Well, step 1 of my project worked beautifully. The thread I dyed with avocado skins turned out a lovely dusty pink colour. Using it for crochet, though, proved to be beyond me. So the hunt for a crafty project continues… Any thoughts?

My big accomplishment this week was getting the kids up to the Encuentro de Semillas de Libertad, an event that IMAP has been organizing for the past year. The seed exchange was held on top of a very steep mountain, and to get there we took a boat and two chicken buses. The boat ride was fine, even though putting my kids in any sort of floating thing always makes me nervous because they don’t know how to swim yet. Riding in a chicken bus up a crazy winding path was not fun. I’m pretty sure now that I do indeed have a fear of heights.

The event itself was lovely. People brought and exchanged seeds from all over the Americas, and there was marimba for the kids to dance to and woods for them to play hide-and-seek in. Then we made the 3-hour trip back down the mountain, across the pueblo, into the boat, in the tuctuc, back home.

This whole week has been a little off-kilter, as Rony has been involved with coordinating the event and dealing with all the issues that inevitably creep up. There was no cake to celebrate his birthday this year, and I minded more than he did. I find comfort in family rituals.

In between proofreading contracts, I spent a few hours at the lake. We’d only planned on going for a walk, but then Mia remembered that “her” little beach was right around the corner. Being fully clothed did not get in the way of mud pies and sand castles. I must say this: photography captures the surface of the moment. Pictures make everything look idyllic, but life is of course far messier and more complicated than what fits in the frame of the camera. The lake, for example, is full of cyanobacteria, and the kids whined all the way home, complaining of being itchy. I won’t prohibit my kids from playing in the lake, but now I’ve warned Mia that if she wants to go in the water, she has to be ok with being itchy afterward.

Soap and a warm shower help. We go through so much soap here! Maybe soap-making should be my next crafty project?

The rains have finally arrived here in Guatemala. We’re still waiting for the full-out hard rain to make an appearance, but there are days here and there where we don’t need to water the garden. I love the sound of rain falling like rice on the rooftop. The weather during the day is still quite hot, but I can breathe a little better at night and in the early morning. We’re typically up at 5:30!

During a few of these mornings, before dropping Mia off at school, I’ve read to her aloud from my old copy of  Winnie-The-Pooh. I’m not quite sure how it ended up on my bookshelf here – I don’t remember packing it in Canada – but I was glad to rediscover it. Honestly, I haven’t really taken to reading aloud, mostly because Mia never really seemed to enjoy it all that much – until now. She was quite happy drawing pictures of flowers as I read a few pages of the book. I’d love to have a few books to read aloud en français, and I think I’ll ask some family members to bring some down with them when they come to visit us.


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