this room filled with computers. It´s been such an incredible journey here. Before coming here I had a few moments where I wondered how I would occupy my time in a very small town on a lake in a remote part of Guatemala, but I’ve been busy!
Yesterday for example we spent the morning planting seeds in some of the square foot gardens that were created by the local women in their yards. This was a reborn project through the inspiration of my friend Allison, who discovered this beautiful place and then brought it to my attention. We walked from home to home where one might easily use judgment in regards to the style of their homes made out of scrap metal, wood and brick. Where ducks and chicks roam freely in and out of the house, dogs unleashed and sometimes with no collars running round. There was a puppy I was playing with who was teething and was just as familiar as puppies at home.
We then went to lunch at El Gringo Perdido with our friend Anne who moved here from Canada and started Project Ix-Caanan http://www.ixcanaan.com/ who also manages El Gringo Perdido. We had lunch waiting for us already prepared of spaghetti topped with curried vegetables, and fresh made peanut sauce. We quenched our thirst with fresh coconut water that was taken out of a coconut from a tree we could see from our chair.
During that conversation I learned a little bit more about why the dogs look like they are starving. It turns out they are all owned by the locals, they are not just scavengers and they are fed. Sometimes with a diet of corn mixed with beans, rice other scraps, but they are fed. The problem is-parasites. It´s my wish that a vet would come to this place and educate them about why they should be fixed to control population and to offer some sort of natural alternative that is affordable to kill the parasites so the dogs can get properly nourished.
We then went up to the Women´s Center where another group of women have been meeting for about 5 years. It´s interesting to see the common group dynamics that can take place anywhere, the problems, discussions and results. From there we went home and swam in the lake and socialized with some of the others on the dock. One was the owner of the bungalow I was staying in and the another was Angelo who´s restaurant I have frequented quite a bit since I´ve been here. It was also fun to watch him throw a stick in the lake where one of his german shepherd´s dove off the dock, into the water and retrieved the stick.
For dinner….where else but Angelo´s restaurant Orquideaes to have the Caprese salad, eggplant parmesan and a bottle of Chilean red wine one last time. The sky was once again filled with lightning and thunder but no rain storm, just the sound and light effects. After I went back to my room and began to pack my things up since I won´t have too much time today and closed my eyes.
On this trip I did everything I had wanted to do and whenever I thought of or mentioned something I wanted, within hours and sometimes within minutes I got it! We´ve been told because of the Quartz crystal in the earth here mixed with the powerful sun, the energy is strong here. It´s a place where your issues will stare at you in the face or from what I´ve experienced, things manifest pretty quickly.
What I won´t miss…the bugs, insects, and getting bitten! The heat and humidity is very intense at this time of year too but also makes me appreciate those lake swims that much more. What I will miss….the daily surprises, the lake, the food, new friends, a slower paced lifestyle, animals who roam free, the lightning and thunderstorms. I will also miss the sounds of the jungle-howler monkeys, the many many birds that wake me up in the morning, and the crickets and the wind that caressed me to sleep at night, almost as if it was a lullabye.
Why I´m looking forward to coming home…Georgie my cuddly dog, my familiar and comfortable bed, friends, family, our American conveniences (we are spoiled in so many ways), cooking in my kitchen, and getting back into the swing of things. I had wanted to get out of the country for a few weeks, someplace tropical and warm, get recharged and take on a new appreciation for loving what is and seeing that I have enough. Bastante rather than suficiente.
Every time Allison and I sat down to enjoy one of our many yummy meals or get lost in the scenery of our surroundings, we would look at each other and say, “life in Guatemala sucks, it´s so dangerous” and then we would have a good laugh. It´s now our running joke. I know I will be back. In fact I´m envisioning a summer or winter teen retreat here in Guatemala, that includes El Remate and maybe a few of the other places I´ve visited. Now to get home and plan it. What else can I manifest…