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Seems I’ve been too busy to write, but since 2012 is the year that ends the sacred Mayan calendar and has us all wondering about our future, I think procrastination may be an appropriate response to the season. Faced with this projectile that is hurling us toward the total destruction of the earth, well perhaps delaying our demise by a few centuries isn’t such a bad idea. Besides, things seem so overwhelming these days, surely it is understandable to want to participate in avoidance for awhile. So in solidarity with the future of our planet and life as we know it, I’ve been practising procrastination, but have returned to the blogosphere just long enough to let you know I’m still alive.

Looking over my pictures I’m remembering the wonderful moments of the past few months that I hope to have the chance to repeat one day, but I’m also reminded of the much harsher realities that I’ve witnessed in my travels.

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is a cauldron of an endorheic lake (one that does not flow to the sea and has no natural outlet) – ringed by volcanoes and Mayan communities – whose waters have been steadily on the rise for the last few years. Around the lake, people are losing their homes to the ever-expanding shoreline, including my good friends Rick and Treeza in San Pedro. Many buildings are already under water, while elsewhere people are still sitting on their balconies watching the waters rise around them. After the last rainy season ended, the water receded enough that many were granted a year’s reprieve, but when the rains start again in the following months and continue through to the end of 2012, chances are good that the thirsty lake will swallow up many more homes.

Considering this is Mayan territory, this is 2012, and there is such a disastrous finality for so many good people living quiet peaceful lives on the shores of this magical lake, the divine providence of it is alarming. All one can do is hope for a dryish rainy season.


All things being equal, I had a fabulous time in San Pedro in February, visiting wonderful friends, eating incredible food (highly recommended are D’Noz fish menus on Friday; Ventana Blues’ green goddess cocktails; and Smoking Nestor’s BBQs on Sundays at La Piscina – if it is still there after the next rainy season), as well as hanging in this beautiful little apartment which is rentable for just $5 a night – if it is still there.

A few nights before I left, a heavy gust of wind blew a small brush pile fire up into a pasture and the flames took off, taking out electrical poles and transformers and leaving San Pedro and San Juan without electricity for several days. There was an unusual hush across the town – the loud speakers of the many evangelical churches were silenced – broken only by the hummm of generators from time to time. No doubt a great amount of meat went wasted (or stomachs were poisoned) as freezers thawed and businesses suffered without power, but it was wonderfully quiet while hiking on the hillsides above the town or sitting on the shores of the lake, listening to the ominous lapping of the waves.

It seems to happen everywhere that when politicians are elected – be it a president of a country or a town’s mayor – the first thing they want to do is fix roads. I think it is an elixir designed to keep the population subdued…if the highways are getting worked on, gravel roads paved or bridges built then surely progress must be happening. Maybe you won’t notice – or at least won’t rise up – when your health, education and welfare systems are crumbling. Guatemala elected a new president just a month before I was there and the road construction was everywhere – watching the men pulling their simple floats across the miles of concrete flowing down the Panamerican highway seemed somehow metaphoric if futile to me.

Back in Monteverde, the arts continued to shine – and this will be the theme of the next book I’ve actually started working on. With the main protagonist being Paul Smith – luthier, musician, painter, bohemian – the possibilities of what to reflect on in a narrative discussing Monteverde as the artist’s muse are endless. We have started the work here, but I will be spending much of my summer in eastern Ontario staying with old friends and continue to work with Paul whose Canadian home is nearby. We are curious as to where this muse will take us.

The latest art form to rise like a full moon over Monteverde is dance. The Quaker community has been holding square (also Contra and English) dancing on Saturday evenings here for probably as many years as they have been playing Scrabble on Friday afternoons (60+?) while salsa and merengue have kept the locals twirling on dance floors for just about as long. Now a more modern artistic approach to dance has sashayed its way up the mountain. Last year it arrived in the form of Marie Chantal Nadeau’s FuzionArteDanza, a show that the lovely Marie singlehandedly choreographed while guiding a crop of new dancers through to amazing performances. This year it’s been the University of Costa Rica dance company who came and held workshops over several weeks for anyone interested, a project that culminated in an evening of modern dance put on by all the participants. The performances were thrilling and once again the community on the green mountain showed its vast array of talent which always seems inspired by  the enthusiastic mentorship of other artists, the non-judgmental support of the community, and the natural beauty of our surroundings.

