Bodysurfing at El Paredon Beach

El Paredon beach, Guatemala

Okay, getting life set up (as well as keeping up with the non-stop social life) in La Antigua Guatemala has left me with few spare moments. I’m still hoping to catch up on what I can remember from Barcelona as well as chronicle my adventures from the nearly 5 months I’ve already spent back in Central America (3 weeks in Honduras and 4 months in Guatemala). I can’t believe so much time has flown by! I wouldn’t be here still if it wasn’t to a bit of help from family… definitely a shout out to you all… LOVE YOU!

Anyway, while I still frantically try to find time to invest in my blog while writing for REVUE Magazine and AntiguaDailyPhoto.com as well as directing photography for a Guatemalan-based NGO… I figured I can at least start making a post a day with a photo and a brief quip (AntiguaDailyPhoto.com style). I’ve bought a portable internet modem so as long as there is a Tigo phone signal, I have internet service for my laptop. So here goes:

El Paredon Beach, Gautemala

As we speak (or write), I’m sitting under a palm canopy at El Paredon Beach. It’s a remote little beach that’s a favorite among the local surfing culture. There’s even a little surfing school here. A fiery blood orange sun has just disappeared from the semi-cloudy horizon and dusk has settled. I’m making the local mosquitoes quite happy, offering a buffet of fresh Gringa blood. Slap, scratch, scratch… Slap!

Tagging along with acquaintances Giallo (Dutch-Guatemalan) and Gael (Isreali) was a last-minute decision I made after running into Giallo on the cobbled streets of La Antigua this morning. Michelle, an Aussie that room’s with me at Gloria’s house, and I were just strolling back home after having breakfast at Fernando’s Kaffee (some of the best coffee in town – and that’s huge for being in coffee abundant Guate – and awesome chocolate-covered cacao beans with chile. Great typical Guatemalan breakfast too). I started my day off with a rich cappuccino and split a crepe filled with eggs, tomato, local-style cheese, refried black beans and onion with Michelle. After running into Giallo, Michelle and I ducked into Antigua Outlet. A random little store in boutique-crazy Antigua. I think the store has a special connection for getting its hands on Target overstock or something. Today Michelle and I scored big when we each bought a big bottle of Este Lauder golden lotion for Q30 (less than $4). Normally, U.S. brand lotions are super expensive here, more expensive than the States. But this tiny “outlet” is a bit of a LAG (La Antigua Guatemala) secret stop for beauty products and random household products, nicknacks. I came out with Nivea toner and Lavender scented incense sticks along with my Este Lauder bargain.

El Paredon Beach, Guatemala

On the ride to the beach with Giallo and Gael, I typed away for more upcoming posts on AntiguaDailyPhoto.com. On part of the drive, close to the shore, there’s a stretch of land that looks like a landscape out of Africa. I didn’t snap a pic… just took it in. First time I’ve seen that kind of landscape here in Guate. As soon as we arrived at the beach, I followed the boys into the water. They had the surf boards and I had me. I’ve been longing to surf for years. I’m hoping to slowly realize that dream as I work myself into the local surf culture. It was great getting used to the water and the waves today. I swam out to meet the boys at the start of the incoming sets a ways of shore. I watched from the water as they caught waves (and bit it a few times too… hehe.) The waves aren’t crazy big here but big enough to catch some rides. I feel that being out in the water was a great way to start learning more about surfing and how to better handle myself in the ocean.

Okay, it’s time for me to jet. The boys are probably setting up the tents we’ll be sleeping in as I’m hidden away here writing this post. I should go help… plus, dinner is calling!

Besos (kisses) from El Paredon!

Lost and Found…

Continued from Divisive Denominations

“In order to accommodate the two new guests, the family – mom, dad and four kids – all had to share a single-sized bed.”

Daniela and I returned to Copan in time to catch up with the boys and meet Julio for fubolito (5-on-5 soccer)! When we arrived at la cancha (the field – a cement field by the way), I was surprised to find people I recognized: the drunk locals at Bohio bar from the Copan visit past. At that moment, I was aware that I had a decision to make… and that I had just a moment to make it. I could approach these men with a pre-determined judgment acquired from a less than desirable situation that happened months ago. I could write them off as “no good.” Or, I could give them a fresh start. I opted for the fresh start… something I can honestly say a younger, less-worldly “me” most likely wouldn’t have done. Continue reading “Lost and Found…”

Photoshoot in KC

I tagged along with some friends on a photo shoot. Had no intention of picking up my camera… but wound up snapping a few anyway. Honestly, I had more fun directing though! We all ended up snapping each other. Click here to see the Flickr album of my pics from the shoot.

Photos Matt took of me:

Romance Buds in Copan Ruinas

Copan Ruinas is really where it all began. Simple flirting turned into full blown romance at this wonderful and charming little village tucked away in the mountains in northern Honduras. All good things come to an end… sigh. For more compelling descriptions of Copan see my previous posts about the village by clicking here. Click here to see the entire Flickr album.

In Too Deep… Deep Love, Deep Diving!

