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Phat Tuesday

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Quick post for tonight, got a lot going on. Today was my “last” day for classes, well until next Monday. I wasn’t particularly impressed with my teacher, so I’m hoping that next week I’ll have a new one, in addition to a new homestay. It seems like Kathy has made arrangements with the school director for me to inherit her family, since she leaves on Sunday to go back to Americas, Georgia and then make the cross country move to Colorado. So things are looking up.

I’m definitely excited for tomorrow’s hike up to Volcan Santiguito, I just returned from our pre-trip meeting and there are some great people going on the hike. A total of 10 people are going, which includes our 2 guides. One of the guides, Mark, is the fellow from the UK who attended Sakribal for one week taking Spanish classes and he’s a cool Brit that I hung out with a bit when he was in the school.
Tonight is also Carnaval, after my internet session and getting some food to eat, I’ll be meeting up with a bunch of other students to walk over to the fiesta. I was there ealier and it definitely looks like it will be a fun evening. There are vendors galore selling churros, pizza, sandwiches, candies, fresh potato chips (deep fried of course!) and other Gualemalan alimentos (food). They also have a small section with games–video, foozeball and skill games of chance. It’s almost like the Pepsi Festival Center during our Rose Festival in Portland, but this is so unique because of all the differences including amusement rides that are not powered by electricity–but by a guy or two using muscle power. Imagine a carousel with kids on horses and animals, but pushed by the ride “operator” to make it go! In addition, vendors sell hollowed out egg shells filled with confetti. The egg shells are decorated in different colors and tints (i.e. Paas Easter Egg Coloring Kit) and you can buy 6 for about 20 cents. Then, as is the custom here and in other Central and South American countries, you go up to strangers and smash the eggs on people’s heads! Either that method or you can buy BAGS of confetti and when you pass someone you literally take a handful out and throw it on or above the person. I found this out last year when I was in Costa Rica, so I’ll have the chance to relive the confetti rain.

The power went out last night for 20 minutes as I was eating my “dinner” (yes, I had my noodles with one tomato), pitch black darkness for blocks and blocks around, the dogs were barking like crazy and it was a strange and eerie feeling, especially since the night previous after our dinner at the Indian restaurant we passed by a house that is supposedly haunted, and believe me just looking at it gives you the chills. As a matter of fact, as I was taking pictures outside the big gates Markus and Mitzi got a bad vibe and left me before I knew it. Thanks a lot, leave me alone with the ghosts! So for a moment last night, in complete darkness and no one else around, I have to admit my imagination got the best of me for just a second as I felt my way around the house, up the stairs and to my room to find my flashlight. Light always makes things better! Something I tend to take for granted in the evening, and only realize it when there is no power for anything. At any rate, I headed up to the terraza to view the barrio in all its darkness, and above me the sky was simply phenomenal. Clear, cold night with so many stars shimmering in the night.

I’m hoping that tomorrow night on the volcano we’ll have clear weather so that I can see the stars once again with no other light around. I’m a little concerned about the hike because I am carrying so much weight (we all split the loads with tents, food, and 4.5 liters of water each) and I’m still sore from Saturday’s hike to Laguna Chicobal. But I’m still excited and I’ll have a chance to re-energize from my Spanish classes. So my next post won’t be til Thursday or Friday, enjoy Fat Tuesday and until next time!

Afternoon Activity to Zunil

Monday, February 27th, 2006

My Spanish learning runs from 8am-1pm. Later in the afternoon after students have had their almuerza (lunch) at home with their families, Sakribal usually offers an afternoon activity ranging from watching a movie video, talking a walking tour, playing a game like futbol, cooking, dancing, or taking short trips outside of the city.

