TRAVEL LOG IN GAUTEMALA
A few travel experiences . . .
October 22nd, Antigua, Guatemala:
A very aggressive street urchin, beggar and peddler has become my friend. This is how I am learning the language. Today I was walking across town on an errand and I started to talk with a kid who was selling cashews. After he realized I could speak good Spanish and that I was asking a lot of questions in Spanish, he asked me about some English words, in particular, how to say, “a half pound, quarter pound, 4 ounces” — words important to his livlihood. I spent 10 minutes with him and returned on my way back from the errand to find him yet again eager to learn more. While I was teaching him more phrases, tourists flocked to his corner and bought cashews (thanks to the “if there’s a crowd it must be a good deal theory). He offered me free cashews and wants me to teach him more. His name was Alfonso and he was 16 years old. I hope I see him again.
November 1, Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala
We came to a point that was about a hundred yards from the edge of the volcano and I have not been this scared in a long long time. The mountain was “quite active” as the guides later said. Every 20 seconds with an earth-shaking roar and deafening hiss, the earth would bellow forth a huge plume lava. Each time the earth roared the clouds above would turn red. The fumes of sulpher were choking and soot was in the air and getting in our eyes. To top it off the weather was bad, windy and cold and everyone put on all available clothing.
From where we stood, you could hear the lava bombs fall to the ground no more than 200 feet from us or less. I hoped the majority of each erupting lava blast was being sent in the other direction but the nearby landing landing rocks were enough for me. Then Miguel, our guide, anounced because we could not see the lava that we would go look at the the lava flow. We walked a few hundred yards from the crater and saw a cloudy glow above the flowing lava below us. It was still cold and totally clouded over much like Seattle during a storm.
Later in the Country:
The following passage is an excerp from Guatemala, A Cry From The Heart, by V. David Schwantes. The passage is about Father Andres Giron, a pastor in a small village called NuevaConception in southern Guatemala who was being interviewed. At the time the Father was in danger of being killed by the death squads that were terrorizing the country. Now he is in high esteem and has a seat on the Gautemalan congress.
Loaves and Fishes, p 114
“I believe in one miracle that really changed my mind, and my life,” he said. That was the miracle of the loaves and fishes. I was beginning to think I was on familiar ground when he shocked me again. “To me that’s a big lie,” Padre Andres said, referring to the idea that Jesus created an enormous feast from a few scraps. “It’s more truthful when you think that Jesus came up and talked to people, and he knew that people were hiding bread. And he had the power to convince them that you must share your bread with others. And that’s when the miracle happened.”
“The greatest miracle,” Padre Andres said, is “if you can change the suffering of people. If you can change that, then this world will be better.”
Copyrighted by Josh Gerak