Journal entry, 04/03 – Very sleep deprived this morning. I’ve been saying “Buenas tardes!” for the last hour because it feels like afternoon.Four hours would be a generous estimate of the time I “slept” on the flight from LA to Guatemala City. This is compounded by the fact that the flight took off a good three hours after I am normally snoring. I’m drinking a canteloupe/banana/pineapple licuado across the street from the Parque Central in Antigua. The one with the fountain of squirting boobies. (see photo)
I left my camera and laptop in my room and took a leisurely stroll around the center. Antigua is very familiar to me now. I no longer feel the need to photograph everything in front of me. My body is annoyed with the way I’ve been treating it for the past couple of years. Feet, knees, quads, and hamstrings all nagging me to take better care of them and to watch what I eat. I can’t ignore them, but habits are hard to make and break for an old curmudgeon. I notice a patchwork of bright colors trapped between the cobblestones, and realize that this is the detritus from the recent Semana Santa celebrations. I resolve to come back with my camera, only to come upon a solitary worker with a straw broom diligently cleaning the street. The most recent in a lifetime of missed opportunities. I am happy to have made it this far, however, and to have brought this project to the cusp of conclusion.
Today: I feel like this project has been one long series of tests of my patience, my resilience, and my ability to overcome various ingrained habits of my nature. Microcosm 1: Arrived at the airport to be told I couldn’t fly because my return was scheduled a month after my visa will expire. Told them that I planned to spend some time in Mexico mid-trip, which would solve that. They wanted proof. I didn’t have it, because I will take the bus to Mexico. I bought the tickets two months ago, but the airline said nothing until I was checking my bags. Patience and a half hour of phone calls by the agent and the problem went away. Microcosm 2: I am sitting in my room in Antigua after the above journal entry and I get a message from my friend in San Pedro, to whom I wired $20,000 a month ago to pay for the project. His bank is giving him a hard time about accessing the money. An hour later and much frustrated downloading of forms from my bank and messaging back and forth, and we probably have the problem solved. He still, however, has not received verification that I will have access to my own money. Deep breath. Testing, One, Two… Is this thing on?