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  • Day74

    The last post and the story of a family

    March 28, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    So this is my last post from my one-way-forced-return-ticket, out of Antigua, Guatemala

    Today I went to the market with my new mask fitting my outfit💃. People started sewing mask
    and sell them for 0.6 swiss cents.
    The idea was to get souvenirs for friends and family at the local Artesan Market. It looked closed so I asked a couple standing there. Juan and Marta. This is their story.

    They produce art and everyday utensils, wood and textile. They have learned it from their grandparent and them from their grandparent. He says “I never studied anything. I learned everything in the streets”. He is referring to Spanish. His mother tongue is a Mayan dialect and until not so many years ago Spanish wasn’t taught in their schools. Now yes.
    They have a stand at the artisan market.
    One Monday morning they have been called into a meeting and been told that the market is closed as of the same day for 40 days. No pre-notice.

    Like most of the 91% indigenous people they live from day to day.
    What they earn today they spend today on what is needed today.
    They are not prepared for such situations. They don’t have savings. They have few chickens and veggies in a garden. They have 5 children between 4 and 11 years old to feed. No adult children that could help out because they have a job.

    The government has proposed different laws to the congress to “protect the people of Guatemala”. Few passed (health), most not (economics).

    Juan says “We have exactly six families in the country who own the country. Spanish descendants. Whatever money is going out to the people is gonna end up in their pockets”. I guess the wedding I saw in that church was one of those families.

    Now everybody has to look out for them selve. Juan says “ I don’t know want we gonna do, we trust in god, he will help us.”

    I end up giving the couple some of the money I intended to spend on souvenirs. It felt genuine.
    They thanked me.
    Marta starts to have tears, then I have tears. I did not hug them because of Corona.

    Five minutes later Marta comes back to me and ask for my number and name, if I come back to Guatemala. She wants to give me a gift when the market is open again. I end up hugging her. WTCF. I found a family.

    I will donate the rest of the gift-money to charity.
    So - no souvenirs for back home. You have all you need anyway.

    I leave behind new friendships as always dispersed all over the world.
    But since I’ll travel the world I’ll see them again:-).
    Thank you all for your company and support in Antigua before and now.

    Claudia
    P.S. I had a chat with the Swiss Ambassador. We exchanged our views on what Is to come for Guatemala. He said that 80% of all Guatemalan will be without food on the table after two weeks out of job.😞.
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    Federica Castellano

    Very moving.

    3/29/20Reply

    I'm tearing up. You have done a good thing. Jonathan.

    3/29/20Reply
    Nomadin

    I know, it’s terrible.

    3/29/20Reply
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  • Day73

    Don’t want to leave - but going home

    March 27, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    If you leave a comment please don’t forget to out your name - otherwise I won’t know who left the comment.

    I really, really don’t want to leave, don’t want to interrupt my travels. A lifelong dream comes crashing down. I need to process the going back, wrap my head around it.
    There is a deceptive silence, ill-omened quietness. Cases are at 19.....?
    I feel like in no time there will be an eruption of corona cases; Followed by a health catastrophe, recession, social riots, military intervention....
    I could be wrong, I’m no expert, so I discussed my assessment with a couple of local residents.
    Same assessment.
    Traveling home becomes more difficult by the day. Locally and globally. It is to much of a risk to stay here.
    My family and friends are obviously very concerned. The last thing I want to happen is me getting sick and my family not having the possibility to be near me. It would devastate them.

    The German embassy is conducting repatriations flight. One is on Sunday. The gave 40 seats away to neighboring countries. Among them 10 to Switzerland.
    I’m on that flight. It pays out that I have been in contact with the Swiss embassy since a week.

    Right now I can hear Claudiazul grinning. She will hold this against me for the next 100 years.
    “The Germans saved you”🙄😏😀

    The journey scares me. One because my pulmonologist advised against it. Then...
    Drive from Antigua to Guatemala City. Three hours checking procedures starting at 6am. Sixteen (!) hour flight due to technical stop in the Dominican Republic. Frankfurt Airport. Train to Base. Taxi home. Many opportunities to contract the virus. I have so many mixed feelings.
    Anxiety, fear, anger, sadness ....

    But much better then a complicated journey through Mexico, the USA and god knows what other countries.
    I’m still very grateful of the privileges that are bestowed upon me.

    Eventually of course I will come to terms with everything. Hoping to continue my now return travel to a one-way-ticket travel.

    Cheers
    Claudia
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    Nadia Younes

    Victor and I are very glad you are coming home. Don’t touch anything 😎. Love you!!!

    3/27/20Reply
    Nomadin

    😘😘🤗🤗

    3/27/20Reply

    Liebe Claudia, das machst richtig. Komm nach Hause. Ich bin in Gedanken bei dir!