Margaret and Jennette

I’ve benefited from the friendship of many truly remarkable people here, including a group of women of diverse ages who, like me migrate each year from our homeland, Canada, and make Monteverde our winter home. We are all friends as well as artists, teachers, volunteers or mentors, and I am so happy to see them whenever our paths cross. Monteverde grows with the influx of many sub-groups, and Canadian women seem to be creating a culture of our own here.

Speaking of great women, two of the most important women in my life came to Costa Rica this year and we had ourselves a lot of fun. Having my friend Cocky, and later my sister Maggie, visit meant the world to me. Cocky and I spent a lot of time hiking and, as is our desire, even more time dancing.

I know a highlight of Cocky’s time in Monteverde was having a gloriously deep massage by the amazing Janet Jenkins. Janet and her husband Michael arrived in Monteverde back in the 90s as the hosts and foodsmiths of the Hira Rosa Restaurant. They moved on to massage and yoga and opened Rio Shanti a few years ago. In the cosmic nature of 2012, they are about to make a change and take a break from their business and the community and return with their daughter Elan to the US for a while. Even though Rio Shanti is to continue under the loving care of a new family, the Jenkins will be truly missed here. Janet has these strong healing hands and this huge heart – I’m so glad that Cocky (and I) had the opportunity to experience the positive power of her talents while she is still here. I wish them wave upon wave of peace, love and joy on their new path and trust that it will lead them back up the green mountain soon.

Cocky also had a chance to go walking with Wolf in the Reserve. Wolf has been in good form for the most part, our book has been selling very well, and it is only the lack of progress on the publication of the translation that frustrates me these days. We continue to wait for word from the Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica on whether they will publish it. We are running out of time if there is any hope to get Caminando con Wolf finished in time for the 40th anniversary of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in October. It would be a huge climax to celebrate at the end of 2012 but is only going to happen if we are blessed with a miracle at this point.

When my sister Maggie came, we also had a great day out walking with Wolf and Lucky in the Monteverde Reserve. We are now constantly joined by little Winky, Blinky or Twinky – the now two month old orphaned sloth that Benito was mothering until he went off to Africa for two weeks and left Lucky in charge. So Blinky goes wherever Lucky goes and it is quite noticeable that, like the rest of us, he/she is happiest when in the forest.

Maggie and I also spent time with our friend Zulay in San Carlos and down in Cahuita with Roberto. The Caribbean Sea was once again too rough for fishing but was warm and wonderful for swimming and floating.

Roberto has a new shack that he built on stilts that will hopefully survive the river when it rises in the inevitable heavy rains when they come. The waters seem to be threatening everywhere and one has to wonder what the rainy season of 2012 will bring to many places.

Whereas Cocky and I focused on dancing, Maggie and I indulged in as many games of Scrabble as we could. We played in many lovely places, including the wonderful third balcony of the Hotel National Park at the entrance to Cahuita National Park. This is my favorite little hotel in Cahuita these days – $45 gets you a private room and bath with great balconies and views – and the most important thing I can think of at the beach, a refrigerator!

