Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I'm in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico looking at real estate listings for place to start a hostel.

How did I get here?

Well, I rode my bicycle.

That's not really what I was getting at, but its a cool answer so I'll allow it.

I really wanted to make a post on Mayan Families.  A reflection on everything I did and learned, the people and the places and what I ultimately came away with, but I never got around to it.  I haven't gotten around to lot of things.  The only thing I seem to have gotten around to is Puerto Escondido, that was more of a last minute impulse than a conscious objective.

I'm torn between looking back and moving forward.  It took nearly 4 weeks and 1000km in the saddle to get me far enough out of this funk to begin putting words to a page again and all the willpower I can muster to refrain from my tired refrain about how disappointed I am in myself.

Mayan Families is great.  A bunch of great people doing a really great thing. Helping those in need. I couldn't really get engaged. Completely my problem.Too self-involved and anxious. Trying too hard at the wrong things, not trying hard enough with the important ones. Story of my life?  Don't go there.

Parents Visited. Sharayah visited. Several flings. Made a best friend and promptly dumped him without a word because he was stealing from me. Story of my life?

Did 0 writing, little to no photography/video, spiritual growth? unaccounted for.

Won at least 34 arguments on reddit. Lost 7.  total time averaged at least 8 hours/day.  That's a full-time job.  Conquered the world 8 times in Civ 5. Twice on "King" difficulty.  Finished all 5 books of a Song of Ice and Fire. Watched first two season of 'Girls'  Watched 4 more episodes of Vikings than any decent person should ever have to suffer.

Went through 3 more phones, 1 wireless card, 2 external harddrives, 3 towels, 5 v-neck t's, 1 beloved hoody, 2 bungee-chords, 2 bike tires and 4 tire tubes, innumerable flash disks, 4 bottles of sunscreen, 2 bottles of aloevera, 38 liters of gatorade, 174 liters of water, 20 liters of coca-cola, 16 liters of Fresca, 65 lbs of beans, 59 lbs of eggs, 102 lbs of tortillas, 60lbs of unidentified meat, 3.5 lbs of chewed finger-nails.

87 items checked off a list.  1,627 stale resolutions.

27 friends added to facebook. 2 still in contact.

Monday, February 10, 2014


This morning I had a good friend graciously point out that in my last post I am being a whiny bitch, that this a public blog anyone can read so I shouldn't be talking shit or complaining about how my remarkably fortunate lifestyle isn't quite total nirvana.

Of course she's right.  And I apologize to the other 3 people reading this blog.  My life is unequivocally better than 99.999% of the world.  It's really unfair just how good I have it.

Writing for me is cathartic, a kind of therapy, but I'm not sure its really intelligent to post my therapy sessions on the internet.  Especially when I want to talk about people who may or may not end up reading this eventually.  I have to figure out the best way to navigate these kinds of issues. A private journal maybe. Meh, fuck it.

I'm 2 doses into my anti-depressants and I can feel the re-calibration occurring in my head.  My appetite is completely shot, I feel a bit queasy and really really spacey, like I haven't slept in days (Even I slept over 12 hours last night).  I keep catching myself staring into space for indeterminable amounts of time or forgetting why I'm in a room or not being able to find the right word thingy that I need for my sentences.  I hate it.  But not really, because I can't find an emotion strong enough to be called 'hate'.  My head feels like I have a minor hang-over but I don't feel any anxiety, I kinda just don't care. About anything.  I don't know, its kind of nice.  I feel like this must be what being stupid must feel like.

Did anyone just read that last sentence?  4 different words twice used in a 12 word sentence.  I can't even tell if it makes sense.  Am I going to be ok publishing this trash?  I don't know, I'll guess I'll give it a few more days

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Whining for no reason

It's been a bad week.  Or maybe I'm just in a bad mood.  God the band that just started playing at this goddamned bar is fucking terrible.  I wish I had realized they were playing before I ordered my food.  The belligerent 60 year-old expat groupies they've attracted are even louder, but only slighter more on key.. and Terry has just pointed out that we're sitting in the middle a of a fucking memorial service. I'm an asshole sitting here with a scowl on my face in the middle of a bunch of people come to celebrate a deceased life.