    3/27/20Reply

    Danke an wer immer das geschrieben hat!

    3/27/20Reply
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  • Day70

    Dampf ablassen

    March 24, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Bis jetzt war ich immer guten Mutes. Ich bin ja sehr privilegiert.
    Das Geld kommt rein ohne das ich dafür arbeiten muss, ich muss nicht nach Hause hetzen in gefährlichen Zeiten um arbeiten zu können.
    Ich bin Schweizerin.
    Ich habe eine sehr gute Krankenkasse.
    Der Sohn meiner, nun ehemaligen, Gastgeberin ist der ärztliche Direktor einer Privatklinik, welche meine KK bezahlen würde.
    Ich habe ein Dach über dem Kopf, gutes Essen, eine eigene Dusche und Toilette.
    Zwei sehr hässliche Räume aber mit viel Licht und ich habe sie mit meinen Kleidern dekoriert! Most importantly - Super-Duper-WIFI. TOTAL PRIVILEGIERT

    Das einzige nicht gar so Lustige ist meine Lungen Fibrose, sie heisst Pheebe, wie die stimmlich und musikalisch überaus unbegabte Blondie aus Friends.

    Pheebe kommt jetzt gerade sehr ungelegen. Sie macht mich sozusagen zu einer Zielscheibe auf welche eine blinde Person drauf ballern kann und immer noch ins Schwarze trifft. Sie verbietet mir das Reisen. Irgendwie blöde, oder? In der Regel haben wir ein gutes Verhältnis aber im Moment mag sie nicht sehr. Ich rede manchmal mit Pheebe aber sie hat zur Zeit keine qualifizierte Meinung.

    Ich muss mal Dampf ablassen, dafür schreibe ich lieber in meiner ersten Fremdsprache. Auf schweizerdeutsch schreibe ich ungerne.

    Ich bin sauer über kriminelle Presidenten welche durch ihre Untätigkeit/Nachlässigkeit und/oder ihre geisteskranke Persönlichkeit Leute umbringen. Jawohl, ich schlage vor den Begriff Mörder zu benutzen. Am Ende dieser weltweiten Tragödie sollten Sie vor das internationale Gericht gestellt werde.
    Ich bin wütend über Politiker welche Ökonomie höher bewerten als Gesundheit und Menschenleben.
    Ich bin entsetzt über Menschen welche sich in in einer solcher Situation nicht an Anweisungen halten können oder wollen.
    Ich rege mich total auf über Opportunisten welche Geld machen wollen aus der Not anderer.

    Das alles setzt mir zu.

    Mir setzt auch zu, dass hier viele Menschen gerade ihre Arbeit verloren haben oder verlieren und nicht wissen wie sie Ihre nächste Miete bezahlen sollen.
    Wie sie bald nicht mehr wissen wie sie Ihre Kinder ernähren können.

    Das es viele indigenous Menschen gibt welche nicht zum Arzt gehen; Entweder weil sie sich nur von traditionellen Mediziner behandeln lass und/oder sich den Arzt nicht leisten können.

    Darf ich eigentlich wütend sein über Menschen in Dörfern welche keinerlei Hygiene Regeln beachten (immer schon, nicht erst seit Corona) und so den Virus umso schneller zirkulieren lassen? Armut schließt Sauberkeit nicht aus.
    Ist das sich nicht sauber zu verhalten eine Tradition/Wert/Norm einer indigenous Gesellschaft welch zu kritisieren politisch unkorrekt wäre?

    Soll ich schweigend hinnehmen wenn Guatemalteken Ausländer belästigen weil Sie denken alle Ausländer sind infiziert?

    JA, ich verstehe die Psychologie, Soziologie und Ökonomie hinter kollektivem und individuellen Verhalten - die Zusammenhänge zwischen Armut, mangelnder Bildung und Arbeitslosigkeit und den Konsequenzen alledem.

    Ich bin grad trotzdem 😡. Ich gehe mich jetzt besser abregen.

    Zum Glück gibt es viele Menschen welche sich kümmern, sich engagieren, helfen usw. Spitalpersonal welches sich unter Gefährdung der eigenen Gesundheit halb zu Tode arbeiten.

    Diesen Menschen möchte ich von Herzen Dankeschön sagen.
    🙏

    Claudia
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    You have expressed many thoughts - many very insightful yet the mood revealed in your writing is anguish and turmoil. You cannot get back to Switzerland because of Pheebe? Swiss embassy will not assist you? Or is it your preference not to travel until the situation improves? Sounds rather terrible and lonely too. I feel bad for you.