Two weeks ago our afternoon activity was a trip to Zunil. It is about 10km outside of Xela, founded in 1529 with a mostly indegenious population of 6000. It sits in a very pretty valley framed by steep hills with the background of the volcano. We visited the town’s church and the Cooperative Santa Ana. A woman with ties to Oregon City joined the Peace Corps and worked for over 20 years in Zunil, setting up this co-op in which there are currently over 80 women who create their handicrafts and sell them inside the co-op and at markets in Xela. The woman died a few years back at the age of 90, but her obituary from the Oregonian newspaper is blown up and featured on a table explaining the history of the coop and how it started.

We also visited San Simon…hard to explain, so here’s the excerpt from the Lonely Planet book: “The image of San Simon is an effigy of a local Maya hero venerated as a (non-Catholic) saint. The effigy is moved each year to a different house. You’ll be charged a few quetzals to visit him and take pictures.” I didn’t take any pictures cause I didn’t have any money left to take the bus back to town, but locals go to him to make offerings of alchol and cigarettes and ask for blessings.


Walking down the hill to Zunil from the main road. One of the teachers is leading our group. The sign to the right is for Gallo beer, the primary cerveza served in bars and restaurants and tiendas.



Megan, Sofia and Markus share a laugh. The church is in the background.


Walking down to the coop.


View outside the coop from the terraza.


Surrounded by hills and mountains.


Check out the cool granny with shades!


Just outside the door of San Simon. Markus talks to one of the kids as Megan, Sofia and Yutaka look on. The guy with the hat and sweaty shirt has just finished an intense one-on-two futbol sparring campaign with that little yellow ball.

Kitchen Confidential

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

My host mom still hasn’t returned from her leave of absence in the home.  Either tomorrow or on Tuesday is the estimated time of arrival.  And then on Wednesday I’ll be taking off.  I haven’t signed up for it yet, but I’ll be hiking up Santiaguito Volcano and camping overnight.  I’ll be back on Thursday evening and will need a place to sleep, which will probably be a local hostel.  After yesterday’s hike with my classmates up (and down) to Laguna Chicobal, I’m a little concerned about how well my body will hold up.  I’m still quite sore from yesterday’s morning activity, and oftentimes found myself out of breath and needing a break.  Slow and steady.

And last night after the big futbol game and hanging out til midnight, I sauntered home only to find that my key didn’t work in the door.  I was locked out.  With my key.  That didn’t work.  No matter what I did, the door didn’t budge.  I began to think of what I should do.  I didn’t have any money to get a hostel.  And I don’t really know precisely where my fellow students are staying with their host families.  Maybe try and climb up to the balcony?  Or wait around for the neighbor (who shares the 2 car garage) to show up.  Maybe I should ring his doorbell and wake him up to open the door for me?  After 20 minutes, I heard Rolando’s door unlock and there he was! Perfect timing. But desafortunadamente (unfortunately), here was another opportune time where I really wish I could speak a little Español. He figured out that I was having trouble with opening the garage door because he heard my key in the lock and my rattling on the door. After he let me in, we inspected the door to find that it was a bit off kelter. The locking mechanism is in a permanent state of being locked, so I have to be careful about closing the door when I leave or I’ll be locked out again. In the end though, I was able to get into the house and promptly went to bed.

This morning. Should I go out and treat myself to breakfast? Or try to salvage whatever is in the kitchen and make myself something to eat? Friday morning was my first sight of a cockroach on the kitchen counter. It’s not a pretty site, with a bunch of dirty dishes and food left all around. An open can of refried black beans. Margarine. Some moldy tomatoes. Random tortillas in their plastic bags. Stale “bread items” in their plastic wraps (I tried a little crumble of one and decided that it just needed to stay in its package). Eggs. Cooking oil. Wilted red peppers (yes, wilted). Some other things I can’t remember at this point.