Apparently I saw Terry last night, but I have almost no recollection of the occasion. This weekend I rented a lake house with Hugo and some of his friends from the city. We got all drunk and apparently came into town to dance at the one night club in Pana, and then returned home when everything closed at like 1. What bewilders me though is that my memory seems to have returned as were headed back to the house. I had been hitting it off with a couple of the girls, but when the time came to make a move I received an unexplained rebuff. I assume I must have somehow been an ass but I'm usually fairly perceptive about those things and she had been all over me before I suggested we take a walk down to the lake.

The rejection was still fresh in my mind when I woke up this morning, but the confusion had evolved into an anger. I still have absolutely no rational to justify the emotion, but it was there. I wanted to understand. I couldn't. In my mind I moved on. Rejection happens. Often. There are millions of possible reasons for it and its rarely something worth dwelling upon. But even though I stopped thinking about it, the feeling persisted. Although now I was just angry at myself and the way I've been living my life and the anger became a kind of hardened resolve. This brings me back to my bad week.

My work at Mayan families has been largely unsatisfying and this week has been exemplary so. I dislike going. I rarely show up on time. I get very little work done. I feel guilty about this and it makes me anxious about what the people there must think about me. I am not connecting well with most of the staff, and though I can't say I've put forth a tremendous amount of effort into building relationships there seem to be invisible barriers that I don't know how to get around.  Maybe its just my aforementioned guilt from being a shitty worker, but I can't help feeling there's something intrinsically broken inside of me preventing me from relating with anyone on a meaningful level. I'm closest with Jessica and Hugo. But my relationship with Jessica feels a bit awkward because I think she wants more from the relationship than I do, and I can't shake the feeling that Hugo and I wouldn't hang-out so much if I wasn't so generous in paying for everything.

Everyday after work I feel inexplicably stressed and my primary conduit for relieving myself, this week especially, revolves around browsing Reddit and playing computer games (namely civilization 4) which keeps me up all hours of the night causing me to sleep in and start the whole damn stress cycle all over again. The things that I really want to be doing with my life, Meditation/Yoga, exercise, studying Spanish, meeting/hanging out with people, and most importantly working on my photography and writing projects; never happen. Or only very rarely.

Last night I started Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. The first few chapters made me want to buckle down and spend 8+ hours a day writing.

That brings me back to my mood. I'm still under its “fuck-this-shit” influence (though its been softened a bit by the last few cuba libres) and I still don't really understand it. It's like something in me has snapped. On the one hand its nice because I don't feel anxiety or apathy or even like I'm overwhelmed, my usual psychological companions.  I posses a nearly tangible disdain for my usual forms of procrastination and idleness. I feel no temptation whatever to surf reddit or play games.  I can't remember the last time I was so ready to get shit done. On the other hand, I hate everything and everybody. I have zero patience for anything and don't want to see or talk to anyone.

Other things on my mind: Two completely seperate people who were supposed to come out and visit me canceled this weekend. I'm not totally surprised as they are both pretty flaky people in general who are always over committing (kinda like me) and I guess I should feel relieved that my next few months aren't gong to be nearly as packed now, but the timing of it, I don't know, I guess my ego is kind of tender and I'm having a hard time not taking it personally. Also not my best week financially. It's not something I should ever worry about, but it doesn't help.


I just woke from a nap and and feelings have evolved from anger to depression.  I have 3 days left working at Mayan Families and I feel like a failure.  I feel like I've failed to achieve what I wanted with my time here.  I feel like I've failed at relationship, both in building new ones here and sustaining those from my past. I feel alone and I feel doomed to a cycle of failure and isolation no matter how how well I education myself or how hard I fight against. As soon as I finish my time at Mayan Families, my parents will be here. I'm pretty sure I was excited about this before, but now I dread it. I feel miserable and I feel guilty for feeling miserable. I'm obviously in a shit mood. Last week anything was possible. Today, who gives a shit?