Unfortunately, the government of Costa Rica is attempting to make good on its promise to tear down buildings that are part of the Maritime Zone Law, a law passed in 1977 stating that nobody can build within 50 meters of the high tide. It is frightening to see how many family-owned businesses and homes could be taken down –before the end of 2012 – if the government fulfills its promise along both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. Most of the towns of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo were built within that zone, long before the existence of the law, by the early Afro-Caribeños without the assistance of the government while establishing their communities. They built by the water to avoid the inhospitable swamps immediately inland. It breaks my heart to see the kind of destruction that could happen, the huge loss of tourism revenue, and the disappearance of family homes and lands. All these coastal towns will change dramatically and there will be great waste in the de-construction of the coastline. The people of these communities are rising up to fight for their future. In the meantime, if you get to Cahuita, I would recommend the National Park Hotel – enjoy those amazing balconies while you can.

When not rambling, I’ve been house-sitting here in Monteverde in a beautiful little hobbit house, but I am about to leave – off to Colombia for a week then back for a few weeks of nomadic life in Costa Rica before heading north to Canada for the summer. I plan on returning to Monteverde before the end of 2012, whatever that will mean for us all. Cocky and I have a trip to New Orleans planned for September – another community whose existence was turned upside down by rising waters – and I’m hoping to be in Monteverde in early October for the events surrounding the 40th anniversary of the Monteverde Reserve – right in the middle of the heaviest part of the rainy season! I don’t anticipate floods here, but these days, one never knows what might happen.

At the rate we are going, Noah’s Ark is going to be one busy ship in the following months, gathering us all in, two by two. Hopefully the waters will recede and leave our homes standing and we will survive. May love be our flotation device of 2012.

I’m now back in San José, Costa Rica. Let’s get straight to the good news: two days ago, Wolf was released from the hospital. He is now very happily at his home in Monteverde. He is free of infection – may he remain that way for a very long time. He is taking medications that are keeping him alert and relatively clear but also allowing sleep (for everyone). I have spoken with him a couple of times and he is full of plans and optimistic.

On the book front, I have been snarled in the red tape of dealing with a big company, Café Britt, in Costa Rica. My contact there has been very helpful and most supportive, but there are procedures that one can’t get around regarding details like commercial invoices. With the help of the exceptionally wonderful Deb Hamilton in Monteverde (of Chunches Bookstore and the Bellbird Conservation Project) I think I have jumped through the last hoop to get the books into the airport stores for the thirty day trial.  As soon as I know they are on the shelves, barring any more unforeseen issues, I will let y’all know so that you can hopefully spread the word to travelers who may be able to buy a copy and help us secure a bigger contract.

Next week I will continue working with Lester Gomez, who is editing the Spanish translation of the book. We spent several hours together before I went to Guatemala and have many more days of work to finish. He is very keen about the project, even more so after talking directly with me about Wolf, Monteverde and this great project of love. He has become a valuable part of the team that keeps Wolf’s stories spreading further. I think the published book is beginning to come to a boil.

But it is really Guatemala that I want to write about. After those great few days in beautiful Antigua with EDITUS, I went up to San Pedro la Laguna on magical Lake Atitlan. There are other ways of describing this place – spiritual, serene, stunning – but magical is how it seems to me. The clouds and light and winds are constantly shifting. Tinkling laughter floats past, voices of ancient tongues rise then disperse, the spirits of the ancestors linger by the shore caught between the old world of their existence and the new world of change.

Owners of land within one hundred meters of the lake edge keep an eye on the rising water that has already drowned many individuals’ concrete dreams. All eyes are on the Mayan calendar that marks only twenty-two more months before turning its final page and we head precariously into the next five thousand years.

I was visiting my friends Treeza and Rick who built a comfortable beautiful home last year. Their property originally ran from the walking path down to the water’s edge – about 150 feet. In this last year they have lost more than fifty of those precious feet. They had a concrete gateway that is now in the water, their property line moved back substantially.

The good news is they now have waterfront property with American coots and other water birds floating in the marsh, men harvesting tule (reeds used for mats and baskets) from their wooden kayaks, local women washing their endless piles of clothes just over the bamboo fence that surrounds their property.