But I did spot a box of pancake mix. I have eggs. I have milk. I have margarine. So I’ll make PANCAKES for breakfast! Dulce! (I’m totally using my spanish in the mostest, worstest way possible just like this sentence). Any syrup? I look around. Yes! YES!!! It is maple syrup from… Canada? Yeah, it is in the shape of the Maple Leaf and it looks like it’s never been opened. It also looks like it hasn’t been opened because it’s been sitting on the shelf for a few years. Is there an expiration date for maple syrup? The power left in my brain starts turning out an assumption: this syrup was actually a GIFT that a former student brought. Just like my Portland calendar. But the syrup has never been used. Okay, perfect, brand new maple syrup direct from Canada for my pancakes! But wait a sec…what are these black spore-like spots on the inside mouth of the glass container? Surely it can’t be….nah. But on second thought, I don’t want to take any chances. I think the syrup has passed its useful life and has been left on the shelf for a reason.

So looks like no syrup for my pancakes. How bout some jelly? Sure, but the jam on the table looks like it’s been sitting in the jar for a long time. Plus it just doesn’t smell right. So no syrup, no jelly, and there are no fresh fruits so rule that out. That’s okay, I can live without those accompaninments. The pancakes will be just fine with just the right amount of margarine.

I get my eggs and a bowl. Get out the milk, which strangely is a little frozen. I take the pancake box and open it. It’s been used. That’s fine, there’s still plenty for me to make 2 or 3 pancakes. I take a whiff of the powdered mixture. Can’t really smell anything. So I pour some of it into a bowl. And I get the pancake mix and a little bit more than I was expecting. No, that’s a lie. At this point I can only expect the worst. And on this morning, I expected that I was not to have my pancakes. Because something else had already gotten to that pancake mix and invited his/her entire family. But I reckon that they had too much of a good thing because all the little friendly insecto critters were already dead. And if they are already dead, then that means cooking them even more will do me no harm, right? But wait…why are they dead in the first place? Maybe it’s because the pancake mix is 5 kabillion years old! With remants of some galactic asbestos-esque toxin that renders its victims dead in a few minutes.

Suffice to say, no pancakes for me on this morning. Just don’t tell my host mom that I snooped around the kitchen, as this is confidential information and I just want to last my last 2 days and be done with it. Hopefully when I return to classes next week I’ll inherit Kathy’s family, or Chelsia’s or anyone else instead of my current mom. I can’t believe I’ve lived in this home for over 1 month now. Aside from the food portions, food variety, lack of definite eating times (general outlines only apply, plus or minus 1.5 hours, but always the former), bed bugs, shortage of toilet paper, questionable kitchen food handling practices, lack of Spanish language practice and little adorable Tonito making loud action figure noises and running right up to me screaming and laughing while I’m trying to take a nap on the living room couch, I have no issues whatsoever and am glad that I have something fun to write about in my blogs. I mean, it would just be awful if all my blogs were “I had a wonderfully delicious meal filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, juices and this situation rocks, I don’t want to leave!” Nah, that would be boring and I wouldn’t truly appreciate all the great things that I take for granted back home. So this is a good thing, a blessing in disguise. I’ve said it all along and I’ll say it again. At least this experience has allowed me to lose 256 pounds during my month here. I’ve always wanted to go on Jeopardy and buzz in for every answer and give the wrong response, just to see how many points I can be behind before the final Jeopardy round. Same thing applies here. Is it humanly possible for me to lose weight in the negative so that when I return I’ll be -160 pounds? But if I go to Pluto then I’d weigh like 5 million tons. Just stuff to ponder as I wrap this Sunday evening up. Okay, so that’s our little secret. I haven’t exactly enjoyed my homestay, it has been fine for what it is, but I’m glad it’s coming to its end. “Well hey dummy, if this is so bad then why didn’t you just change in the first place?” Great question whoever posed it, or perhaps everyone has posed it but just to be nice haven’t said anything. Well here’s my answer. I have NONE. Nope, nothing, goose egg, nil, no rhyme or reason. I just decided to “suffer” because I know that I can take it. I might not necessarily be happy with it, but I suppose I just look at it as a personal challenge. Sort of like how I was going to move to Houston a year and a half ago just because it sounded like such a challege. #1 most unfit city in the USA. Traffic snarls and near the top 3 cities with smog/pollution. Heat and humidity. No urban planning, just sprawl everywhere. Yeah, a challenge. Just like reading this post is! I better stop here before I dig myself a bigger hole from which there is no possibility of crawling out. So let’s just say that I was enjoying myself so much trying to figure out what new surprise would pop up in my homestay that I just didn’t want to leave because then that would take all the fun out of it. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but then again, eating eggs and refried black beans everyday can affect your common sense, of which I’ve totally exhausted.