I actually picked up and read the stupid self-help book my mother packed into my DHL package, Change Your Brain Change Your Life. The whole thing is basically a promotion for insanely expensive SPECT brain scans (photon emission computed topography). According to Daniel G Amen, I likely suffer from an overactive deep limbic system. Coincidentally this is also often considered one of the main factors of PMS.  That sounds about right. The solution?  Anti-depressants, positive thinking, and maybe a little exercise.  That's some cutting edge shit right there.  The fucker wants to charge you $3200 to scan your brain just to confirm what you probably already know, "You have some slightly irregular brain chemistry". I want sue his ass for duping my mother into buying this stupid 330 page infomercial. 

Anyway, my dad is going to be here in 3 days.  I'm starting my antidepressants now.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Last night and some other stuff

Yesterday after work I picked up my laundry from Casa Pastel Zanahoria and headed to straight to Jessica's for yoga.  Coming off 4 consecutive nights of hard partying and a short excursion to Guatemala City, it required a concentrated effort to follow through on the day's commitments rather than go home and lock myself up in my room.  It was around 8:30 when I finally plopped myself on the sofa in my living room.  The yoga had done its work and my usual anxiety had given way to a contemplative melancholy that I thought conducive for a bit of thought plucking and sentence mashing.

I certainly had no shortage of events to report.  On Saturday my DHL package finally arrived, after more than a week of running to offices and making bank deposits for taxes and haggling with customer service agents in pigeon Spanish. It's arrival concluded a two-month-long struggle to re-equip myself with some impossible-to-find necessities.  My Rainbows, the defacto footwear of my last few years, heartlessly stolen during a beach party in Tulum, have finally been replaced.  My wardrobe, steadily diminished and tattered after months of traveling has been replenish and now includes stylish, nicely fitting, climate-appropriate attire (which if you're a tall skinny guy is hard enough to achieve living back in the States). Finally I got a new 24mm macro lense for my dSRL and both my cameras now have battery chargers again.  (Pro-tip for traveling photographers: if you're going to spend a long time on the road, don't buy a fucking Pentax.  Get a leading brand Cannon or Nikkon or something who's accessories can be found in any big city.  Same thing goes for cell-phones and bicycles).

I'd also been making a lot of friends, most of whom I can't seem to remember.  Sunday night at Alex's superbowl party I introduced myself to girl who complained that it was the 4th time I had done so.  My anti-anxiety medication wreaks havoc on my memory, especially when mixed with alcohol.  It's certainly been effective though.  Last week I awoke to a text from an unknown number asking where I was.  Apparently I had committed myself to 6 am yoga lessons. It was the best decision of my life (after I adjusted the time-frame of course).  And on Friday I came into work to learn that the night before I'd agreed to go to Guatemala city on Saturday with Hugo, the new Architect at Mayan Families, for a friend's birthday party.  It ended up being a lot of fun and I now consider Hugo one of my best friends down here. Hugo is one of those guys who has a lot of good friends.

Unfortunately, with my memory, apparently, goes my capacity to tell the truth. I really need to learn how to harness my inadequacy issues because the tales I hear people tell me I've been telling them are tall enough to get me a some kind of publishing deal, at least a few magazine pieces.  On Saturday as I was leaving the house to head to Guate, I found a small troupe of backpackers at my gate.  They wanted to check out one of the apartments I had to rent because I was a real-estate tycoon who owned land all over Latin America and was also somehow a US fugitive separated from my family by the long and quite complex arm of the law.

But the heaviest issue on my mind last night wasn't my present life at all, but my past one, which is shaping up to be my future one..  In the last month or so, prompted by some mix of loneliness, nostalgia and just general relational etiquette; I've suggested to various friends and family that they should come out and visit me for a short part of my trip.  And to my astonishment, they've said yes.  Like, all of them. And they're all coming at once, back-to-back. Starting next Thursday, when my dad arrives, through the end of March and into April I will be accompanied by some person from my increasingly-distant past.  Of course I'm looking forward to spending time with all of them, but I'm also still a bit.. shocked?  The least predictable visits were confirmed just this weekend. My plans, if you can call whatever vague notions I let jostle about in my mind 'plans', are being confounded by the oddest little plot loops. A somewhat tangential example: At lunch the other day I saw a girl who looked familiar, turns out we had been staying at the same hostel in San Cristobal.  We had shared in some fun times, but never actually exchanged names.  She is now living in San Marcos just a 10 minute boat-ride away and we've become Facebook friends and made loose travel plans.

