Monday, January 15, 2007

Travelin' fool

Things have been pretty busy around here lately, as a result of the fact that it's coffee selling time, and just like last year all the stuff the cooperative should have done to get ready to export their crop got put off until the last minute and is now being done in a ridiculous hurry with some fast-approaching deadlines that may have already been missed. For example, the container of coffee they have promised to sell this year is supposed to be on the boat the 21st, it has to sit in storage in Siguatepeque for at least 12 days before going anywhere, and not all of that coffee has even made it to Siguat yet. D'oh.

Regardless, they're negotiating in some way or another up there in Agua Fría while I run around with the truck drivers taking loads to Siguat and coming back. Two trucks full of about 180 sacks each have already gone, and a third is supposed to leave this afternoon. I'm still waiting to get some kind of confirmation about this. I think it might not leave until tomorrow. Either way, I'll probably be racking up three trips to that town within a week and then I'm going back there AGAIN the 23-26th for this year's Project Workshop. Fun times!

My last post was pretty shortly before New Year's, which was a lot of fun. Once again I ended up hanging out a lot with the extended family of my friend Osmaris.... his grandpa Don Genio who's one of my neighbors, his dad who owns the pulpería in town, and all of his uncles and aunts and cousins. They were all at Don Genio's house for a few days having fun, so I really didn't have a good excuse not to walk over and visit. Plus they are really an entertaining bunch to hang out with, besides the fact that they seem to be trying to marry off one of their Don Genio's granddaughters to me. I might not even mind that much considering how extremely beautiful women seems to be a family trait of theirs, but they're all super evangelical (two of Osmaris' uncles are preachers) and also try to get me to participate in their services. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell them politely that I'm not interested in being reborn in Christ or fearing God. This particular service I was at was a little more intense than the one last year and I started to feel like a damned phony, sitting there and participating but not buying a word of it. It's not that I think their beliefs are wrong or dangerous or offensive, but just being their passively and not letting them know what I really think made me start to feel guilty and really insincere, not something I like to be. I need to just find an excuse to explain my personal beliefs to the preachers, and then they can preach at me all they want and I won't mind. :) As I said, they're great people anyways.

Speaking of the Gutierrez clan, Osmaris is back home again after getting fired from the electric plant in San Lorenzo. On the selfish side, we can hang out more now and play chess and stuff. I do hope he gets a job again soon though. He has a girlfriend in the area that I think he'd probably like to marry but he needs to get his employment situation under control first.

The weather here has been pretty awesome lately (Maya and Mom can probably attest to this claim since it was near perfect December weather when they were here, besides being slightly warmer than usual). Lately it has been more windy, but continually cool and clear, and the bugs are evaporating along with the puddles. This is my favorite time of year right now, when it's dry and cool and bugless, but hasn't started to get really hot, dusty, leafless, and brown like it will around March-April.

I can't think of much more relavent/interesting news at the moment, and this time I'm all out of philosophical observations, so I guess I'll wrap this up and hit the post button. Love to everyone, especially grandpa, who based on what I hear probably won't be able to tune in much to my blogs from this point. My thoughts are with you, Grandpa.


At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got to hang out with the bright and fun Guiterrez clan over the holidays. They are models of good and true human beings. How's chess going? Has Alex (is that the adopted little brother's name?) beat you badly yet? Nice that Osmaris is around for you two to hang. Don't feel bad about not being in tune with this family's religious beliefs. You know that you are just a visitor, honoring their customs and beliefs, as in any other situations in which you do not aspire to the same specific cultural goals, so to speak. Though 'taking Jesus into your heart' is not your way of being the best person you can possibly be, you DO aspire to that goal in other ways. If they ask, you can politely say that in your culture it is a personal matter, not necessarily shared with everyone. In spite of the fundamentalist pressure these days in the US, we continue to have the right to hold our beliefs under the mantle of our hearts, without feeling that we are obliged to share them with the general population. I think this is true of most of us Unitarian/Buddhist types, right? I think that your dad and I would agree that we have always believed that each individual has the right to search for truth and goodness in his or her own way, that it's OK to let mystery remain mystery for its own beautiful sake, and hope that you know this. Just because your beliefs are different doesn't mean that you have to detail the differences for those that feel that they are 'right' in the eyes of their God. I have often felt that I have the most in common with folks that are the most dedicated to simply living a good and true life in the service of others, no matter the faith. Enjoy this family, learn from them, and let them learn from you.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grandpa says:
Oh dear! Bread and beer!


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