Though I am still coughing in a way that does not sound very good, I am much better than yesterday. It has been a looong time since the only thing I wanted to do all day was lay down. It felt so good on my poor body. We had incredible winds for 4 days and nights here in Pana, especially along the Rio where we are staying, and it seemed to bring me a very runny nose which, as usual, brought on a very nasty and painful chest cold. I am definitely through the worst of it, thankfully, with partial thanks to hot toddies. Last night as I was laying on the couch staring out the window I noticed the first star of the evening and a tiny little spot of a star right next to it which may have been my blurred out eyes, and I wished that if it were in the best interests of the area and my body that the wind would stop today and I would get better. Both happened, and I am Quite grateful. That kind of wind really does something to your sense of stability.

Since last writing, we met a great German-Guatemalan gallery owner named Tomas who reminds me of Bill Hannaford, but willing to listen just a little bit more. Brilliant guy, really, with great priced prints of fantastic work by a woman who goes by Angelika and lives around the lake here. Also lots of other beautiful things, really good work, and it feels good to be able to actually purchase something, anything in a gallery. He claims his is the oldest gallery in Central America, and I believe that, for no other reason than that I like Tomas. He is also a carpenter of sorts who does things in the best way he knows how, using materials that last, some that are actually extinct now, and he owns a sort of wood working shop (more like a hole in the wall with a door that leads to an open area about the size of two shops here) where he employs rather good carpenters and pays them accordingly. Also, after the civil war he employed several ex'soldiers and trained them to be good woodworkers in a hundred thousand dollar program. He is definitely a cool dude, an anarchist by claim and action. He filled us in on the lack of real government, the ability that affords to do things yourself, the fake police and what woods to use in construction. It was quite good.

Then we met on Mikes birthday last Friday night a guy who sails boats across the Atlantic for a living, and he was pretty fantastic. I dont know what else to say about him, but we talked all night, me and him and Mike and Nick. It was a good night, wish I had more to say about it. He told us about Morocco, travelling through Mexico and what it is like to travel across the Atlantic. Made us all want to be sailors to varying degrees.

There is a hole in the wall restaurant in town here called the Cordon Bleu, which is this old ass guy who employs one of, he says, the best cooks of her generation in town. The food is very good, quite reasonable (which is asking a lot in Panajachel), and the prices are phenomenal. The room is pretty crap, but fresh double pina coladas for 10Q is something. Actually, the food is great, but the drink prices are really the winner about this place, there is an entire page of drinks for around or just over a dollar, some just under. It is like happy hour all the damn time.

Also, Crossroads Cafe, another one like Cordon Bleu which is not in the Lonely Planet guide. It serves the best coffee I have ever had. The guy who runs it, Mike, is incredible, funny, entertaining, and quite love-able, his wife, Adele, makes delicious pastries upstairs, and they homeschool two kids. I highly, HIGHLY recommend the coffee, which you can have shipped to your door for 11 dollars per lb (www.crossroadscafepanajachel.com). These folks pay up to twice fair trade prices for coffee that is sometimes moved by mule from the farm over the mountains to the closest airstrip. They buy the heart of the harvest from the same farms as the UN in NY, Virgin Atlantic, and Starbucks. and Mike roasts them better than anyone, I say! They are great people, and it makes no sense to buy from anywhere else if you pay the same cost. Also, some of his coffee is organic, but he says he doesnt care about that marketing label, that the best coffee is always shade-grown, bird-friendly and raised with very good farming techniques. Buy it.

What else, hm... Maya Traditions, Tradiciones de Mayas, they are great, too. But I think I already blogged them. Look them up if not.

with love,

1 comment:

pattycakes said...

could not believe anything better to do with your life then explore .

I will always keep a happy heart just knowing this you have done

and happy late birthday hugs to mike and to be hugs for the birthday girl to come
warm heart wishes for you all