I was told that the lake, a cauldron surrounded by volcanoes whose slopes host several indigenous villages, has no natural outlet. It is a catch basin and, in the same extreme weather period that the whole world is experiencing, heavy rainfall has kept the lake on a steady rise. It is already the deepest lake in Central America and, it would seem, it’s getting deeper each rainy season.

Last year, the lake and all the living creatures that depend on its benevolence suffered from a serious outbreak of a Lyngbya microorganism (or cyanobacteria) which spread rapidly, forming mats of fibrous scum that floated on the surface. This was fed by the high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen that are in the fertilizers being used around the lake for the coffee crops as well as the wide variety of farm crops – corn, onions, lettuce, strawberries, cabbage and on and on. Untreated sewage flowing directly into the lake from the growing communities, introduced fish species that have diminished populations of endemic feeders, and a rising water temperature (that ol’ global warming) have created an environmental disaster that has affected every aspect of life on this beautiful landscape.

The Kaqchikel and Tz’utujil people continue their subsistence farming, speak their Mayan languages and wear their colourful traditional clothing. The culture is strong but change is everywhere led by these environmental challenges and tourism. Like in all places dependent on that fickle industry, the rise and fall of tourist numbers either over-stresses people and systems at its height or leaves boats empty and vendors’ stalls abandoned when numbers drop. After millennia of clean water supplies, the communities are now warned not to drink the water that alone bathe in it.     

Groups of women and children worked together to remove the mats of scum. There was little of it apparent last week so it is either under control or conditions are less favourable right now. The day Rick and I went out in a kayak, we returned to find a large group of local Mayan fishermen cleaning up the trash – both plastic and natural – along the shore. With the problems they are encountering, it will take a village – as well as a reluctant government’s money and international aid – to take care of this priceless aquatic and volcanic heaven.

People I met when I was in San Pedro two years ago told me that this last year was very hard for the lack of business due to the harsh weather and the bacteria-story keeping tourists away, besides the devastation caused by the rising water level. Then there were the serious landslides that washed many homes down in a river of mud and rock. If there is any truth to the prophesy that there will be mass confusion and disasters in the lead up to 2012, San Pedro may be a micro-example of what is to come.

A Canadian who has been in San Pedro for many years, Dave, lost his home and two of his dogs to a landslide last year. He closed one restaurant and then reopened a new one with new partners called Bubuluski’s. On Friday nights they have “white table cloth dinners” – fixed menu theme dinners. I was there for Romanian night. Felicia, a co-partner in the restaurant and a Romanian, created a beautiful menu of cabbage rolls (sarmale), a vegetable casserole (ghiveci) and tochitura which is tasty roasted pork in wine sauce. There was a fantastic beef salad as an appetizer and a chocolate desert. All this for about $7.50! Food in Guatemala is so cheap and in San Pedro, fantastic food abounds.

I went on a hike one morning with Dave, his two dogs Can Can and Mimi, and Steve, a sweet man from Oregon, through the community of T’zununa to a waterfall. As almost every day at this time of the year is on the lake, it was hot and sunny. We walked in searing sunlight up an exposed rocky trail. I felt the elevation – about 3500 meters or twice that of Monteverde – in my breathing. Arriving to the cool mist of this fresh mountain water stream was a just reward.

Another day I went by boat with another lovely man from Oregon, Michael, to the town of Santiago. I had seen the textiles from this town that feature beautiful embroidered birds and so I went to buy myself a bag with birds on it. Michael is old friends with Dave, the owner of the Posada de Santiago, a hotel and restaurant that’s been growing for 35 years. I have to say that I had a glorious French Onion Soup (of which I’m a connoisseur) for lunch, a tasty Caesar salad and excellent Bloody Mary. Next time on the lake, I’ll return to this restaurant for its great food and the possibility of hearing live music, something it is renowned for.  

