Sunday, July 27, 2014

Seven things that will complicate your life during a typical week in Guatemala

Here are some things that will undoubtedly happen during a week in Guatemala, that complicate your efforts to set up meetings, do interviews, or just see old friends:

1.  One of your friends will lose his or her phone, meaning that all of the urgent text messages you send end up in the ether, plans will go astray, and you will not know how to reach the person until he or she gets on line or you are able to communicate with one of his or her relatives. This person will not have YOUR number written down or saved anywhere and thus will not be able to get in touch with you.
2.  Most of your friends will not have any airtime on their phones, and so many of your text messages, which you send because they are cheaper than making phone calls, will go unanswered, making you think that maybe the person is ignoring you, has had some kind of disaster, or has lost his or her phone.
3.  At least one bus that someone you know is riding upon, in order to come to a meeting with you, will break down and strand its passengers, leaving your friend to scramble to find another bus. Since the buses will not refund the fare for the broken-down bus, this means your friend will have to pay a second fare, once he or she can find a working bus heading in the right direction. If this coincides with #1 or #2 above, you will not know what happened or where the person is.
4.  Someone's car or motorcycle will either break down or fail to start.
5.  Someone will either get sick or have a sick child or other relative.
6.  Someone will lose your telephone number, or the address where you are staying.
7.  At least one meeting or previously scheduled event will be canceled, or rescheduled, or the location will be switched.

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