My disclaimer. Despite all the fun I’ve had during my last month in my homestay, mine is a unique situation and many (all) of my fellow students have had the exact opposite experiences. Well, I’m sure that they would have their own incidents and stories, but for the most part their experiences are filled with good food, warm (and sometimes too hot) showers, good families and lifelong relationships. Maybe I’ll get that during my next homestay next week, only time will tell. So that’s all I have for this night, time for me to go home to enjoy my last instant cup o noodles shrimp flavor (with an extra packet of hot sauce, gee whiz aye caramba!) and one of the last unmoldied tomatoes with my host mom’s killer dressing (I need that recipe). And tomorrow I’ll probably have my infant formula cream of wheat hot cereal, it works so well as a breakfast because it doesn’t upset my stomach and tides me over for 2.5 hours before our morning break where I end up buying a meal fit for king for under $5. Now I’m rambling, so that’s all the rambling I have until tomorrow night!

No Mas

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Good and bad.  Up and down.  That’s how my Spanish and overall stay in Xela has been for the past 2 days.  Yesterday I had a nice little blog going but then the Internet Cafe (not really a cafe since they don’t really have any snacks or drinks, it’s just a place with 20 computers to use) experienced a total power failure.  Wasn’t their fault, as the power went out for about a 3 block radius grid.  But still, kind of a bummer. 

And Wednesday night I went home for my 7:30 dinner which turned into 8:45.  Alas, it was the same old 2 eggs over hard with a tortilla and refried black beans.  Nice.  And then that evening my mom and Tonito did actually take off.  But first she showed me what I had to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 5 days while they would be gone.  Let’s see.  Milk.  Sliced white bread (the same loaf from 2 weeks ago).  3 little servings of yogurt.  Instant cereal (actually, it’s “cream of wheat” for infants…up to age 3.  And I ate this for 4 of my mornings?  I’m saving the box to show you all when I get back.  I’m eating baby food for breakfast!).  Eggs.  One can of sardines.  3 Cup o Noodles.  And one Top Ramen noodle package. 

She did manage to arrange for a neighbor to cook me lunch for Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday.  But the only problem was that on Thursday, I was invited to Kathy’s home for lunch so I left a note on the house door (in Spanish) requesting her to just leave the food on the table.  When I returned, no food.  To make a long story short, what happened was that she couldn’t get in the door, as she couldn’t figure out how to use the key to unlock the metal door.  It happened to me the very first time I tried it, so I can understand that.  I was told that she’d be there at 2pm on Friday.

Let me tell you about the lunch at Kathy’s homestay!  It was an amazing spread, I almost cried in disbelief!  There is a saying down here:  “estomago lleno, corazon contento.”  Translates to my stomah is full, and my heart is content.  Oh so true.  I was treated a bowl of meatball soup with pasta.  Accompanied by FRESH corn tortillas with the best guacamole ever, with hints of lime.  Plus Kathy’s mom made a fresh berry liquadora, and to finish we had slices of sandia (watermelon).  So fresh and so good.  Man, I’m totaly missing out.  I was so happy and so full.

Forward to today.  After another miserable outing and my last day with my teacher, I was looking forward to another hopefully good lunch.  At 2pm, I heard the doorbell ring.  I sprang to the door, only to find a guy selling brooms door to door.  This wasn’t looking too good.  So I busted out one of my Cup o Noodle soups, and had that with a tomato.  Later at 2:30 I walked over to the neighbor’s home.  And this is where I could have really used my Spanish that I still haven’t learned after 5 weeks of school.  She just started rambling and I could barely decipher the context of what she was trying to communicate.  But apparently no lunch today, we’ll try again on Monday.  It will be ME going to her home at 1:30 to get my lunch.

