A No Internet Day

It is one of those days that I sometimes experience here in Guatemala. It is the Rainy Season. It is cloudy and drizzle is falling very lightly. It is a very sleepy day without the Internet.

It is becoming clearer to me that the Internet consumes a great deal of my time. I find it interesting that I can stay so busy online. The hours disappear so quickly.

The Internet runs in the background of my life. When I have no connection, I sense all the information I am cut off from. I can’t read the news. I can’t research the subjects I am interested. More importantly, I can’t read my email.

Email connects me to others. I have developed a network of friends who are now spread around the world. Many of those people have lived in San Pedro for extended periods. They are now traveling further, or have returned home.

We communicate sporadically. Yet, we are all connected by links through other people. One way or the other, we have an idea of what each is doing.

It is fun also to stay in touch with those who return here each year like birds in flight. When these folks return to Lake Atitlan you know the weather is changing up North. Their return is one of the ways I know the Seasons will soon change here.

Each day I try to communicate with one person. This means I write them a letter. That doesn’t work with text messaging. My son has equated my emails to books. I would call them essays. My longer emails are written that way for a reason.

First, I have my friends’ total attention for a moment. I can tell them what is happening in my life. I can ask questions about what is going on with them. I can comment on the things I know they are experiencing.

It takes two to communicate. I am working on keeping the process going.

Recently, I read that the key to maintaining a friendship is staying in touch. Friendship is created by communication. Break the communication for too long and the friendship withers.

Email is such an easy way to keep the communication going. When my Internet comes back up you know where I will be.

I checked this morning. They said it would be just an hour. It’s another rainy day in Guatemala.

Smile. ET

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One of Those Days

Blessing Day at Lake Atitlan

It is a blustery day, and we will likely have a shower later. It a beautiful day. I am pensive. I have been thinking.

I feel like a ping-pong ball in an air machine. Once in awhile I bump into something, but otherwise I am floating mid-air.

My appetite has disappeared. I have little interest in leaving the house. Food seldom calls. How long has it been since I have stood under the showerhead? Might have been longer than I realize.

Harry goes out for walks on his own. Only my addiction to tobacco, and my responsibility to feed Harry, drive me from my nest. I am very comfortable here. No drama. No chaos.

Looking at me, I would ask if I am depressed. Looking at me, I would answer, “No.” I am distracted. I have wandered in to an illusionary world.

It is called Cyberspace. It is the Internet. I know it enters my perception with its electronic dots and dashes, yet it is not there. It is an illussion.

I can’t touch it, yet it is touching my life. It does nothing for my appetite, yet totally occupies my time. Why do I give it so much of my life? I think I know.

There are people somewhere on the other end of those electronic dots and dashes. I search for them.

Today, one found me among all the distractions. She touched my heart, and that is very special.

I have a beautiful place where I live. I like staying home. Cyberspace is a part of my life and it is good. I like where I am, but my friends are scattered all over the world. We now connect in Cyberspace.

I think Harry is getting fat. Must be those extra home cooked extras in his bowl at night.

Staying home isn’t all bad, even for Harry. The Internet touches his life too. When I tell him friends have stopped by he listens. He knows there names. He knows Charli sent him a butt rub today from Australia. Harry’s happy too!

Smiles. ET

Would you like to know more about Harry and his friends?

Just run “Harry” in Search in the right column of this page, or check out the “Harry the Dog Page.”

Published in: on June 24, 2008 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Guatemala Rainy Day

Lago Atitlan Moods

A couple of weeks ago, we were all sitting around asking where the rain was. Now, we are asking when the rain will end. It started several days ago, and the clouds have been settled over us like a blanket.

I live in a village called San Pedro Laguna on Lake Atitlan. That is in Guatemala. We are used to having beautiful weather. It is the Rainy Season now, or what we North Americans call Winter. The weather has changed.

The Seasons have a pattern that it has taken awhile for me to understand. After living here almost two years, I am beginning to fall into the rhythms of the seasons. Sensing those rhythms, I know this year has been different.

