A week ago, Tyler, Ashley, and Malena visited. Five people in our [race]car, we drove the treacherous roads of Guatemala including the altitude intensive road to Atitlan, the 4WD worthy approach to Volcano Pacaya, and two (unseen) speed bumbs at 50MPH. $450 in new shocks later, the Blurple proudly persists. On Friday night we went to our favorite tiny club, where we met these two random girls who definitely were too cool for us; it was written all over their faces. They were probably high-fashion models who have been trained that smiling is outmoded. So the next day we went to Casa Del Mundo on the lake. Yeah, yeah, it was beautiful and all that crap, but more importantly, you could swim to a 55 foot cliff and jump into the lake (might have been 388 feet, we were just estimating). Rebecca, who also shoots for National Geographic, took this picture of me mid-fall. You can see Tyler and Malena on the ledge about to go next. My advice upon surfacing was "clinch". Of no importance, that night Tyler LOST A TRAGIC GAME OF CHESS TO SOMEONE. The next day we climbed Pacaya, still quite active. I also took the following picture at dusk. It's 16:9, so clicking this link will launch it in a popup. Malena surveys Agua at dusk
This is just a post for my Multimedia Class, in order to get my page about how to Buy a Clocky indexed. My multimedia class is having a competition to achieve the highest ranking on google, and count non-Guatemalan web site hits. They are all advertising Clocky. Here you can pretend to buy a Clocky.
One of Rebecca's kindergartners has finally completed an epic piece set for display in the Galeria de Classroom. The medium is colored wax and graphite on thin stock paper. The artist was attempting to capture the joy she felt living and learning around her teacher and her teacher's fiance. It's entitled "Ms. Rebecca and Jeff". The subtitle is "I love Jeff, I love Ms. Rebecca." (C) All Rights Reserved, Conchita Perez, 5 years old Most critics are calling the work a "masterpiece". It's whimsical approcah to gender roles in education captures the essence of the world-mother-nurturer, and disregards biological sex in a progressive effort to mar traditional stereotypes. Here, Jeff is portrayed in a dress, holding a flower, and being generously chested. The happy couple is set to depart on their mechanical ladybug together.
The next time we return to the good ole USA, I am probably going to be personally searched in some rather personal ways. Let's backtrack. Latin America has the week before Easter off for holiday. It’s called Semana Santa ("Holy Week"). The next time our friends return home, they’ll be sweating, hoping that the information sharing between Guatemala and US Customs is not set to detect Guatemalan exit and corresponding re-entry passport swipes without another country’s stamps nested in (which means that they, in an obvious attempt to support communism, visited Cuba and therefore might face a $2500 fine). So while they nervously wait in line, Rebecca and I will be pulled aside, delayed, patted down, sniffed by dogs because we visited a place that will earn us more harassment: we visited Cartagena, Colombia, where the coffee flows like the cocaine. Just joking. We did not see or meet any other US Citizens during our four days in Cartagena. There were a few Canadians, but this city is unheard of to Americans and it shows. This beach city was the first Spanish port in South America, and faces west on the Atlantic, just west of the northernmost part of South America, which can be hard to visualize... The sun sets over the Atlantic ocean horizon. Four things permeate our experience.
- Hellish heat and humidity
- Neverending supply of qualtiy, free pina coladas
- Interminible beach/street vendors
- Fat and related concepts
My fiance said today: "For some reason, when I woke up this morning, I had the overwhelming urge to learn how to sew." I wasn't even whispering suggestions to her in her sleep - I swear she just popped out with this. I knew I was lucky already but DAMN.
It was REALLY fun.
Today I pitched a $75,000 - $120,000 proposal to our Board of Directors, and it went very well. Last month I designed a plan to save $9000 annually on printing costs and increase controls. In November, I did a month of research and ended up rejecting a $200,000 proposal from an outsourcing provider. I think it's time to apply to business school. My work at Deloitte was complex, fulfilling, and I had engaging coworkers - but I never had this sense of ownership and real, tangible affect. I think this kind of work exists at Deloitte, and I think an MBA will help qualify me for it in the "big league" of the US business scene. Here we go, it's going to be a crazy next nine months.
We celebrated Halloween ... a long time ago... and we took this picture. Woot.
Maximon ("Mah chee moan") - a Mayan god integrated into the local Catholicism. He moves from home to home every year (hosting him is an honor), and the other locals have to find him again every year. They then appease him by putting cigs in his little wooden pucker, give him ties (he's wearing about 25), and pouring rum on his mouth. He's a micheveous little log - one year when there was an outbreak of some sickness, they chopped off his leg to make him stop. He gets recarved every few years because of all the punishments us humans have to dole out to the nasty little god. Its ridiculous, but even many well educated Guatemalans who live in the city such as our law-school friend are still deeply supersticious about persnickity Maximon. A woman using a backstrap loom to weave fabrick. Lago Atitlan
This is especially to make Chad jealous. Around the new year, we climbed Pacaya a second time, this time with our siblings Joel, Mike, and Liz. It was incredible - the volcano was actually erupting right behind us, spewing red lava up to 40 feet in the air. Yes, it was quite safe - there are many types of volcano eruptions, and this one was shooting about 3 cubic meters per minute. A constant flow, or larger pressures with larger volumes would have been dangerous. COMING SOON: SKI TRIP 2005 PICTURES FROM VAIL AND THE BACKFLIP HEARD 'ROUND THE RESORT. Also, "Stupid Cliff" by Mike SiMANek.