I’m not hiking El Mirador.  Will have to save that for another time.  But I did decide to take some time off.  I will go back to school on Monday and Tuesday and leave on Wednesday.  I was going to leave on Sunday but then my host mom has no idea of what is going on, so at least I’ll stick around long enough to say good bye to her.  I’ll either be doing a 3 day hike starting on Wednesday with a local trekking outfit, or I’ll take the chicken bus to Lake Aitilan and hang out there for a few days.  It’s supposed to be a cool place with a bunch of little towns surrounding it with their own charms and flavors.  One of the students also said that she spent a week there and it wasn’t enough time, it can be a very spiritual place.  At any rate, whatever I do, I’ll be taking a much needed break.  Olga, the school director, was quite convincing in telling me to stay.  But nah.  If I’m not enjoying it, then why continue?  When I come back next weekend, I’ll re evaluate and I’ll probably sign up for another week or 2 of classes, but I’ll definitely want to change families.

Last night I ended up studying at Cafe Royal Paris for about 3 hours.  I had to return to this spot because of the cheese.  They  serve the cheese Roquefort and all melted in a little teacup that is served with tortilla chips.  The other night it was served with great slices of bread, I will definitely remember Roquefort cheese for when I come back to the states!

I’m outta time, I’m surprised the power didn’t go off or my computer suddenly shut down, it’s been that kind of week as far as my Spanish goes.  I’m just not getting it and it has become very frustrating. 

On another note, Hello Florence!  From middle school!  She left me a comment in my Wednesday post, pretty cool to hear from someone that you haven’t heard of or from for a very long time!  Tomorrow I’ll be going to Laguna Chicabal with some students from school and then will be heading to THE event for the week, another Futbol match featuring the local team.  Hope everyone has a buen fin de semana.

A hike to the hot springs

Friday, February 24th, 2006

A few weeks ago I went on another activity, a short journey to relax in the hot waters of Chikobix. We rode a chicken bus for about 30 minutes and got off at the side of the road, where we started a good 30-35 minute walk through the forest, crossing a foot bridge over a small river. We stayed at Chikobix for about an hour and a half before returning the same way and catching the bus back to town.


Foregound: Markus, from Iceland. In the background is the rickety foot bridge we are supposed to cross one at a time, but obviously some people wanted to test this.


The gals lead the group ahead.


Continuing the hike.


Chikobix, me and Mitzy.


Unfortunately, the main public pool wasn’t open this day, so a few students including myself opted out of immersing ourselves in the private pools.


Hiking back towards the bus stop.


Stopping to take photos of Volcan Santa Maria.


Another shot of Volcan Santa Maria.


Yet another angle.


Looking out towards the back of the chicken bus. Chicken buses are basically school buses that are packed with as many people as can fit. You enter and exit either from the front or the back. The little girl belongs to Brad and I forgot the mom’s name, but they also have a smaller little boy. They are doing a test run for 3 weeks in Guatemala, as they are moving to live in Bolivia for 2 years as part of a medical humanitarian volunteer effort.

Pics Finally Show Up

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

The pics from my previous posts have finally decided to make themselves viewable, on the right hand side the post “I Finally Went to McDonald’s” should have the pics as fully functional. 

