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Archive for August 23rd, 2015

8 Aug 2015


Mournful timanou calls wake me in the morning.

Chris came back last night. It rained throughout the day, so he was delayed until the evening. He also came bearing more rocks for the sink for us to carry up the hillslope to the house. I take it upon myself to do so in the morning. It is the stairmaster from hell and I am soon completely drained of energy and sweat.

In the afternoon, Luke, Connor, and I hike over to San Pedro Columbia to acquire some beers, which Chris does not have at the farm. It takes about 40 minutes to ford the river, battle the ants that seem to have occupied the opposite bank, clamber up the slick over-vegetated hillslope to the main trail and then follow the well-maintained trail into town. We find a bar and drink one before the road. Belekin is probably the best of the Central American beers that I have had in my travels. It is surprisingly dark and creamy for a region that usually prefers watery light beers. I suppose it is the influence of the English in Belize. We meet several interesting characters in the short time that it takes to drink our beers.

Meet Robert: English immigrant to Belize who brought his Spanish wife and children from Guerrerro in Mexico. He was a silversmith who brags about doing business with small-time cartel drug dealers by constructing belt buckles with secret compartments. Apparently his business partner threatened his family, so he left the country and made a bee-line for Belize and settled in an Earthship in San Pedro. Now he is in charge of a Maya school, which is somewhat ironic. It appears that he thinks gringos need to lead the Maya to produce Maya leaders.

Meet Alonso: A short, stocky, but hardened Maya day laborer who is completely drunk by the time we arrive. He proceeds to butt into our conversation and tell us a.) that we need to love each other b.) that Jesus is the king and that our time is coming, so we better get right with Jesus and c.) that he is tired and that they need to pay him more if he is going to work this hard. Coda, repeat.

Meet Adriana: Middle aged Maya woman whose son, “Wants to smoke the weed.” Upon telling her that we can’t help him there, she asks whether we happened to know how much a leg costs. Apparently her mother is a diabetic that lost her leg. A replacement is not easy to come by in San Pedro.

We head back along the same trail just before dark and eat dinner, lounging in hammocks and chatting before bed. The sky is clear and for the first time during my stay I notice the stars, so bright that they seem as though they provide enough light to see from the porch. The milky way stains the tapestry of night.

I wake up in the night. The water drops condensing on leaves and falling on the metal roof are torturous. Drip…..drip drip…..drip….drip drip drip…… ……..drip drip… Coda, repeat. I open my eyes to check the time. The darkness stares back. It is complete. It wraps its clammy, warm embraces around me as I lay sweating under the sheets. Tighter, tighter. It is a constrictor; a noose. It is a mirror. The darkness reflects my dark mind, dark heart. It offers no consolation for all the mistakes, imperfections, failures, missed opportunities that it exposes as I ruminate, trying to return to sleep. So I lay there, in my mosquito net tomb, until the morning light shatters the mirror. Drip…..drip drip…..drip….drip drip drip…… ……..drip drip… Coda, repeat.

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