Anyway, all of these things and many more are begging to be processed (or at least properly repressed) last night as I bring out my laptop.  And then something happened that changed the entire course of my night: I discovered that I had left my charger at work; leaving my 15" beast of a machine with less than 30 minutes of operating time.

Since I lost my phone (again!) my laptop has become my main source of, well, everything. The cheap Guatemalan go-phone I got as a replacement is worthless for pretty much everything except tethering my laptop and listening to audiobooks on my lunch break. Now I had 4 hours of night to fill without a computer. No Reddit, no movies, and certainly no writing.  I mean, yeah, I might have a notebook and a pen lying around somewhere, but those are mostly decorative or for remembering things or making lists in the event of a dead battery. But actually writing something substantial? With a pen? Aint nobody got time for that.  Plus how would I know when I misspelled something?

I decided to walk downtown and eat out for dinner to give myself some time to process this devastating development. It seemed I couldn't even remember ever being simultaneously without either a computer or a smartphone and I was woefully unprepared.  I got dressed up in my new clothes and did my hair nice and sharp, partly to waste a little time and partly to insure, via Murphy's law, that I would not come across anyone I'd care to impress.

I set out for Calle Santander and double checked my phone to re-evaluate my audiobook options.  There were still just two.  The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak and The Pearl by John Steinbeck.  I was already in the middle of The Book Thief, and although its a decent read I wasn't really in the mood to follow the misfortunes of a poor little book-obsessed orphan girl growing up in Germany during WWII. Besides it was my designated lunch-time book, and if I let myself read it during dinner, what would the world come to?  That left me with The Pearl.  My only real objection was that I had just finished East of Eden, and as much as I loved it, I wasn't sure if I was up for back-to-back Steinbeck.  I generally don't like to read the same author back to back.  It's like eating at the same restaurant for lunch and dinner.

I reluctantly put on The Pearl, but after a few minutes I stopped in at a Libereria and bought a pen and a notepad, just in case.

Everyplace was empty, even Palapa's, so I decided to try the place next door that was always open late.  I ordered the Platico Typico hoping to be surprised, but expecting a few pieces of shitty meat with plantains, beans and tortillas.  I was not surprised. I chewed what I could, scribbled a few words in my new stationary and got the check.  

On my way home I tried The Pearl again, but I knew it wasn't going to stave off the unrelenting ennui that awaited me inside my bare apartment. I frantically tried to figure out a way to rig my laptop back to life, but it was hopeless.  What could I do?  You can't take photos at night and you can't write without a laptop, except like a dream journal..  and that's when the idea occurred to me.

I had been wanting to do Ketamine again for a while now.  Mostly to benefit from its powerful long-term antidepressant after-effect, but also because I really enjoy the trip.  It's like being lulled into a lucid dream.  You can go anywhere and do anything and all your thoughts are dream thoughts which makes them mysteriously precious and worth writing down.  The whole thing usually lasts a little less than two hours which was just about perfect.

I initially thought I'd just do some K and then start writing, but as I was about to take the first bump I knew that I wanted a thought guide and I figured Steinbeck was as good as any. 

The particular work that I was listening to was narrated by Frank Muller, who coincidentally also narrated Hemingway's Old Man and The Sea which I had just listened to last year.  It wasn't until I was winding down the K-hole that I become conscious of the narrator's voice.  The Pearl and The Old Man and the Sea share a number of similarities.  They are both short. They are both written by famous 19th century American authors.  They are both set in Latin American fishing villages. They both follow poor fisherman who both struggle to manage a fantastic catch.  They are both written in a remarkably similar style, with the omniscient author reading aloud the thoughts of his characters (perhaps this particular similarity is made more remarkable read by the same voice, which is being listened to by a mind high on Ketamine). And neither have a happy ending.

