So I have long-since learned that ¨the coast¨ means anywhere that is not in the mountains vaguely in the direction of the ocean… So last Sunday, when my host family said they were taking me to ¨the coast,¨ I figured there would be no ocean involved. That was correct.
We left at ¨5 en punto¨ (aka 5:40am) and drove 2 hours towards La Democracia, but not without stopping at a gas station to fill up and see their 2 ostriches- Of course! Only in Guatemala.
So we got to my family´s friends´ house, which is pretttttty much in the middle of nowhere where electricity and running water do not go. It was so pretty! There were sugar cane fields all around and SOOO many wild fruit trees (mangos, limes, nonnis, nances, bananas, coconuts, plantains, avocados, and more mangos…)
We ate breakfast there around 7:30 or 8 (eggs and beans, in case you were wondering), and then went for a bicycle ride to the nearby ¨river¨ to cool off. Note: Riding a semi-broken bike on roads made of sand with a belly full of beans when its 20148 degrees—not the best choice. Anyway, we got to the ¨river¨ (a creek) and it was deemed too dirty to get into, so we rode into town to get some air in the tired of Flor´s bike and then rode back home—hotter than ever. At this point, I got to take a beautiful though sweaty nap in a hammock, so I was a happy camper, though wishing they´d had a fridge for a cold beverage.
I woke up to lunch preparations, which meant 2 bleeding chickens were brought out from the back to be plucked and cooked. Yep. No, I did not help pluck; but yes, I did watch, because, as my fellow YAV Laura said- If I can´t watch the complete preparation of my food, I have no business eating it. Anyway, I didn´t throw up (though I thought I might) and lunch was made. Nothing like hot chicken soup when it´s a million degrees out. Yummy.
After lunch, we rested and chatted for a while, and then the young folk took another bike ride to the river, and this time didn´t really care how dirty it was – we were dying of heat, so we got in. Everything was going well until 9year old Emiliano started splashing… An all-out water war ensued, and we eventually rode our bikes back to the house, sopping wet. It felt SO good!
I don´t know if people just instinctively carry around a change of clothes, or if it was just for this particular occasion, but when we got back, everyone else pulled out their spare outfits. Wellllll, I did not get that memo, and so was loaned a pair of very bright, very mesh Hammer pants from my host sister Claudia (40ish years old). It was very nice of her, and I was glad to be able to get out of my sopping wet skirt for the ride home.
About that time, we piled back into the cars to go home, but wait! There was a parting gift! Not only did we go and pick literally over 100 mangos on the way home, but the friends also gave us a bag of limes, a bag of nonni fruits, about 30 plantains, 3 chickens, 2 ducks, and some other random stuff. Score!
All in all, it was such a sweet day to have rest and relaxation, and a little glimpse of why God has me here in Guatemala this year.
Bendiciones a todos, and a special shout-out to my mom; Happy Mother´s Day tomorrow!