January 10th, 2005


(no subject)

Ahh, life on the beach. We have been awakened with the thunderous sounds of fishermen beaching their boats in the morning (they just speed onto the beach and run them aground with a big explosive sound) and we've enjoyed the fruits of their labor for most meals. The food here is unsurprisingly good and seafoody.

To folks' questions: No, we haven't seen dolfins, yet, but we're told they're out here. Every day, someone hits us up to go for a ride in his boat, so one of these days, we'll do it. The surfing scene is BIG, but now is a slow time, so the surfing waves are roughly 8 feet on the outside, at least that we've seen. The beach where people surf is off limits for swimming, and I can see why, but it's great fun to play in the waves just slightly to the west. We haven't run into anti-Guatemalan sentiment that I've noticed, but even though we're relatively close to the border, people don't seem to think much about Guatemala at all.

Mom and I went to the market today, which was fun. It's more open air than the one in Xela, and it smells better. Lots of the same produce, though, and slightly more expensive. It's clear that people here are better off than in Guatemala, which is interesting for me. I think if I were coming her directly from the US, without experience elsewhere, it would seem much poorer than it does with my perspective shifted after time in Guate. Clearly, people here aren't rich, but they're getting along, and the people selling things on the street seem a lot less desperate than what I got used to in Xela, Panajachel and Antigua. I'm sure that shifts from area to area, but at least here, it's not bad.

Similarly, the dogs are in much better shape. Very few of them are as desperate or as ragged as the street dogs in Xela, and many are clearly pets. They fling themselves in exhausted piles in the middle of the street and expect cars to go around them (they do).

The swimming is great, of course, but very sandy where we've been. Dad and I explored a new beach yesterday afternoon, which was a little rockier and more interesting from a snorkeler's perspective.

The boatmen promise us turtles and more beautiful sights if we hire him for a day's excursion. I think next weekend we'll do that one day. During the week, my folks are in classes from 9-11 and then from 1-3, so we stick closer to home.

There are a lot of expats from the states down here. Clearly, their money goes farther here, and it's really beautiful. So far, none of the expats have impressed me as particularly nice people, though, which is too bad.

Watching surfers

Yesterday, the surf was higher than it's been since we arrived. My folks were in class, and I spent the afternoon watching surfers on Playa Marinero (the name of which always gets La Bamba stuck in my head). There were some fairly good (or they looked good to me, as an absolute know-nothing) surfers who managed to get up even though the waves were basically closing out straight across the beach (not angling in where they could get a long ride across the break).

My favorite part, though, wasn't seeing them get up, fun as that was, but when they were paddling out to wait for another big wave. They would ride up, up, up the face of an incoming wave, but out far enough that it wasn't breaking, and with the sun coming through the water, there was a moment when they were profiled perfectly in the jade green water, like flies in amber. If I had the first idea how to capture that moment on film, I'd've spent the whole afternoon trying. Fortunately, I'm not so dedicated to photographic evidence.

Today, I'll hang out at the snorkeling beach, where, if luck, my would-be-beau won't find me.
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