All Work And No Play
Our second retreat was just what
the doctor ordered. It was time to catch up with all of the other
volunteers and reflect on our experiences up to this point.
The conversations were
great. We have all had a major case of culture shock since our last
get-together... so there were lots of stories about strange food, odd cultural
rituals, and using the bathroom at an outdoor toilet while a chicken sits beside
you laying an egg! It was some much-needed therapy for most of us.
As for the scenery, it was
awesome! We spent a couple of nights at Finca Tatin, an
environmentally-conscious collection of bungalows along a quiet river. We
spent times chatting in hammocks and sleeping under mosquito nets in the dark
(the electricity only worked from 6pm-10pm nightly). Apart from that, we
also spent a day in Puerto Barrios, home to the tumultuous history of the banana
industry in Guatemala.
We wrapped up our 5-day excursion
in Livingston, a tiny port city with dirty, polluted beaches, but a fascinating
culture. Here, indigenous Guatemalans and Spanish descendants mix with
Caribbeans of African descent. The result is a hodge-podge of music,
architecture, food, and customs. It was a fascinating place.
Next time, it's a Christmas
retreat close to our home in Cantel. Bring on the hot chocolate and Bing