    3/25/20Reply
    Nomadin

    And you are? Unfortunately I cannot see the identity of the person who left the comment.

    3/25/20Reply
     
  • Day69

    Ecofarm - the last resort for now

    March 23, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    I run out of comfortable hide-out option My options went down to zero. All Hotels are closing down, the Island I wanted to go cannot accept any guest anymore.🙄🤔😳😔

    I still could go to Mexico, some awesome place at the beach. But the cases in Mexico will explode because until now, besides yucatan, the president is like the dangerous American national idiot and sociopath. Andres Obrador, the Mexican President, did not yet take serious measurements.
    Once I read the article of the New York Times I decoded not the go. You don’t need to be Einstein to know that cases will explode. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/opinion/mexico-coronavirus-amlo.html.

    Guatemala in comparison. The last flight in was on 13. March, they had two person with symptoms, put them in quarantine and after they were diagnosed positiv, tracked down all 300 passengers . I wrote previously about it.
    On the 16. March borders shut down and all not necessary shops/restaurant got closed down. Guatemala had “only” 9 official cases.
    As of the. 20. March we are on a partial lockdown. During the day people sitting in the Central Park by them selves get chased away.

    I guess it helps that the president in charge since the 14. January 2020 (poor guy!) is a doctor.
    I asked my pulmonologist if I should travel and come home, he said no. Not only because of the risk on the journey but also the higher risks of be infected in Switzerland.

    I’m now alone in my guesthouse which is kind of depressing and sad. Today I can move to another guesthouse where two more Maximo students, so that is good.
    The ecofarm is still open so we come here and enjoy the green and the hammock.

    I miss my family and my friends😔.

    Trying to stay upbeat!
    Claudia
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    Hi Claudia - thinking of you. Are you going to move in with the others? I was thinking the Eco Farm would be a beautiful place to hang out - great energy there. You'll be safe in Guatemala. Sending you lots of love, Katrina

    3/24/20Reply
    Nomadin

    Thank Darling, all the thinking is welcome! Thanx so much for checking in with me over WhatsApp phone. I really appreciated it!

    3/24/20Reply

    Dear Claudi, what a mess worldwide! Don‘t loose your courage, you have always had plenty of it! Can I reach you by phone?

    3/24/20Reply
    Nomadin

    Who are you? If you have not registered with FINDPENGUINS I can not see who you are. Please sign with your name:-). Claudia sounds like Kristiane? Or sign up with find FINDPENGUINS then you will be sent as messages when I write a new post. You have to send a request to ma.

    3/24/20Reply
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  • Day67

    Partial Curfew

    March 21, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    As of tomorrow there will be a curfew from 4pm to 4am. Maximo has to close it’s door so we won’t be able to go there during the day. Today two students, seated on a bench and reading in the Central Park were chased away from by the police.
    So where do we go during the day? Walking endlessly around the block?
    Today we went to a ecofarm. They base their organic farming on one of the Mayan calendars.
    The Mayans had 23 calendars!
    They also do most things by recycling. See the pictures. There is a space for children (climbing, be with animals, playing ball games) and they provide workshops for interested farmers on organic farming based on the Mayan Calender.
    They have hammocks, sofas, rocking chairs... etc. We might go there for the day.
    They are always looking for volunteers, so anybody...?😎.
    Two of our ladies today left. They managed to cross the border to Mexico!

    Speak soon....
    Claudia
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  • Day66

    Hotel Casa Santo Domingo — 1

    March 20, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    A. Stunning. Place. The best 5 Star Hotel in Guatemala. A historic site / Hotel / Art Galerie / Museum all—in—one. The way they integrated Hotel into the ruins, the Art into the Hotel is literally stunning. The peace and tranquility of the place are unique.Read more

  • Day66

    Hotel Casa Santo Domingo — 2

    March 20, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    I decided to come here if the country goes on lock down. I negotiated the price for a double room from 240 to 60 dollars, so 30 dollar a person.

    murpel

    Liebe Claudia! Das machst du gut- bleib gesund wo du bist und in deinem schönen Hotel! Heimreise ist bestimmt riskanter! herzlich, Maya

    3/21/20Reply
     
  • Day66

    Hotel Casa Santo Domingo — 3

    March 20, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ 🌙 16 °C
    Nadia Younes

    Does this mean you have checked in and have a private room?

    3/22/20Reply
    Nomadin

    Not for now. I will check in either when the city goes on total locked down or when everybody of my guest house is leaving. Three Americans are left here with me, but they might leave next week. The US started to get back their citizens with Charters. Switzerland starts to repatriate Swiss citizen Monday and Tuesday from Colombia and Peru. After that Costa Rica. Then they will plan further charter for more citizens.

    3/22/20Reply