Sorry it´s been a little while... Things around here have been fairly tranquilo as Christmas break dragged on for me and we continue to search for new work projects for me to do for the rest of my YAV time here...
However, we did have another (monthly) YAV retreat at the beach this past weekend! Monterrico! Even though Guatemala is NOT known for its beaches, (If you are a surfer, or a beach connoisseur, don`t come here) Monterrico is warm and clean... so for us, it was a lovely getaway! The beach was black volcanic sand, and the waves were SUPER strong!! We really didn´t want to go in past our knees for fear of being pulled out to our death by the sea! Because of this, all the hotels around have pools, so we spent most of our water-time in our hotel`s pool, which was a very pleasant change from Xela`s frost in the morning. Also, there are a LOT of mosquitos (and other flea-LIKE biting pests) down there, so we came back with many recuerdos of our time there.
Saturday night, our first night, we were able to do a sea tutle race. I didn´t know what this was, and was picturing some sort of disturbing cock fight, but never fear world- it was totally (mostly) PC. It´s the end of sea turtle egg-hatching season, so everyone there paid to have a baby turtle, which we then all let go of at the same time, màs o menos, to see whose got to the ocean first. Mine was definitely a squirmer, so sadly he wasted most of his energy before hitting the sand... but it was fun, and the money goes towards the turtle conservatory, so hopefully little Johnson is the 1 in 1000 that makes it... I bet he is.
Other than that, we did our usual retreat activities; sharing stories from the month, relaxing, discussing the assigned reading (Omnivore`s Dilemma-- you should read it), and utilizing the abundance of hammocks at the hotel. It´s a good time.
On Monday morning, we took a sunrise canoe boat-tour of the mangroves in Monterrico. Yes, that´s right- sunrise, as in 5:30am... but it was totally worth it! The mangroves are full of trees whose roots grow from above into the water, and loads of water fowl whose names I don´t know in English, and it was really really pretty. We also got to see many fishermen and see the sun rise on the Pacific-- not too shabby.
I got back to Xela last night on an eventful shuttle ride (which took 2x longer than normal and included the standard tire change and a road-side pickup on the highway), many bugbites, and just a hint of a tan, so it was all worth it.
Hope everyone´s doing well. Thanks for following along, world!