Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday Walk

I got up from my desk today, ignored the buttload of work that was waiting for me, and went for a WALK. I've been feeling trapped in that old cycle of work-to-make-money-to-pay-bills-to-work-more and I hated it. I came to Guatemala to escape that feeling! So I decided to just give myself a break this morning.
I took Calvin with me and we headed out our gate onto the gravel road in front of the Fancy New Place. It's a perfect road for walking dogs. No one cares if you don't pick up the poop!
I walked along the river towards the lake, today shrouded in haze (bruma, remember?) and marvelled again at how Guatemala can surprise me at every step.
Here are some photos, cuz I know you all love pictures!!

The first surprise... a horse! I haven't seen a horse in ages!
Calvin was not so impressed.
I was happy to see he was tethered in a section of lush grass. Yum yum!
Lots of work going on in the river this morning. And no volcanoes in sight! This picture is actually looking straight towards the lake. Super hazy. 
I've heard some people here, gringos, complaining that there is too much "destruction" happening to the river bed. I say, if you don't want them to dig up the rocks and gravel, stop building houses. And roads. And anything really! The river is a great source of employment for many folks and Guatemala is a growing country that seems to need more bricks and roads all the time. Sure, I would like to see more environmental awareness, and it's odd to see people working without hard hats and steel-toed boots, but work is money is food. Can't blame 'em.
A gorgeous purple & yellow house, super fancy and secure. And next to it...
...this half-demolished structure. Such dichotomy in Guate. 
The sewage plant. Yes, next to the river. Yes, next to houses. Yes, there is an output that goes right into the river and then to the lake,
but it didn't seem that polluted to me. Another hotly debated topic in Panajachel.
Next to the sewage plant, a field of onions. Huh.
There's this little shack by the tuk-tuk bridge (the old blue bridge) that is surrounded by cacti. It's neat to see them with new growth, such a bright green!
I'll be excited to take more pics when they all flower.
To me, bright flowers + barbed wire = Guatemala.  :)
After putting a panting Calvin back on his chain at home, I strolled over to the bakery. Had to snap a picture of this on the way. 
Say NO to drugs!
We've become slightly obsessed with cookies lately. At almost all the little local bakeries, we've found you can buy sugar cookies for 50 centavos each. That's half a quetzal. So you can get 10 cookies for less than a dollar Canadian. And they're not small cookies either. Yeah, so much for all that weight I've lost!!
Guatemalan cookie. 
My friend, J.L., said that these were called lenguas des gatos, cat's tongues! I thought that was so perfect. But then we discovered from some locals that that's not the case. Here they're called ojaldra. Trying to verify this word on Google resulted in next to no clarification. The closest I could find was hojaldre, which is a flaky pastry. But listening to the bakery lady pronounce it, I'm sure it ended in an "ah" sound, not an "eh" sound. (And remember in Spanish that the "h" is silent.) So it's most likely a local word. No matter. I just ask for galletas -- cookies -- and I get all the treats I want!

Another kinda strange thing about the cookies: they're all made from the same dough. It's like they make a big batch of sugar cookie dough and then just make it into different shapes... tongues, circles, rings, leaves. They all taste the same: crisp, dry, and slightly sweet. Great for dunking in coffee. Bert and I have this idea to slap some icing or sprinkles or chocolate on these babies and sell them at a markup. Maybe one day. I've always thought I'd like to open a cookie shop!

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