The Rainy Season began a month late. That is rough on the local farmers who expect the rains to begin within seven days of Easter. Local business owners were able to forestall their seasonally induced economic depression, and our tourists had extended great weather.

Easter came early this year, and the rains were weak when they did arrive. The vultures never came up from the Pacific Coast to announce the coming of the rains. These birds are black and huge. They are considered Sacred here.

My home is located on a point that creates an inlet where the boats arrive from across the lake. On top of the point is a Mayan Ceremonial structure. It is difficult to see from the water, but sits directly above my home.

Last year the Sacred birds arrived in great numbers above the point. A young female was blown out of the sky during a thunderstorm a few days later and spent hours in my garden until she flew off. The doves, and other birds that live here, were much relieved when she left.

The year before, a dozen of these birds, flying in formation, almost flew through my patio while I was having coffee early one morning. These birds have caught my attention almost from the first moment I arrived at Lake Atitlan.

I wonder where these Sacred birds have gone. I would have thought that the storm (Invest91), currently sitting off the Guatemala Pacific Coast, might have gotten them moving our way by now. I suspect they have flown off to somewhere sunny.

If you are wishing to keep up on the weather in Guatemala, Weather Underground has a great Central American section. You can even sign up for their email weather updates. They have excellent satellite pictures and computer generated storm tracking forecasts for the region.

Just another day in Paradise. Smiles. ET

Blogging from Guatemala

Six months ago, I began blogging with a laptop and a seat at a local Internet Cafe. WordPress made the blogging simple enough, but learning how to blog took serious time.

Then, I was literally gifted with the equipment needed for an satellite Internet connection at my home.

What makes my Internet connection so special is that I live in rural Guatemala on Lake Atitlan. My town is San Pedro Laguna, which is located several hours travel Northwest from Guatemala City. Travelers get here by chicken bus, shuttle, or boat from Pannachel.

Pannachel is connected to the Pan American Highway. The town handles, the in one day and out the next style tourists. The people that find San Pedro are on a different pace. They find us when they need to take a break.

The tourists who come to San Pedro are worldwide travelers, and they don’t carry suitcases. They carry most everything they need on their backs. Many have literally been on the road for months, and they find once here, it is hard to leave.

I have been in San Pedro almost two years, and until last month, I was never able to get an Internet connection in my home. Many hours of my day are now spent writing and blogging. I am learning how it works more quickly.

In the my first four months of blogging, I wrote my posts at home, and dropped them on to my blog when I could. The past two months have been quite different. I now spend as much time learning how to manage my blog, as I do writing.

When I began, I didn’t know what I wished to say. It is getting clearer. I am also learning how to better present what I do say. It is a fun process.

I learned that many of you are interested in used IBM laptops. I wrote several posts about how I upgraded my laptop with a purchase on eBay. I am happy to announce I will pick up my IBM R51 in Pannachel on Tuesday. Yea!

Yes, I know I won the auction the first week of April. It just took awhile to get my laptop through Guatemala customs and on to me. It has been a lesson in patience.

Smiles. ET

Bringing the Money Home

When I realized I was spending one third of my monthly income on petroleum products, I saw I needed to do something different. I took a sharp look at all the ways my income was being drawn away from me.

I had moved to a rural area where the cost of living appeared less. Getting the supplies I needed became very costly as gasoline prices went up. I had a good plan with a flaw. It didn’t work where I lived. I began looking for better options.

That is one of the reasons I live in Guatemala. Here I use a bus to travel longer distances, an occasional mini-taxi for shorter trips, or a launch to cross the lake. My current expenditures for petroleum products are usually less than $25 a month living here.

I didn’t get here in one big jump. I did it in little steps. The first step was getting a passport. Then I could travel and check out new options. I believed there was a better option, and I feel I have found it.

A new life began when I admitted to myself that I wasn’t where I wished to be in my life. I made some serious changes. Now my money goes for my home, food, and purchasing an occasional toy. Toy choice is more simple here. There aren’t very many to choose from, so my money stays home longer now.

I like that. Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 7:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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