Volcanos, earthquakes, Spanish school, getting a job, and the stone man...

"Shades" selling banana bread
We crossed Lake Atitlan by boat to arrive at the town of San Pedro with only a population of about 1800 people. We immediately understood its quiet appeal and have been here three weeks. We soon got to know Shades and her boys. She's selling banana bread and carrot cake in order to get a cornea transplant. Her kids are great jokesters.

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We've been here now for three weeks and Brians already ordering beer and talking like an ol' timer..."I remember the town...two weeks ago...things have changed". We hiked "The Nose" (the mountain in the background) last weekend another Guatemalan couple.

Lots to do....

We rented kayaks one day and paddled around the lake. It is supposed to be 1200 feet deep in the middle and is crystal clear. Everyone does their laundry and bathes near the edges of the lake. We can hear eerie marimba music playing from across the lake even though it is miles away.

We are surrrounded by coffee processing plants. We see tons of coffee beans being shelled and dried and then loaded up into 150 lb bags.This picture was taken from our balcony looking opposite the lake. Still it is hard to get a great cup of coffee here because they export the good stuff and serve us the Nescafe.

They are very friendly folk in Guatemala. We see this guy most every day at lunch but I have no idea what his name is because he speaks the local Mayan language of Tzutujil and doesn't understand much Spanish... Yet somehow he manages to charm his way to get one of my tangerines after I buy a bunch.

These are two teachers at the Mayab' Spanish School where we took a week of Spanish classes. (Brian was writing stories by Wednesday!) Lucky for me they were looking for someone to design a website for them, so I've been working the last three weeks taking pictures, hiking volcanos, writing, translating Spanish into English. It's been a lot of fun and we've made alot of great friends. Check it out at:

Feliciano is a local resident here in San Pedro, La Laguna. He sees visions and then carves them into small stone sculptures. His little "museum" was one of the most amazing things we have seen so far! There is a story behind each little trinket. All the money he recieves for selling them goes for medicine for the poor. We were lucky to have him also sing us a song.

These kids and their family set up a little photo shoot for us on their roof. It was a shot promoting a "family stay" option for the school's website that I'm making. They later gave us our own private mini-concert with their dad conducting. We often meet up with the eldest boy, Pedro, at the internet cafe and play around with graphic art programs. He says he wants to work with computer when he gets older.

Brian and Eddy give the Marimba a try. (Eddy is the director of the Mayab' School. We have been working with him and the Mayan community to build their website.) Eddy's wife, Elvira, taught my Spanish class and they were the couple who hiked the volcano with us this past weekend.

Brian's read at least 13 books since we've started our trip. I think the hammock helps. He found us the best room with a view in town! We have the whole third story of an "Escher-like" hotel to ourselves, even with a roof for sunning.

We've felt two earthquakes here so far...the one yesterday was 5.1 on the Richter scale!!! We're in volcano territory, no doubt. We saw Volcano del Fuego erupt a couple of times during our hike to "the Nose". On our way down "the Nose" we stopped by a village fiesta and watched them dance in elaborate costumes. It solved the mystery of where the eerie marimba music was coming from...boy, these guys really liked to play and dance!

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