A Day in Panajachel


It is 6 A.M. in Panajachel, Guatemala and apparently nobody’s birthday because I have not been assaulted by audible pyrotechnics. In fact, I awaken to a now familiar dawn with roosters and other avians declaring their territories in a jagged volley of calls.

The sun has outlined but not yet crossed above the hills and the volcanoes are hidden by a glowing drape misting from heaven to the lake. From my bed, I can sort of see the single skinny stream of water falling in it’s grotto.

Waterfall drying
there is less roaring to hear
rocks cry thirsty, now

I have an unusually packed list for April Fools day- that does not include shorting sheets. There are two absolute appointments before noon and also two good idea drop in’s that I should also tick off before Monday.

The Dentist will be first with a one hour cleaning for $15
–this bargain is a miracle and horrible, at once…

The second appointment is proofing the logo I designed for “Solo Cafe” announcing David Kelly’s morning double shot coffee opening at the Casa Blanca Restaurant. The sign is scheduled to arrive by courier from the Capital hopefully by the time I get out of the chair.

So, my plan is to go there first.

After that, I will drop past the Spanish School to see Nicholas, who funds a school for special children with the money he makes on the Gringo Immersion School. I want to give his thirty kids an early slot in the Medical Jornada coming out of Dallas next week.

After that, I want to pass around to the Volunteer Firemen’s Friday Quipil Market and buy some Quipils. Must do this today if I want to have something to send back with the Texans

In this same typica market, I fairly robbed a vendor for a stunning Quipil last week – paying $6 for something I could wear to the Santa Fe Opera.. I want to see these two excellent vendors there again..

But before I set out on my peregrinations there is this morning routine to get through.. Lilly will bark at the window and scratch at my door until I give her black and white coat an early morning shiatsu. After that, I will drink strong coffee and check the earth quake stats…watch the market open for April –with some hope for better news after a wrenching and tearful month.

It is cool so I slip on my shredded fleece and head down through our walled garden — life is bursting out in the shadows and sprouted plants tend to look like birds.

Finally, I step on to the dusty road beyond the garden gate.

1000 steps down hill there’s the market with vibrant produce and people in their unique woven outfits setting up for the day. It is way earlier than I usually come out and I am enjoying the sharp shadows puddling on the stones.

I see a friend but she is moving faster than I care to; so, I slow down and by the Kodak Building, I get permission to take a portrait and, even though she is puzzled, we share a smile.

Along the way, purple flowers are mixing it up with crimson and ruby blooms – the trumpet vines are tooting — The vines are so thick that they almost cover the bullet holes and political slogans on the wall.

By noon, with everything accomplished, I will climb toward my house.

I have to stop to say hello to a neighbor, who is surveying the wreck of the “NIHGT CLUB.” The old lap dancing place that was recently burnt by vigilantes and that has become quite the “foto op.”

The story goes that a couple of kids were caught stealing and insisted that they worked for the local Bad Boy. After the vigilantes caught up with Bad Boy, they dunked him in the black water downriver from the new sewage plant and then, to avoid the Pana police they ran Bad Boy up to Solola to the cops up there.

A day later, Bad Boy was released and our insider (the Voice of Jucanya) tells us that, in a Tony Soprano moment Bad Boy’s wife told him he needed to choose between his family an “the business. ”

Meanwhile, the vigilantes had warned Bad Boy that when he returned he had just 24 hours to get out of Pana. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Bad Boy were home in their bed when the vigilantes burned the “NIHGT CLUB” to the ground.

A few days passed and the story went around that Bad Boy had rounded up all the vigilantes -since they all know each other since grade school – and Bad Boy threatened them, “Youse Guys are gonna rebuild my business or I am going to kill your asses.”

So, with all due respect, the vigilantes ceremoniously set out to the “NIHGT CLUB” and commenced to measure and figure how they would re-stack brick on ash.

And, as soon as night fell, they torched the Club, again.

I love this place..

more on Guipils


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Author: diane e. dreyfus

on the road until they put the lid down

2 thoughts on “A Day in Panajachel”

  1. i love the post, you are busy, i love the photos, and what is a Quipel?
    also is that your logo he is holding in the pic, send me a image i would like to see it
    You sound good my dear, see you in augusto

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