Everyday has been packed with activities and it seems I have been here weeks, not just days. Lloyd is a great companion traveler and we seem to have similar travel sensibilities or maybe we are both just really quirky.
Tuesday was a wonderful day, visiting San Antonio Los Jutes, the potential land for Project Somos Children’s Village. After 11 visits it still holds its magnetic magic for me and continues to amaze first time visitors like Jaz and Lloyd. It makes me realize that either I am not so crazy or there are alot of other crazy people around. We met the owner, Javier, there and he was as sincere and warm as always. He didn’t even come close to asking where is the money or when are you guys going to get your act together to buy my land. He answered our questions and left us to explore the paradise property.
We returned to Antigua and Lloyd and I had dinner with Franklin Voorhes of As Green as It Gets. He applied his extensive expertise to doing an agricultural assessment of the land, which will prove to be very valuable in the future. Lloyd and he had an interesting conversation on many aspects of the coffee business. I learned alot.
Wednesday was the crown jewel of meeting people. In the morning we borrowed Corrina’s car and drove to Parramos to visit Nancy Bailey at Semillas de Amor. I was so grateful to find her and the kids very happy with bright faces. Since my last visit they planted and fenced a garden, built a chicken coop and enclosure, and most importantly – they now have electricity. Nancy and her staff care for 32 children, 17 of whom are still waiting to go home to their adoptive families. They have begun a fantastic preschool program and the children seemed so engaged, happy and social. I think you can even see this in the photos. It was such a pleasure to spend time with the kids. Sometimes it is difficult for me to be patient to secure our land and begin the Children’s Village.
We then drove to El Tejar to have lunch with John Keppel of Child Aid and accompany him to a nearby school for a music concert by some of the students Ethical Bean supports with scholarships. It was very impressive to see this group of 12 kids playing the recorder and guitar. After only three years of after school classes they can play a remix version Pachabel’s Canon.
After the inspiring concert we returned to Antigua for another consultation with the lawyer and Jorge Mancio, who has assisted us with legal work in the past. Then to dinner with Marcia and Peter Fox, who Heather and I met and, by their account, I look very much like their son, Steven, who lives in California. What a day! PS I also met Domingo, our shoe shine buddy who works in the plaza.
Today I am in Malacatan, near the western Mexican border, visiting a project Corrina and Jaz are assisting to develop sustainable agricultural practices and organize a volunteer program. It is subtropical and hot here. It is even a big change from Antigua, no cool mornings here. We will return to Antigua on Saturday and Sunday I am off to Guatemala City to meet Lloyd (at a coffee conference), stay the night and jet off Monday late morning. Whew……. I may sleep all the way on the flight home.