Thursday, March 12, 2015


Over the weekend we were able to visit the city and then on the next day go to the seaside..San Jose. Guatamala has little access on the Atlantic, other than a small area south of Belize. So the majority of the beaches are on the Pacific Ocean. As expected, the sand is dark grey, volcanic sand, and the waves are uneven and the undertow very strong. For security reasons we were taken to a water park that includes pools and slides, but that gives access to the ocean. It was uplifting to be surrounded by Guatamalan families enjoying the sun and sea. These are of course families with the means to get out of the city. Obviously not the majority of people here.
The sand was burning hot, even at 10am, so walking the distance from the pool to the water (about 500 metres,) was a feat and required good shoes, as  the hot sand covered our feet. The water is very warm and felt great. Just to be in the sun and water after our wickedly cold Canadian winter was a treat. We ate fresh fish (corvina) under a thatched roof that covered tables set up in the sand. The local rooster pecked around looking for scraps as we ate.
Getting a bit of local colour was worth the slow, hot trip back to the CASA.
Our little group of six is back at the school and trying to finish the windows before we move on to new projects next week. The silicone used to glue the panes of plexiglass is very sticky. The result is that each pane has finger marks which we then remove with varsol. Supplies are I went again to buy more silicone with Sister Clara Luz. And I bought a gallon of Varsol myself at Walmart (like McDonalds and Burger King they are everywhere!). We had been using the same last little drop of Varsol for a week and there did not seem to be any forthcoming, so that is my contribution to the project.
There are two washrooms on the second and third floor that are ready for fixtures or full of old building materials. They had been used as storage rooms, one of them full of old computers waiting to be updated. We have now cleared them out, painted the walls and tomorrow we will find another place to store the computers that are presently on top of the urinal!  At least that washroom can be used if the carpenter puts on doors. We will not be able to put in any fixtures in the third floor washroom, as it seems Sister Clara believes in divine providence and perhaps the hope that they will fall from the sky.
A special treat last night was attending the Guatamala National Ballet. Five of us were able to "escape" from the compound and attend this event. It was certainly very different to be surrounded by beautiful people, perfume scented and dressed to the nines. There really are two worlds here.We are very fortunate to be able to experience both.

Thursday, March 11.
We finished the windows with the plexiglass, with the two remaining being either too high to reach, or needing soldering first. So next week, three classes will move upstairs and out of their cramped quarters downstairs. The project will be put on hold waiting for washroom doors and fixtures.
Tomorrow we are off to Tikal, ( 40 years after our first visit) and then two weeks at Chaquelte where I will be doing outdoor work at the farm coop. No internet so news will continue later.

No comments:

Post a Comment