One of the hottest food tickets in San Pedro happens only on Sundays. A big red-headed character named Nestor Castillo has created Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ. He started a couple of years ago with his own line of salsas and smoked meats and it has grown into BBQ gone wild! Held at la Piscina – a happening bar and swimming pool scene I wrote a lot about two years ago – Nestor keeps the BBQ hot for a huge menu until he runs out. People now come from all over the lake for his excellent products – meat, chicken and tuna steaks augmented by several sides of salads and vegetable dishes. I think this guy should be on the Food Channel and it is only a matter of time until somebody discovers him both for the great food he makes and his kinda crazy manner, that alone the cool order delivery system he has – a wire strung between where his wife sits at the bar taking orders and Nestor controlling the fire. She slings a clothes-peg carrying the little order paper across the yard with a “whhhhhinggggg” to Nestor. If you go to San pedro, don’t miss it!

Another thing not to miss is this – the finest hot stone massage you could ask for – two hours of slippery rock bliss, herbal seduction and the magic hands of Andrea, another Canadian living the good life in San Pedro. Follow the signs that are on the eastern side of town. For just over $25 US, you can’t beat the rub and you’ll float home to dream of sliding over rocks in a stream of soft fragrant oil.

I want to recommend a nice little hotel – $7 will get you a private room with cable TV and wireless. Hotel San Antonio is along the path heading east from the Pana-dock (where boats come in from Panajachel). I only stayed a couple of nights there as I wanted to be closer to Rick and Treeza’s, but would have been very happy there for ages. Nice people, beautiful rooms, and a little café downstairs open early for all your caffeine needs.  

As I wrote in an earlier blog, I was going to try to find out what the expectations for 2012 were in the center of this Mayan world. I spent awhile talking with a local ashuan, Juan. He has just come back from a tour, attending conferences and gatherings, speaking as a messenger of Mayan thought, and history and prediction. He is also the owner of Big Foot Travel and an expert on things local, touristy, and popular. Another character not to be missed.

I asked him about the changes in his community, on the lake, and the upcoming calendar climax. He is a very funny rather irreverent guy, but speaks about the Mayan prophecy quite seriously. The elders have been predicting much of what is happening – the rising lake, the sliding slopes – but so many people haven’t listened.

Juan’s main message was this – 2012 will be a year of great celebration. Party, as we’ve made it this far and life will go on after! Yes, there will be upheavals, and there will be collapsed systems. The further you are from the natural world and the more dependent on the false gods of money and materialism, the more you may suffer. But the closer you are to Gaia, the Mother Earth, and to the power at the center of the universe – whether you call that power Allah, Manitou, God or Self – the closer you will be to the biggest fiesta of our time.

It seems to me that we have about twenty-two more months to figure some things out. Maybe I’ll make it back to beautiful Lake Atitlan before…I love seeing Rick and Treeza and their friends and appreciate everyone’s hospitality. Thanks guys! In the meantime, it’s back to the jungle for me….

According to those analyzing the Mayan calendar, we are in for some pretty crazy events in the next couple of years. One should consider carefully where they want to be, especially on December 21, 2012, just in case any of these prognostications come true. An obvious place would be here in the land of the Mayans themselves – Guatemala – ground zero for safe passage into the future. As I realized on my last trip here in 2008, it would be a beautiful place to end your days if that so be the case. I’d happily wrap myself in colorful cotton cloth, feast on beans and corn tortillas, listen to the stories coming out of the rumbling volcanoes, and enjoy these brown people who will continue to call each other “amigo” even as the lights fade out.

I expect that strong Mayan spirit will be rising steadily to meet the challenges inherent in global chaos, aided by their experience over millennia of surviving environmental and social hardships. So I have returned to Guatemala to check out the preparations for 2012 before the big crowds come.

I left Wolf back in the hospital Blanco Cervantes in San José in good form, relatively speaking. He’s having physical therapy and feeling strong enough that he told me to go and have a good time, he wasn’t going anywhere. I heard from Stefany, his nurse, that the day after I left his blood sugar and pressure were all over the place, but that is part of the struggle, trying to regulate Wolf’s aged and problematic system – or maybe he just missed me. Latest word is that he should truly be going home soon!



