Thursday, August 6, 2009


Well, at least I gave it a shot, right? Despite the huge bottle of anti-altitude sickness pills my doctor gave me before I left, I still couldn¨t get any firther than about a third of the way up the volcano trail. I had a pretty heavy pack to carry, for one. Plus, I had only been in Xela for two full days, so my lungs clearly had not made the adjustment to the thin air here. I try to look on the bright side; at least I was able to get back when I got sick. Last time it happened while en route to India and I was stuck to the floor of the plane like I was on one of those Round Up rides at a carnival, with no way to escape.
It was still pretty amazing to be an the volcano, see Xela from that eight and see a beautful full moon, so I´m not crying (that much.) Plus I got to talk to one of the people who runs the tour company, she has some amazing stories and was kind enough to stay with me the whole time until I was picked up in a truck to get back to town.

Yesterday afternoon was something really special because I finally got to do some work at the shelter with the children of the women who are staying there. I lugged a bunch of stuff from the States with me (thank you Vic for the pipe cleaner idea!), so we taught them how to makes flowers.
They were all really excited about the activity. One child, Oliver, is one of those kids that will immediately run up to you and hug you without knowing you very well. He was the second new buddy I´ve made here. And he´s a real character too, I tell you.
I somehow because official hoja maker (i.e. leaf cutter), because I made one for my own flower, so everyone came up to me for their own. I have to admit that I liked the attention. lol
There is one little girl, Blanca, whose photo I will post below (along with Oliver´s, of course), who was really enthusiastic about the project. And she made beautiful entire bouquet of them. And what a sweetheart. I can´t wait to see here again tomorrow when I make lunch for the mothers and children.
Once again I must say that everyone is taking great care of me. I don´t even cry when I get lost (lol), and I´ve made a few friends from both U.P. and some others who are just passing through on their own personal journeys, from really young high school kids to people in their sixties. And everyone pretty much knows one another and does activities together. I like this world I might be well-suited for the nomad lifestyle myself. Traveling and getting to know people is a huge education in itself and I think it´s possible I´ve learned far more this way than in any classroom. Plus, I´m a dyed-in-the-wool Saggitarius, we are travel junkies.
I´m meeting Marlo soon at the school soon and I´ll try to convince her to find a cooperative market for me to buy some goods at. I haven´t bought anything except for postcards so far, but I really have the desire to buy crafts from the local Mayans. By the way, not only are they beautiful people, but their clothing is gorgeous and they can balance just about ANYTHING on their heads. AND carry a baby on their back at the same time. Incredible. I love this place.
XO val

1 comment:

  1. This is so exciting and wonderful! And I love that I get to read about it almost as it's happening. Proud of you for doing this. xoxo