Today I learned that “Mom” will in fact be leaving me starting tomorrow up until Monday.  She said this to me last weekend and she never left, so I’ll believe it when I come home tomorrow and she’s not there.  She did say that she left me yogurt, milk and bread.  Wow, that is so generous!  I’m surprised that she didn’t leave me any black beans, as that and eggs are my usually lunch or dinner every day.  The only problem with this arrangement is I haven’t decided whether or not to sign up for another week of classes.  Markus and I are contemplating bussing out to Tikal (all day ride) to hike El Mirador, while some other students are looking to take a week off at Lake Aitalan (sp?) for a much needed rest.  And after today’s awful awful session at school, I’m leaning towards taking some time off.  Instead of progressing, I feel like I have regressed and there just isn’t anymore room in my brain to soak up any more information.  It’s quite the frustrating struggle, it seems that some students who started their learning after me are further ahead with their “mastery” of the Spanish language.  Not a good day for learning, so I just spent the last 3 hours studying so hopefully tomorrow will be better.  But I will probably take a break from classes next week as I am really missing the green spaces, parks and clean air from Portland.  Today was very windy, which created a bunch of dust swirls and blew the car exhausts and fumes all around me everywhere I walked.  Choke Choke Cough Cough, someone get me some oxygen!  Okay, enough for now, dinner time (but it’s rarely ‘on time.’)

Must Be A Case of the Mondays

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

I don’t know what is with Mondays. I just can’t get going, my mind is still in weekend mode, and I find my learning to be a great, difficult struggle.

It didn’t help that the previous evening I couldn’t sleep. Not because of the dogs barking at every hour of the night. Not because of the cold. Not because I was trying to memorize Spanish words. Nope, it was because my mind couldn’t get off the fact that my rental bike had gone missing.

So, how much was this going to cost me? Now, the guy could be fair and say “Yes, the bike was old, not really in that great o’ shape, so why don’t I charge you $100 U.S. for it.” Or he could be an ass and say that it must be replaced with a new one for $500. I don’t know. I have a very very limited budget, and the most I could conceiveably part with is $100. Maybe I could work off the rest of the amount if it comes to that. I just couldn’t sleep thinking about this. My bike was freaking stolen! I had it locked up and everything! Still in disbelief. It was just outside Kokolokos. Granted, it wasn’t a very busy street and lighting wasn’t total illumination like a football stadium. But still….someone would have the NERVE to STEAL my bike rental just a short distance from where I am!

Okay, so I’ll eat the loss. Whatever the amount I owe, I’ll just pretend that I put money on the Seahawks to beat the Superbowl spread and I lost (even though in reality, I would have put all my money on Pittsburg to cover their 3 point spread). So I lost $100, $150, maybe more. It’s just money. I’d rather have the bike stolen than have been bitten by those crazy dogs. So it’s all a matter of perspective. It’s only money. Maybe I’ll have to come back sooner because my money runs out sooner. Whatever. I am prepared to face my responsibility. And pay up.

School. I told Olga, the director, and Rosario, my teacher, what had transpired in my very limited Spanish. Olga wanted Rosario to go to the bookstore during the break to ask how much the bike would cost. But I figured since the guy speaks English, it would just be better for me to face the music and talk to him directly.

That morning session sucked. Couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t remember the forms for conocer (to know). It was very frustrating. Nothing clicked. I felt pretty stupid, like I had fallen 2 steps behind. Maybe this will be my last week for taking Spanish classes? Or maybe it is just a case of the Mondays, coupled with the sting from my bike loss. The learning just wasn’t happening.

My break comes along. One of the students is having a birthday. We celebrate and sing to her with some fabulous cake. At least I have a treat to enjoy as I trudge up to the bookstore.

I get there and the guy, nor Alice is there. Some other American lady. I ask her when the main dude will be in. She says not til the afternoon. We talk a bit more. Then she says “Are you the guy who locked the bike to the gate?” Huh? What? “Yeah, Bob (or whatever the owner’s name is) came to the store last night and saw the bike was locked to the gate. He figured you were returning it for Sunday and since he had the key to the lock, he unlocked it and brought it inside. Plus I wouldn’t have been able to open the store this morning if the bike was still locked there.” She made a call to the guy. He didn’t realize that I had only locked it there temporarily while I was across the street watching the big game.

