Last day at school and two bus trips

Friday was the last day of school.

I got a diploma, haha


But I dodged the ceremony, against the wishes of WBD #2. I pulled this off by asking my teacher Merle to go on a bus trip to a nearby Mayan village I hadn’t been to. San Antonio is about a half hour trip and I reckoned by the time we were back the grad ceremony would be over. This worked perfectly and was totally OK with Merle.

We swopped gifts. After some consultation I was told cash is king and gave Merle some Quetzales in a Mayan-made card and envelope. Merle made me a strange card and gave me what I wanted, a back-up Mayan textile wallet.

The card she made me’s crazy since I show up in sweat-stained T-shirts


I’ll miss Merle – sharp as a whip, zany in a good way. A devout Catholic, she raises two boys with her husband in the largely Mayan village of San Andreas.

I took a short video of her yesterday to remember her by. Here she’s scolding me, haha


So off we go and here she’s being zany asking where the San Antonio bus waits. Notice how the lady is thinking, whoa


Here she asks the bus driver when he leaves.


On we go and the bus waits while a fellow stands up front and does an interesting thing (see the video below). The fellow stood in front of us, introduced himself. He was carrying a large pot of candies. He then walked up the isle and gave us each two. Everyone (except me) knew what was coming and despite that graciously accepted them.

He then returned to the front and explained that he was once a robber (ladrone) which is the main thing here outside of not being a robber. He explained at great length that he saw how terrible he had been, but now he saw the terribleness of himself and how industriously he’s working to live a righteous life and we should buy the candies.

Here’s the guy on the bus doing his thing


Here’s the interesting thing:

1) everyone accepted the candies, before he started in on us

2) the Mayan passengers have all heard this before, maybe everyday

3) they listened politely and intently, no dissenters

4) they all bought the candies when he came around to either collect them, or accept 1 Quetzal.

5) Merle say the Mayans go along with this because it’s not a heist, it’s a philosophy and the immediate picture isn’t the point.

The Mayans keep their ways a secret, but here’s an example of their thoughtfulness. When they graft onto rootstock, they apply the new graft under a new moon at perigee because, obviously, the most important thing is that moisture from the root stock flows with maximum advantage into the new growth, and the greater gravitational attraction of a that moon gives it a very small edge. They know it’s tiny, but tiny still helps.

Arriving at San Antonio, off the tourist map, the bus stop. Anything not very old is cinder block construction. Same as Mexico, but done best by the Hopi of Arizona, who’ve taken cider block to a higher place altogether. As usual, they don’t clip the rebar when they’ve finished the build.


Then a walk into town


Past a washing tank


From the second story of a market there was a loudspeaker instructing school girls how to get organized for the procession, among other things


Down in the church square the girls were lining up, being measured for shoulder height with a pole across their shoulders. The following two photos are intentionally shot from behind. The Mayans don’t like to be photographed and you generally have to ask


The young boys had already started up a street with their anda


Yesterday Claudia and I went to San Felipe to see the display


So ends a busy week.

This morning I downloaded more software for Basecamp. I’ve found that no two maps have all the answers. One GPS map is strong in one area, another in another. It makes route building a little more complicated but as of now I have a series of route options plugged in and we’ll see which way the wind takes me.

The final parts come into Guatemala City Tuesday. Then a couple of days of re-building.

Everything else is ready for a quick shakedown.

P1040712 - Version 2


2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Well, I for one will be sorry to leave Merle and Claudia behind. (Love Merle’s card). I like the stories of life in Antigua – very colorful and the people seem delightful. But I suppose if it’s time to leave, then on y va.

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