Posts Tagged ‘Panajachel’

Concert in the park

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Antigua is a town filled with music. A few years back, I was lucky enough to be here during Christmas, and every night an orchestra of some kind performed classical selections in the Square. On Sunday, Olivia and I heard marimbas. An afternoon or two ago, a big band played.

Olivia and I stumbled upon the musicians warming up on the steps of the Municipalidad, one of the grand structures that edges the Square, then joined the crowd in the park to listen. The conductor gave the signal, and the band broke into “Begin the Beguine.” The tune was not what I’d expected, and it transported me to my childhood, when my parents listened to Big Band on the radio and my father warbled along. Olivia swayed to the music, creating her own memory of the melody. I’m happy hers is a memory is formed in Guatemala. (more…)


Slowing Down

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I didn’t take my laptop along to Guatemala, knowing that with Olivia along and so much to see and do, I likely wouldn’t have much time to write. This was true. In Guatemala, we walked everywhere, or, if the distance was too great, hailed a tuk-tuk, a small, three-wheeled vehicle that will never break any land-speed records. At breakfast, we lingered over coffee and fresh orange juice. When a hammock looked inviting, we hopped in. The pace was necessarily slower; nothing was instant. Even taking a drink of water required a trip to a local tienda to buy it bottled.

In Panajachel, we stayed in a hotel that offered guests a single computer, one that sometimes got Internet access and sometimes didn’t. On the few occasions I was lucky enough to log on, other travelers loitered behind me, shuffling their feet as they checked their watches.  I felt too guilty to type for more than ten minutes. I was in Guatemala. It didn’t make sense to rush.  

In my life here and now, I’m aware, it’s naive and probably impossible to ignore the instant nature of just about everything.  But after this last trip, I’m going to do my best to try.