Too much time has passed and too much has happened over my blogging absence to give the typical, LMAC “novel” account of everything. So, in attempt to give everyone a glimpse of what I’ve experienced so far, I’m just going to bullet list them and follow the list with applicable pics and vids.

  • * Carlos Roman, Ashley Fletcher and Jason Walsh give me a warm welcome back to Honduras. Carlos is co-owner of the only bar of its kind in San Pedro Sula, Klein Bohemia. Ashley is his girlfriend. Jason is one cool cat who works with Ashley at a bilingual school for Hondurans.
  • * Second night out I meet Michael at Klein Bohemia and thus marks the beginning of a rapid and intense love affair. Jason wows the small crowd with his impromptu rap skills. Carlos masterfully bangs away at the bongos. Later, Michael lights up the keyboard. Eventually I get on stage and sing only that which I know, refrains and Disney songs… Michael my only accompaniment. I left the bar with compliments on my vocals but pleas for me to learn more than just refrains and Disney songs! Hahaha.
  • * Michael and I go Copan together for the weekend to find Billy and deliver the donation. We didn’t find Billy because he was in the U.S. but we did find an incredibly intimate setting that jump started our small romance.
  • * I take off on my own to go back to Jungle River Lodge(some pics on the website are mine! – I really need to quit handing out freebies) for some more white water rafting, cliff jumping and bouldering!
  • * Michael calls the Lodge and convinces me to head back to San Pedro earlier than planned.
  • * I meet Michael’s family and they greet me with warm and open arms. Both to my and Michael’s surprise, a one-night stay turns into me moving in.
  • * Michael’s uncle is killed by four men with machine guns outside a local bar in San Pedro Sula. Welcome to the real world folks. Apparently, the crime was committed over a racing dispute with a Columbian.
  • * A few weeks of small, fun adventures with Michael trying to find local national parks, canopy tours, waterfalls, going out with friends, going to concerts of Michael’s band, changing plans and making plans, midnight serenades, romantic dinners, cozy cuddles and movies on rainy evenings and simply being silly in love.
  • * I begin Spanish lessons (a long-time must-do) and start taking Yoga classes (another long-time must-do). Also dabble with basketball practice.
  • * Michael gets too swamped with work and school. I freak out with the lack of attention and the new, not-always-on-the-go-go-go lifestyle. A week of fighting leads to the demise of the quick, wonderful love affair. Though, there was a little oasis of bliss in the middle fighting with a wonderful getaway to Lago de Yojoa and a fun cooking night with Michael and friends.
  • * I mourn and wallow in self-pity for one emotional, tumultuous week. Michael’s family welcomes me to stay despite the terminated relationship. I try to stay but, obviously, that works out disastrously. Friends in San Pedro Sula and friends and family in the U.S. rally around me and offer amazing support. Without them, I would have been in absolute pieces. Thanks guys. You know who you are. Particularly Carlos, Richard, Scott and Kathy. And Walter who took me and the Swedish girl all around San Pedro for a day.
  • * Montuca Sound System (Michael and Carlos’ band) plays at a benefit concert for the poor who’ve lost what little they had to the devastating flooding earlier in October.
  • * I run off with the Swedish couchsurfer girl to the Carribbean island of Utila off the northern coast of Honduras where I become a certified advanced SCUBA diver – complete with deep dives, night dives, drift dives, wreck dives and small cave dives. I saw sea turtles, huge snapper fish, wrecks, eels, tons of reef fish, tons of coral reef, remora sucker fish, huge crabs, small crabs, lobster, shrimp, frog fish and more. Dove to depths of more than 30 meters. Me, Dean (aka young, blonde Tom Cruise) and Elina on the dive boat before our first dive!(Hmmm… normal person gets a broken heart and has to keep living the daily grind. I get a broken heart but then I get to run off to a Caribbean island with a dive instructor that looks like the spitting image of a young, blonde-haired Tom Cruise. I know. It’s not fair. You all hate me. All I can do is shrug and say somebody UPSTAIRS really seems to like me. And trust me, folks, I’m grateful. Really freaking grateful!) Oh, btw, pirate language still exists. Utilans speak exactly like pirate English! Exactly!! And, I got to explore a cave full of bats. I freaked for a second while they whizzed past my head. Luckily I didn’t get bitten! There were at least 50 of the dark, winged rats!
  • * Even though I had moments where I could have appreciated my surroundings A LOT more… by the end of the trip, I just can’t feel sorry for myself anymore. Last time I went through a big break-up, I got to trek through a tropical jungle. This time, I got to dive the world’s second largest coral reef off of a tropical island. I’m seeing a pattern here… and, to be honest… it’s not a bad deal! No, I’m blessed. Really really blessed. I got back to San Pedro Sula last night and friends welcomed me eagerly, telling me they missed me. Life is good. So one detail didn’t work out the way I wanted it to… but, I have NO room to complain. Thanks everyone who helped. And a big whopping thanks to the Big Guy upstairs. Life is unfair… in MY favor. I’m humbled.

Even my bullet lists are novels… haha.

Now enjoy pics and vids!!

Ferry ride from mainland to Utila:

Getting ready to dive:

Up close and personal with the Remora sucker fish:

Treetanic Bar on Utila: