Last night “fin de semania” Carlos introduced me to Ingrid and Luis… Respectively, a chemical engineer and a gerontologist, who along with two other colleagues (a sociologist and an ethicist) run a mushroom growing business. — No, not Aldous Huxley ‘shooms but, rather snotty foodie champingions that they market in Guat. City. What makes this project interesting is that it is a program for senior citizens, who once worked in the fields. Luis says that there are no public health projects for seniors and that his project is a dignified way to keep them in Quetzals. ( I will write about this visit in greater detail, later.)
So, later, I am walking along Santander St. looking for a particularly colorful yarn market, when a golf cart (with 4 wheels) cruises up beside me and Dianne asks if I would like a ride to the beach.
Soon after, she tells me about her “Late Lamented One” in answer to my question on how she happened to come down here. She had moved in more than a decade ago and the golf cart had been shipped along with many other treasures great and small from the US. She kindly invited me to tea and wheeled this virtual Mercedes onto stunning grounds — all lush with roses, trumpet vines, several types of bamboo, 3 dogs and an utterly eye popping multilevel house built in the 1960s as if by shipwrights. She tells me that in an earthquake it lolls side to side like one of those skateboard-y thing that had a single roller under it.
Dianne offers me advice and tells some grand tales as we sit on her balcony and admire the view. “This is like watching a Chinese screen painting,” she says. (And, as the clouds form over the volcanoes, it is.)
She tells me that she has learned to say “Es necessaria…you can follow this with the infinitive of any verb and not debae yourself.” She has learned this from her cousin, who lived in the Canary Islands with a well born Castillian gentleman.. This guy once corrected her pronounciation, with withering distain, saying, “E-Spanish is like e-song.”
She, her friend Nancy and I spent the afternoon discussing many things and one recurring and hysterical topic was how her husband had packed EVERYTHING without sorting or tossing. One artifact that was specifically mentioned was the Mt. St. Helena,s salt and pepper shaker –that had the salt as the snow cap and the pepper as what the volcano looked like after it blew. I found this to be very amusing as we sat by the fire and the clouds whirled around the three volcanoes and Felix, the dragon kept watch over all.