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February 11, 2015

Day 27 Tuesday, February 10, 2015

At 9:00 am Janet, Karen, Lisa and I caught our van to Comitencillo, where we met up with Janet’s husband Ken and Jim and Liz who had left Xela a few days earlier to work on other aspects of the GSP project, which we will now be doing also. Our van ride was about 3 hours higher up into the mountains, again with corkscrew turns and very narrow roads. Not as much fun as the chicken bus but maybe safer and a lovely, friendly driver who could speak Spanish and English and explained a lot of things to us. We passed truckloaimage image image image image image image imaged after truckload of trucks filled with satchels of potatoes, which are a good crop here, being exported to other Central American countries. Our hotel is much cleaner and again we have been warned about bed bugs but the mattress and box spring on my bed look new and are wrapped in plastic so I think I will be okay. We did not have a meeting until 3:00 pm so I left the hotel and walked to the Main Street and sat there for about an hour and watched all the street activity. Lots of street vendors and an incredible display down the middle of the street with used clothing. I wondered where the people selling the American style clothing got it. Many, many students passing through the street and many in lovely uniforms, while others are dressed in the above. As usual all the boys have their hair slicked handsomely, which I remember clearly from our schools in Nicaragua, even though the kids lived in shacks. Once again, lots of  beautiful dogs running loose trying to find a scrap of food to eat. Wished I had a dish to pour water into for them as I sat there. A couple of “legends”, as Gary and Bryan would say, passing up and down the street, harmless I believe , but really dirty and rough looking, likely also looking for a scrap of food. Lots of little children, some very poor I am guessing by their clothing and one little boy , very poor looking, breaking my heart as he  went up and down the street with his shoe shine kit. Most of the women are in their Mayan dress, which is so beautiful. The sun was shining, the sky blue, the temperature warm and I enjoyed sitting at the edge of the road, although this is not a tourist town and people look curiously at you.  At 2:30 pm we met our driver and 2 local woman who work with one of the local GSP partners and we drove way, way up even higher into the mountains to a school where we visited  3 different classrooms of students in grades 7 and 8 . The kids all looked so eager and handsome. In each classroom there was a student who is being sponsored by the GSP to continue their education,  as the government only provides schooling to grade 6. Lovely girls; different stories. One had to drop out after grade 6 and her family could not afford the expenses to have her continue but now at age 16, she is back  and must work hard to maintain her bursary. Families will try to have their boys continue their education in many instances but often do not see the value of girls continuing and that is why there are so many young girls with babies and the cycle of poverty continues. The people here speak MAM, which is nothing like Spanish but in school are taught Spanish and some English. The ride up and down the mountain was quite rough as there were  9 of us squished into the old truck and some of us in the back. One wrong move by the driver and we were doomed straight down the cliffs! Back to our hotel, out for a bite to eat and then we all settled in for the night soon after.


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  1. RALPH MILLAR permalink

    Hi Kathy:We continue to follow your travels. Sean is reading along. His hockey team played their last regular season game tonight with a tie. They finished in 3rd place for the season and start the playoffs this Saturday at  5 P.M against the sting.That will be a best of 3 games series.He had 23 goals during the season.  The weather here has been extremely cold with frequent small snow falls. You are lucky to be in warmer climes. Keep well and continue to enjoy your time.                             Pat

    • Thanks Pat..sure appreciate you making sure Sean reads my blogs and all the other news you give me!oxox😄

  2. Gary permalink

    Hey MoM, no way I would be driving on the old mountain roads……i dont know how you do it! IF yuo see that “Legend” again, send him a “giiidaaaaayyyy” from me! Miss you!

  3. Barbara permalink

    Your blog is my mandatory reading. Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences.
    So envious of the beautiful weather you are enjoying… we continue to be in deep freeze.

  4. Bryan permalink

    I would fit right in with the legends there.

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