And so I was saved. I returned the key and my helmet, and everything was squared away. My bike had *NOT* been stolen after all. Big sigh of relief. A very GOOD sigh of relief. I returned to school and had a better late morning and afternoon session. The big monkey was off my back. And with my new found “money” that I didn’t have to pay for the bicycle, last week I blew my budget and enjoyed the fruits of the stolen bike that didn’t happen. Just a few hours earlier, I figured I had lost out on at least $100. Now I just decided to spend my money and enjoy eating the good food that I’m not getting at home. A case of the Mondays ended with an all is well!

An Interview with the Man of da House

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

A few housekeeping bits to start out:

* Boneprone: Darius and Theo for Penny?  How bout trading Ha Seung-Jin for an orange construction cone instead?  At least the cone won’t hurt anybody.  But I do like the idea of trading Darius.


* Jonas, Adam and Amy:  Thanks for the contraband, I hope it finds its way to me somehow in the next year or two.  Just hope that ice cream doesn’t melt before it reaches me.

* Aliscia:  I promise to visit your friends soon!  I just want to be able to get my Spanish down so that when I meet and have dinner with them, I won’t be a mute like I am in my current living situation.  Oh, and Fuentes Georginas is definitely THE place to relax in Xela (you just have to go on a nauseating 20 minute ride around those windy paths and hope that you feel just good enough to get into the water).  I promise to write to you more this week!

* Oftentimes I write things in my blog that I don’t recall if I’ve written before, I usually don’t have time to re-read or edit my posts as I’m usually just typing on the fly and seat of my pants (that is an expression, right?).  So apologies if you happen to read things I’ve already said or you find many typing errors!  Also, I’ll try to repost some of my previous entries with the pictures that should have been there in the first place.  Looks like the Superbowl Sunday post finally shows the pics.

Now, on to today…


Below is a condensed version of an interview that lasted 32 hours with the man of my house, Tonito.  For the simple pleasure of reading it in Spanish, I have decided to give you the short version in English.  Any questions or comments can be forwarded to his fan club in Orlando, FL.  Tonito is currently starring in the movie drama “Brokehouse Fountain,” playing the voice of Sammy, a confused catapiller who thinks that he is actually a butterfly.  Set to open in limited release on the Sundance and Cannes Film circuit, the role is generating great buzz amongst Hollywood insiders and think that Tonito can be the breakout star that Kevin Federline wishes that he could be.  Alas, the Interview.

Edwin:  Tonito, you are just 5 years old and already you command such a great presence on screen and off.  Tell me about your upbringing.

Tonito:  I was born in Xela and I learned how to act at a very early age, around 2 I think.  I am able to manipulate and get my mom to be my cook, waitress, cleaning lady, mom and slave all at once.  It’s a great life and the best part is that it is all free!

Edwin:  One day while I was trying to watch a movie on the only TV in the public areas, you came in and took the remote and changed the channel to your Cartoon Network.  Why did you feel the need to do that instead of watching it on your own TV in your room?

Tonito:  I just figured that it would be a great way to annoy you and I was right!  I figured that you would be a little perturbed that dinner was already 45 minutes late and that you didn’t have a good day at school.  I just wanted to show you that just because you are 27 years older than me, you gotta show the respect or else!

Edwin:  Ah, I see.  I also recall one evening I was watching TV and you decided to take a flashlight and shine it in my eyes the whole time I was trying to watch.  Were you trying to do the same thing? 

Tonito:  No shit Sherlock!  Yeah, but you had fun didn’t you?  It’s not like I took the flashlight and put it right in front of your head!  Okay, maybe for a little bit, but I was bored and you are fair game.

Edwin:  You are an up and coming movie star, tell me about school and how that factors into your plans.

Tonito:  Eh, school…I go for about 3 hours a day, but I like having mama there by my side in the classroom because I don’t like the other kids.  They are jealous of me anyways and wish that they could have the success that has eluded their miniscule lives of 5 years.  I already know how to count up to 10 and that’s all I really need to know.

