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 Crosby music!

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