Living Off the Land

July 30, 2011 - Gualán, Guatemala

The Director wanted to get away, so we packed up the truck and invited a few people to her farm for an overnight trip. I have been to the far many times, but always for short visits. On the ride there, we encountered mushy ground and the car got stuck. The guys hopped out the truck and immediately, they began fetching rocks and boulders to help level the ground. Shortly thereafter, the girls helped. Rosita had walked to the stream to gather larger rocks and the children made an assembly line to get the rocks by the tires of the truck.

It then occurred to me how closely their lives are to the twists and turns of nature. Here, people begin there day around 5am because by noon it is 100 degrees and too hot to work. When it rains, we can't go to or leave the farm because the paths become too murky and the streams we have to cross rise too high. Generally, people don't go to the grocery store often. They eat the vegetation from the land (i.e. fruits, vegetables, etc.) and slaughter their own meat (i.e. the chickens and fish).

In the put it frankly...I'm not accustomed to being inconvenienced. In my mind, I should not have to go fetch rocks so that my truck can make it down the road, the government should have had this road paved. I don't know what it means to not be ABLE to drive anywhere I want because its raining due to the terrain, and I don't know what it means to not have whatever kind of food I want at my disposal. Comparing my life and there’s' really made me consider my privilege and how hard this life is.

We made it to the farm. I love laying in the hammocks on top of the hill in the big house looking out to the mountains. I will always remember Guatemala for its beautiful greenery and continuous mountain terrain.

I just relaxed. Without internet connection, I found myself finishing a book I was reading "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore. Although a bit over the top, this book and "Terrorism and War" by Howard Zinn has me ready to lead a revolution in America. I just could not put the book down. But, it was getting late, and the Director urged me to bed. So, I went looking forward to finishing the book in the morning.



Fetching Rocks


Derrick Bryson:
August 3, 2011
I couldn't handle that not being able to be productive because of the terrain. Like if its raining a lot or too hot at certain times, that would be too inconvenient.
August 3, 2011
Ikr! The lifestyle here is all about inconvenience. So, people just live with it. We are privileged to not have to do that.
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