Category Archives: Team Guate

Birthday Thought to Ellen

Today would have been my friend Ellen’s birthday. She would have been 79 years old. Had she been alive, had I died instead, I would be almost 34 years old and somehow it would have seemed less of a practical joke the universe played on both of us. I welcome it, this dance with death […]

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Because the Moon Tells Me So

I run to stand still. I pray the bus will be late, but knowing the driver, I lock up the house fast, head on into the sun and unabashed blue sky – my only witness to my lateness.  I speed up and run when the hand lights up red. The sun is beaming and suddenly […]

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Fallen Grace

If you saw it coming, then why did you do it? Why did you wait? The four boxes of pizza fell from heaven, slipped right through your fingers while you pecked on your phone, it, too, tumbling to the ground along with your slice half-eaten, the grease making a profile against the brown bag crumpled […]

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Mysterious Lights

Is it possible that a dream can slip and fade away? Like fortune and the winged ankles of Hermes is it something that needs to be grasped on its way in and not on its way out? The sun and blue skies of the San Francisco Bay welcomed us to the New Year where we […]

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The Next Bus

I have this paranoia of missing the bus. It’s more a fear of being left behind to be honest. It’s not something I experience when I’m driving anywhere, late and harried, and somehow my fear of missing something at the other end kicks in. Of course, the show can’t start without me, so that mitigates […]

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Yo No Olvido El Año Viejo

The irony isn’t lost on me. I now do temporary work for a company that makes bridges. “Good afternoon, T.Y. Lin. One moment, I’ll connect you.” T.Y. Lin is a civil and structural engineering firm that did the engineering behind the Rio Dulce bridge, overseen by Chuck Simon who personally flew down to Guatemala when […]

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¡Feliz Navidad!

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Pounding the Pavement

Today I hit the pavements of San Francisco as the sun refused to turn up from the gray blankets. I wound my multi-colored cotton Guatemalan scarf that really doesn’t do much to fend off the cold around my neck and braced for the four temp and staffing agencies where I would be dropping off my […]

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What the Nuns Taught Me

There were two things I quickly learned not to do in my first year living in the United States: not go around telling people how much you loved them and, even worse, telling their secrets to other people. For both you gained a reputation that preceded you as someone “loose” with things that should be […]

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Which Do You Prefer?

“¿Que prefieres – Guatemala o Las Estados Unidos?” my Antigua-based Spanish teacher asked me yesterday over Skype. “Well in Antigua, the people are very nice but they are not quick” I replied. Realizing that I had just described all Antigueños as slow-witted, not slow-moving as I intended, I quickly added: “In the US the people […]

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Belated SMS Thanksgiving

Nov. 25, 2010 We’re on the road again and it makes me want to write. It’s the expanse of fruitless trees with their dried branches adding cracks to the blue sky, the wind hissing through the windows, the tall bales of hay and then the entrance into the walls of pine at the base of […]

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Lights for the Dead and Parades for the Living

We’re getting closer to darkness. El Día de Los Muertos reminds us how close we are to that needlehead thinness between living and passing; the passed and the still yet suffering. Two years ago my friend Ellen died in her sleep, bled into herself after many struggles with cancer. I can’t imagine her struggling because […]

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Coming to Light

My friend Ingrid is having a baby and I feel so helpless. I sit outside in the livingroom among the women, her mother-in-law, her sister-in-law, the mid-wife who peacefully goes in and out of the bedroom where she is giving birth. It is quiet except for the sound of the bubbling water in the fish […]

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Postcards from the Road

While we didn’t send any of you postcards, we do have plenty of images from the road that we’d love to share with you, so here goes! I promise I will write more this week.

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Why Guatemalans Don’t Pay Taxes

A couple of days ago The Guatemala Times published an interesting post entitled: “International Community agrees: Guatemala urgently needs fiscal reform” and I wanted to pull out a significant statistic: “Today and yesterday many of the 150 country delegations that participated at Conference for Reconstruction and Transformation of Guatemala expressed their support for the plan […]

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El Tiempo Lo Dirá

SF BAY AREA – Waking up in one’s own bed after after being away for one year is as close as I’ll get to waking up in a time capsule, buried amid the rubble, rain and weeds that grow around it like a rock. I stare at the red room we painted years ago and […]

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So Close to Oakland, So Far Away from Guate

Oakland bound – Three hours from Oakland and the landscape is so familiar it feels like an old pair of shoes – familiar, comfortable and with the novelty of not having been worn since we left. We have ten weeks to make a lot of things happen to prepare for three years in Central America. […]

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Viva the Venice Bubble

VENICE – This is as exclusive as it gets: boutique shops, macrobiotic protein-powdered food and women, new fast cars, manicured lawns, hair-sprayed dogs, six-pack torsos and accessories for the accessories. No two people are the same on the Venice Beach boardwalk where entire sections reek of medicinal marijuana stores and people ride their bikes and […]

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Back in the USSA

PHOENIX — Around noon we left Hermosillo after much needed rest and pointed our direction north to the Nogales border. Hermosillo is one of my favorite last stops before leaving Mexico, it’s easy, so easy, to find hotels, restaurants, its proximity to the autopista in unbeatable and there’s just a general ease for the I […]

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Goodbye Mark Francis, Hello Jeff Cassman

Editors note: in the wake of the ruling against Jeff Cassman, we’ve received several new and interesting comments regarding this post. Therefore, we’re sticking this one to the front page for the next week so nothing gets buried! HERMOSILLO – I went to sleep with this gnawing feeling of being betrayed and lied to and […]

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