In early January, as my ninety-day visa run out of Costa Rica was approaching, I knew I had to consider where to go for at least three days to be legal again. As it turned out, all the planets aligned themselves for this trip: I’ve been staying with Lorena and Edín, he the guitarist of Éditus, and they told me that in February they were playing a concert opening an arts festival in Antigua. I then contacted my friends Rick and Treeza in San Pedro on stunning Lake Atitlan who had been talking about coming down to see me in Cahuita. They’ve just built a house and have had too much company to consider taking the trip right now so they said why don’t I come and visit them? And the final sign came when I checked airplane prices and there was a great sale on. The winds practically blew me to Guatemala.

We all flew on the same day.  Lorena and I, along with violinist Ricardo’s wife Moy and percussionist Tapado’s girlfriend Monica, came together on the same flight. The band – with their two stage hands and techies Chino and Eric – arrived shortly after. It was the beginning of two days of living la vida dulce as a groupie in magical Antigua.

Of course Éditus had lodging in a very nice hotel befitting rockstars courtesy of the festival organizers. I, the lowly gypsy, stayed about a five minute walk away at the Villa Esthela, a charming little pension that cost me $10 for a private room (I splurged as there were shared rooms for $6). The best part of the place was the rooftop. When I went to Antigua before, I had spent a couple nights in a place with a rooftop (Hotel San Vicente – nice but too expensive for me now) and one night in a place without and realized that having access to the sky is a desirable feature.

If I can’t afford to stay in one of the many spectacular hotels in the city, at least I can sit on the rooftop of my humble abode and feel rich in the sunshine or privileged under the stars, surrounded by volcanoes and ancient churches. Villa Esthela was super comfortable, everything worked (though the only three-prong outlet for my laptop I found was up on that rooftop, a convenient inconvenience), the bed was comfortable, there’s a kitchen, and Daniella, the Dutch woman who runs the place, was very accommodating and friendly. Highly recommended.

Although I slept there and visited the rooftop day and night, I also spent a lot of time with the others at their hotel and out and about across Antigua.  One of the best places was Casa Santo Domingo, an ancient village within the ancient city: stoned walls in various stages of decay and refurbish (sounds like old rockstars, no?), a candle shop, a museum, a hotel, a restaurant and a spectacular open theatre where there was a wedding rehearsal going on – it turns out that Éditus played there a couple of years ago.

We ate dinner outside under the rising moon at Angie Angie, the restaurant of “the local loca Argentinian beauty” with live music, funky art, succulent parrilla and a super-suave Crème Brulee. Lorena, Monica and I cruised the streets throughout Antigua where every corner directs you to another magical sight. We checked out the textiles at Nimpot, the huge store of traditional huipiles and masks already advertising for Maya Y2K12 (only 830 shopping days until…)

Editus at La Ermita de la Santa Cruz

The main attraction in Antigua was the concert at La Ermita de la Santa Crúz, a convent built in the 1600s and destroyed various times by earthquakes. I’ve spoken many times in this blog about Éditus. They started out as a classical acoustic duo – Ricardo Ramírez on violin and Edín Solís on guitar. They added Carlos Vargas – lovingly and respectfully known as Tapado – on percussion, and their music moved into jazz fusion/new age colored by classical influences and upswept with Latino rhythms.

With their great friend, Rubén Blades, they received Grammy’s for Best Latin Pop Recording, Best World Music Recording and Best Contemporary Latin Recording. They are spectacular whether playing as an acoustic duo, a modern jazz trio, a classical quartet, or as the quintet EDITUS360 – an electronic world music version of their former selves. I’ve known them as friends since the 90s when they played often in Monteverde, and I cooked and cared for them during the music festival there.