Edwin:  Your mom frequently leaves you alone in the house.  How do you pass the time when she’s away.

Tonito:  Watch TV, sleep, make myself dinner.  My favorite is a tostado with queso and ranchero sauce.  And I like playing with my action figure toys.

Edwin:  You sure do.  I hear you at all hours of the day making loud explosion noises and going “POW!” and “BOAH” right outside my bedroom door. 

Tonito:  That’s called rehearsing and getting into my role.  I want to be in action pics and be the next Jean Claude Van Dammit or Arnold I can’t spell his last name. 

Edwin:  Who are the major influences in your life?

Tonito:  Me.  And Barney.  And my Batman action figure that is missing 2 limbs but I still make him win and beat up all the other action figures.

Edwin:  If for some reason your movie career fizzles out like other childhood stars like Ron Howard, Jody Foster and Bob Saget, what other line of work would you consider?

Tonito:  Gourmet chef.  You’ve seen me make my tostadas, my hamburger sandwiches and how I can get people to make me what I want. 

Edwin:  Well, this conversation has definitely been enlightening, I have run out of internet time so before I go is there anything you’d like to say to your millions and kajillians of fans out there?

Tonito:  POW!  BOAH!  HAIYA!  I’m really not as loud and obnoxious as he’s making me out to be, he is a biased journalist and he’ll say anything about me and twist my words to sell more copies!  I mean come on, I’m just 5 years old so give me a freaking break already!  All kids are like me, I’m actually a very sweet and adorable and lovable little kid.  So don’t get the wrong impression of me, Edwin has only skewed this interview to generate pity for HIM and not for ME.  I’m the one that doesn’t currently earn any money or even know what the word “Inconceiveable” means!  So take what he says with a grain of salt, maybe some of the events that happened really did occur, but AGAIN, I’m just a little kid for Pete’s sake!  That’s all I have to say.


Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Test email sent 5pm PST, Monday 2-20. No photo attachments
“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”
– Frances Willard

Missing Posts Update

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Well, seems like they are starting to trickle in, but the photos are apparently not viewable.  Sorry about the off-date posts, the bug is still in place and no ETA, so I’m still hopeful that this will be resolved sooner than later. 

 Mom didn’t leave as she said she would.  So this morning I woke up to find some blended left over hot chocolate with rice and those leftover bananas.  In a bowl.  I took three spoonfuls of the stuff before I decided that I just couldn’t get anymore of it down.  So for only the second time EVER, I smuggled the concoction in a mug and dumped it out on my way to school.  The stuff I had for breakfast Saturday morning is still sitting in my room in a plastic cup.  That was the first time I smuggled food out, but haven’t found the best opportunity to dump it out yet.  Fortunately the cup is covered so it doesn’t smell too bad…yet.

Last week I overspent my weekly budget by 200%, and this week has not commenced a good start.  A bag of chips.  A hamburger.  My bag of mixed fresh fruit.  And an oh-so-good ice cream cone dipped in fresh chocolate and then covered with nuts.  I dread to see what I’ll have for dinner tonight.  For lunch it was fried chicken!  Yeah, but it was the part of the chicken where one can get, like 2 bites of meat.  All the rest was bone and fat.  So I might be eating out again tonight, as I did last night with another serving of a pizza pie.  How sad.  My posts have become predictable where all I can talk about it food.  I suppose I could talk about how weird it is to look in a Guatemalan newspaper and see dead bodies in full color.  You just don’t have that in the States.  We cover up our bodies.  But here, free reign.  The one last week was quite morbid with a whole bunch of uncovered bodies just lined up.  Yeah, so maybe I like talking about the food more than some of these other subjects.  The other thing that is hard to get used to seeing is little kids 6 years old working.  Here, you either go to private or public school or you work.  A bunch that do work do so shining shoes, or selling handicrafts, or carrying huge loads on their backs.  Internet time is up.  Later all!