What I will say about The Pearl is that it is far more eventful than The Old Man and the Sea (which admittedly isn't saying much.)  On Ketamine, I wasn't listening to the story, I was living it.  I was Kino and at times I was even his wife.  Steinbeck has a way of making his readers understand the inner workings of his characters, and although I was trying to understand it, so that I could master it, it mastered me.  After my second bump, my whole life started falling apart.  And all because of this pearl, this fatal stroke of luck that gave me a glimpse of what might be, what I thought would be my ticket into a new world of wealth and freedom became the bane of my existence, the most horrible curse.  The ring of power was a ring of darkness.  And everything happened so fast.  Like Kino, I was confused and uncertain and shocked and obsessed, my eyes couldn't pierce the darkness any better than his, but I could feel it as well as he, if not more.  But I wasn't afraid.  I had faith in Steinbeck.  Steinbeck was fair and decent and although he couldn't make Kino's life fair and decent, he would give me something to hope for and I would do the best that I could because I knew there must be something about Kino that made him worth writing about. Kino was a man, and that's all I wanted to be.

But when it was over there was no glory in being a man and since the story was finished there was nothing left to hope for.  So I lied alone underneath the stars and watched the visions of my inner mind take strange forms before me until the drug began to wear off and I listened to the story again and though I was not so confused the second time through, and less impressed, I realized with some wonder that I had not missed anything. There was nothing to be gained from the second listening except the confirmation that I had indeed heard it all.

And then I glanced over my notebook.  10-12 pages of sideways handwriting trying to capture the feelings as they were being felt and the ideas as they were being realized and quotes that had struck me as significant. 

"Go with God" (but only when you don't know the way)

"Senses dulled by emotion" Steinbeck sings to keep the evil out.

"I am a man. A man can be killed."

And then I knew Steinbeck, but Steinbeck just wanted to say 'hi'

and this little gem:  I will be a great writer because I have an enormous ego with a million opinions that everyone wants to hear.

And that was my Monday night

Friday, January 24, 2014


The other night I was meditating to make sense of my life.  I'm always trying to make sense of my life (sometimes I feel like that's all I ever do with it) but this time I went at it a little differently.  I decided that since I'm always asking myself the same questions, over and over, it must mean two things:  Firstly, I must have the answer, somewhere; otherwise why would I be bothering myself with these questions?  Secondly, I must really suck at listening to myself.

So with that in mind, I shut up and started listening to what I had to say on the matter of life, the universe, and everything; well at least as far as I had anything to do with it.  Blah blah blah, anybody who's ever read a page from any book in the self-improvement/spirituality section knows where this is heading so I'll cut it short.

After a whole lot of silence I was galloping in first-person, on horseback at good pace.  Not a full-out sprint, but fast enough to where I had to keep my eyes trained a good distance in the future and most of my concentration was concerned with keeping clear of trees etc.. and staying on the horse.  For some reason, this made a lot of sense to me and I knew it was an allegory for my life, but before I really started picking it apart another image appeared.

A yellow road sign, diamond shaped like the ones that caution drivers of bumps or turns or crossings, but on it, perfectly profiled and silhouetted in the universal style of caution-sign language, was a child swinging  forward on a swing. The child figure was near the top of the arc in the swing and the top of the swing was not shown, just the seat with the rope slanting backward and off the top of the sign.

The vision of riding the horse was affirming.  It gave the scattered, hectic nature of my life a kind of romantic air.  Sure, I'm disorganized and often feel rootless, unsettled, and unable to maintain a grasp on anything I'd consider 'solid', but I'm living at a faster pace than the rest of the world, and a natural consequence of squeezing my given time with so much life is that I miss (and miss out on) certain things.  Both the big picture and the small stuff suffer the cruel whip of my ambition which continually drives me on.  But it's a sacrifice that I can reconcile because there's a great big world out there, and I'll never get to see it all if I start letting myself get caught up in particular moments or I start worrying about who's going to be with me at the end..