With rockstar Alvaro Alguilar

They have been friends with the musicians of Alux Nahual for years and shared the stage before. Alux is a Guatemalan rock band legend, founded by singer Alvaro Alguilar and his brother Plubio in 1979, that has undergone various transformations. The band members switch up the lead vocals and their instruments throughout the concert – from guitars to cello to flute to keyboards to drums,.

On this night, Éditus opened the concert with a mix of pieces from various Latin American composers, their music perfectly blending with the heavy religious overtones of the site and the ethereal modern light and smoke show.

The audience received the music enthusiastically – Éditus’ violin and guitar solos seared the clear night air and Tapado’s always fluid river of percussive rhythms poured over us. Although I was only slightly familiar with a couple of the songs of Alux Nahual, the audience knew every word and sang along to what were obviously anthems in this country – lyrics that speak of justice, peace and equality.

Tapado filled the musical bridge between the bands as Alux Nahual took the stage. The Costa Ricans accompanied the Guatemaltecos on several pieces, the audience loving it all.

Their drummer Lenin Fernandez was a very friendly and amusing host over the weekend, as was Gloria Cáceres, a Guatemalan singer who accompanied Éditus on Esta tarde vi llover by Mexican songwriter Armando Manzanero.

There was some backstage drama when the organizers explained that Éditus shouldn’t sell CDs because there were representatives of an agency present who could confiscate their products since they didn’t have proper permission nor receipts. They  still opened a backstage table  to sign autographs and it took more than an hour for the line of fans to pass through, requesting photos with the rockstars. We had about eight heavily armed policemen around us and fortunately nothing happened to excite them.

Gloria then invited us to a late night gathering at the house of one of the older wealthier families of Guatemala – the Zacapa Rum family. We wound down dark, almost empty cobble streets well after midnight to arrive at a walled-off building that took up most of a central block.

When the heavy wooden door was pulled open, it revealed a preserved mansion behind the walls. There were courtyards with fountains and rooms full of heavy wooden antiques gilded with gold, brocade upholstery intact, crystal shining on the shelves.

We were night time wanderers in this marvelous place, amazed at what ancient luxury was hidden beyond the walls. Though everyone was tired, the atmosphere, the wine and a spectacular chickenpaté kept us awake and amused.

While we were playing in the day, and as Éditus played through the night, the roadies Eric and Chino worked setting up the stage and managing the lights and sound. Chino – Andres, Tapado’s brother – has been the stage technician for Éditus for years – as well as for many other bands and events in Costa Rica. He has a look that fits well amongst hippies and artists (and tends to attract crazy people in the streets), but it would appear he could also be a lord-of-the-rings-type if the opportunity presented itself.

It was a beautiful time we had in Antigua. Lorena and Edín have been very welcoming and generous with me at their home in Chepe over the last month while I’ve been on Wolf-duty. They were very kind to invite me along and I thank them. I’m a willing and enthusiastic groupie and love the Éditus maestros, their music, their lovely women, and their comical roadies. Gracias a todos ustedes por un viaje magico en Antigua.

I left the others behind on their last day in Guatemala and headed to Lake Atitlan. That’s the next blog…I’ll pass on to you what I find out regarding the end of the world, right from the mouth of the Mayans.  Recently, I was told by someone who is studying literature about 2012 that the land I have in Cahuita, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and tucked into the foothills of the Talamanca Mountains, will also be a great place to spend that momentous time watching the pendulum swing between the past and the future. Talamanca is considered one of the best places on earth to survive massive physical and social upheavals. It’s out of the path of some of the treacherous fault lines, not too close to active volcanoes, sparsely populated but loaded with native fruits to live off of, and with a spiritual native intelligence that will guide those of us who manage to survive into the next epoch – if one should want to linger around after all that mass destruction.

So I may be staying home in Cahuita that month after all, prepared to head out by foot to higher ground if and when the tsunami horn sounds. But that’s a question to ponder another day…here on the shores of magical Lake Atitlan, I’m reading the seeds and studying the currents, looking for more signs…. 

July 2020