And I felt like there was some insight to be gleaned from the fact that I was riding a horse and not driving a car or a bike or some other machine.  Something about being bound to a force that wasn't really completely under my control, something that required more of a relationship than a steering wheel, something with a rhythm that was more felt than mechanically timed. Less predictable, but more trustworthy. Something that would allow me to close my eyes at times and I could trust it to make basic decisions for me, but perhaps required more care and oversight at other times.  It made me feel like I don't need to completely understand the underlying physics of everything so much as I need know which way to lean and when to shift my weight.  I'm not working with gears and shafts or chains and pistons, I'm in a symbiotic relationship with a living being and what I lose in absolute control I gain in a second soul to watch out for me.

However the caution sign was unsettling.  The first thing I felt when I saw it was that I wish I could draw/paint so that I might re-create it.  It was so vivid and struck me as being hauntingly poignant for traffic sign (or just because it was a traffic sign?), but the meaning was cryptic and certainly twofold.  Firstly, it was a caution sign, and it reminded me that one of trade-offs to the pace of my life is that its fucking dangerous.  If you stumble while taking a stroll you might skin a knee, but lose your balance at full gallop and you could break your neck.

But within that uncomfortable reminder was a child on a swing. On the one hand it summoned the likeness of one of those stupid "Children at Play" warnings that feature two children on a teeter-totter: who the fuck is putting playground equipment in the street!?  But this is something different, or something more.  For one thing, there is only a single child, and this being my vision, it has to be me.  And the swing definitely embodies the cyclical nature of life, its like a great pendulum of existence.  And its trying to warn me of something.  But what?

There's something hypnotizing about swings. Successfully operating one requires a person to completely submit to a natural, inescapable rhythm.  It's 'back', and then its 'forth'; and proportionally so.  A little bit of 'back' isn't going to give you a lot of 'forth' You can't change direction arbitrarily.  You can either perpetuate the motion, or resist it. Or you can dismount.  But this child was not dismounting, this child was swinging.  Momentum is everything, alternation inevitable.  The higher you go in one direction the farther you'll fly in the other.  There is nothing truer or more predictable than the motion of a swing. Swinging is like listening to the heartbeat of the universe. That's why pendulums are trusted with noting the sacred passage of time.

But you never actually get anywhere on a swing. It's like a kind of trap.  It gives you that sensation in your stomach like your flying (or falling) but no distance is covered nor any notable event taken place. Its an isolated experience with no significance outside of itself.  It's lovely, but its pointless and time-consuming.

I still cannot decide if I am being warned against swinging, or against not swinging enough.  It's a emblem of pure rhythm, and racing at my speed I need an excellent sense of rhythm to survive, but its also absorbingly distracting, which can be very dangerous.

Maybe its both. Maybe the doubt and indecision that arise when I consider this warning and situations like it are actually what I'm being warned against.  Maybe when I encounter an ambiguous caution sign its actually trying to let me know that I'm already over my head.  The time for consideration and thinking has passed and now is the time to act.  If I don't have a decision made, at least I have a partner to whom I can yield the reigns, and maybe that's the lesson I'm supposed to take out of all of this.  Maybe that's the answer to all my musing:

Dude, just trust the fucking horse.

I don't know, it sounds a bit derivative and underdeveloped, but its 2am and the horse needs some rest.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Life-to-date post

The other day I was hanging out with this guy from New York named Ben, who was cool enough to add on Facebook, and he subsequently mentioned reading my blog, which freaked me out because I forgot that it was linked on my Facebook page, but then I realized obviously I needed to read his and having just finished doing so I'm all pissed off because his blog is better than mine (No, I'm not going to link it, you don't know him).

It doesn't help that my post rate has dropped to twice/month or that I haven't been posting any photos (mostly because my I lost the charger for BOTH of my cameras)

Since my last post I traveled to Lanquin, Guatemala with 3 of the girls from Mayan Families where I've been volunteering, Amy, Hannah, and Helene.  I'm really bummed I didn't have my camera because it's one of the most beautiful places I've seen so far on my trip. I may return when my dad comes out to visit in February.

We stayed at El Retiro lodge for 3 days. On Christmas day I decided to drop acid because we didn't have any plans for the day and it was so beautiful.  I didn't handle it particularly well and made a less that ideal first impression with my future volunteer colleagues (Did I mention Helene's family was visiting from Australia?) Coincidentally, that's also when I first met Ben. On the plus side I have two full, typed pages of LSD stream-of-conscious that I may eventually be able to work into something interesting.

20 minutes into the bus trek back to Antigua, I realized that I didn't have my phone with me.  I stopped the driver grabbed my bag and started walking back to the hostel hoping to find it back there. I did.  I then hopped on what I thought was another bus to Antigua.  It wasn't.  There was a bus switch in Coban, somehow I got back on my original bus which for some reason had been kept waiting for me. I still don't understand how the shuttle system works in Guatemala but I certainly know what it feels like to be the least popular person on a bus.

 In Antigua we met up with Mike from Canada who we had all met back at Puerta Viaje Hostel in San Cristobal, Mexico.  I tried cocaine for the first time ever. Apparently its cheaper than weed down here although, according to Mike, its not as good as the stuff in Honduras.  The night ended with me and some crazy-haired girl from Mexico in the back of a Guatemalan Police vehicle.  Relax. they were just giving us a ride.  Apparently that's normal here.

The next day Amy, Hannah, and Helene left for Honduras and I stayed and took some pictures that I'll post in like 3 months.  I ended up hanging out with 3 young woman from the States who were also staying at our hostel in Antigua. They were all college buddies from New York and must have been a few years younger than me.  Turns out one of them works at Tesla, one works for the Federal Reserve and the other works for a private equity company that she was reluctant to name.  We talked about Bitcoin all morning. Crazy fucking world.

Then I came back to Panajachel to celebrate New Years and get settled before Mayan Families started up again on the 6th.  I didn't do either. The only girl who's number I had in the friend-group I was going to hangout with on New Years said she was sick and I was feeling depressed so I stayed in and played computer games, for like 3 days straight. I told everyone that I did go out and just didn't see them, but I doubt they believe me because this town is really small and there's only one bar that people attend regularly.
Apparently I did go out one night and I had everybody back at my place for a house party and everybody says it was a good time but I blacked out and can´t remember any of it.

Work at Mayan Families has been good, but I´m insecure about how much work I do.  Mostly I help Helene, the communications director, running errands, she´s crazy busy all the time.  Sometimes she gives me bigger projects, like re-doing the youtube channel or something.  Then I feel over my head and I spend a bunch of time trying to figure out exactly what a perfect youtube channel looks like what obstacles we´re looking at and I have to reddit a little bit to relieve some of the pressure and hope to God that Helene´s expectations of me aren´t half as high as the expectations I put on myself.

This last weekend Ben was in Panajachel and visited. I hung out with him Saturday. We went to the Atilan Nature Reserve. I took a lot of photos of butterflies that I´ll post in a few months.  We all went out and got drunk and I dropped my phone off a dock into Lake Atilan.  Yes.  The phone for which I became a bus-pariah not two weeks ago.  The phone that I had shipped to Mexico and had to pay a 30% import tax on. 20 meters under.  I didn´t even realize it until I had got back to my place.

Maybe I went to the Nature Reserve on Sunday? Yea, I did. I don´t remember what happened Saturday before I lost my phone.

On Monday I didn´t have a desk because Steve is back in town.  He is another volunteer that has been with Mayan Families for a few months.  He does something with Excel or databases or programming or something.  Helene sent me out to take photos with a bunch of volunteer nurses. I forgot to put a damned SD card in my camera but one of the interpreters let me use his.  I actually put those photos up on Facebook already because that´s kind of my job.  Although I didn´t go in to work to day. Because I wasn´t feeling well. I won´t go into details.  I mostly had to come to terms with losing my phone. That and reconcile the amorphous blob that is my life.

Well, I did get a new phone.