"I like the future, I'm in it."
THE GUATEMALAN ADVENTURE
by Stefan Posthuma
During a computer conference in San Jose, California I met a
girl from Guatemala named Ivette (read all about this trip in
ST NEWS Volume 7 Issue 3, in the article named "Stef and Tim's
bogus journey"). We looked deeply into eachother's eyes and that
was it, romance, love, all that stuff. The problem was however,
that Holland and Guatemala are separated by about 11,000
kilometres of Atlantic Ocean and we never expected things to
develop the way they did. We did keep in touch though, and
roughly five months later, Friday, December 18 1992, I found
myself at Schiphol airport, ready to board a KLM flight to
The flight was long, very long. The airco of long flights always
gets to me and sleeping was out of the question so when the plane
landed 12.5 hours later in Mexico city, I was slightly dead. It
sat there for about 45 minutes while roughly 75% of the people
left the plane. One and a half hours after departure from Mexico
city we landed once more, this time in Guatemala city. I got the
shakes a little now, she would be there, the girl I had
corresponded with for over five months, and I was wondering what
it would be like, meeting her again.
I walked down the corridors of the airport and when I approached
the customs desk I spotted her standing in the hall, far away
still but I recognized her immediately. Frantic waves and
gestures were exchanged while I was waiting in line. I didn't
quite know what to expect from the Guatemalan customs but when I
got to the desk, a cheerful girl glanced at my papers and stamped
my passport. No questions, just a big smile.
So there I was, standing in a Guatemalan airport a few feet away
from the girl that I had longed for for so long. It felt awkward,
I can tell you. But when we embraced and kissed it all fell away
and from that moment on I felt comfortable, relaxed.
We picked up my bags and a uniformed guy started babbling to me
in Spanish. Ivette babbled back and the guy shrugged and turned
to some other people. He wanted to check my bags but Ivette
convinced him of the fact that it wasn't necessary. Good, the
first of the many advantages of having a native at your side in a
country like this became clear to me.
In the hall of the airport I was greeted by a bunch of people.
Andrés, her eight year old son, her cousin Sandra, Ligia, the
wife of another cousin and her two daughters, Valeria and
Marcela. I had met Valeria before in Gütersloh, Germany, where
she had stayed for a while with a family to learn German.
As we left the airport to the car park the warm summer night
struck me immediately. When I left Holland it was cold and wet,
but here it was comfortably warm and it was a clear, starlit
night. Guatemala city is dense, crowded, chaotic. Beggars coming
up to the car at streetlights, big noisy buses and trucks
belching black noxious fumes, cars everywhere, streets
crisscrossing, and me sitting in a small Honda Civic piloted by
Ivette, skilfully navigating through the mayhem. Things calmed
down when we entered Ivette's neighbourhood, a nice suburb filled
with palm trees and hills.
I was introduced to the family, Ivette's parents and brother.
They were very nice and left us to ourselves in the living room
all evening. I hooked up my personal CD player to their stereo
and soon we were sitting on the sofa, catching up on all that
lost time. We had a lot to talk about, until I literally fell
asleep. Of course, jetlag did its thing and the next morning I
was wide awake again at about six.
The next day we did some shopping in the morning, the sun
shining warmly and I marvelled again at the mad traffic, cars and
people engaged in some kind of Brownian motion that seemed to
work out in the end since I didn't see any accidents during my
three-week stay. The afternoon we spent at a party at somebody's
summer house in the hills. Quite the place, in the middle of lush
green hills, sun shining, BBQ smoking, music playing, wodka-
orange in my hand and Ivette by my side. I was introduced to some
friends of Ivette's who I got to meet on a regular basis in the
coming times, Thelma and Fernando. Both colleagues from Ivette's
work at Sisteco, the Guatemalan Informix distributor.
That evening we went to a small bar called The Optimist with
some people. Ivette and I already were a bit giggly from the
wodkas at the party in the afternoon so we were having a good
time. Her friends were babbling in Spanish and my attempts to
contribute to the conversation were greeted with much enthusiasm
and amusement. Ivette made sure however that I understood
everything. Sandra's husband, Vladimir, is a big guy (my height,
which is very big for Guatemalan standards) and very friendly.
That night when we came back to the house I felt great, it felt
almost like a dream...
On Sunday morning we were picked up by Eduardo and Ligia to have
breakfast somewhere in the city. Eggs Mexican style with
tortillas and bread. So far, the food in Guatemala pleased me
enormously. Frijoles (black beans) with cream, tortillas, fresh
fruit, chilis (HOT!) in all kinds of shapes and sizes and
plenty of chicken and beef. Great stuff.
In the afternoon we went with Sandra and Vladimir to a place
called Antigua. This is the old capital of Guatemala which was
abandoned after massive earthquakes in the late 1700's. Very old,
very impressive with massive buildings, churches, convents. Small
cobblestone streets and lots of little shops and places to eat
and drink. I encountered the first tourists, but on a comfortably
small scale. I took some great pictures there, the sunset behind
the massive volcano with the old buildings in front of it looked
rather splendid. Since the government enforces strict building
and restauration rules, Antigua still looks like the old days, a
kind of giant outdoor museum. The place is also packed with
Spanish schools, you live with a family for a while that gives
you an intense Spanish training.
The evening we spent at Eduardo's house, and it became clear to
me that the family ties in Guatemala are slightly different from
the ones over here. Eduardo is Ivette's cousin but they are as
close as brother and sister and Ivette is very fond of Eduardo's
two daughters, Marcela and Valeria. Andrés was there too, and his
English is of such a high level that I could talk freely with
him, quite remarkable for an eight year old kid.
Monday morning very early we went to the airport to catch a
plane to Florés, a small town in the middle of the Petén, a vast
jungle area in the north of Guatemala. Close to Florés lies
Tikal, an ancient site of Maya culture. Massive temples and
historic buildings in the middle of the jungle. The landing of
the airplane was aborted at the last possible moment due to
massive fog and we circled around for a while, waiting for the
place to clear up a little. That day we spent travelling around
the area in a small van, on roads that were of such quality that
the ride was kindof bone-smashing. We took a small boat on a
lake, and we visited some places at the shores, a small zoo, some
caves and a restaurant in the afternoon where we had the usual
chicken with rice and tortillas. The beer in Guatemala is called
Gallo and is of very good quality, resulting in me consuming
large amounts of the stuff. It was hot and damp out there, so I
needed lots of it!
At the end of the afternoon we arrived at our hotel called Villa
Maya. The rooms were situated in small bungalows scattered around
the lake shore. From the balcony you could watch the lake and the
jungle - pretty impressive stuff. The hotel was surrounded by a
small park inhabited by large and superbly coloured parrots,
which were making a lot of noise. We had a swim in the hotel
pool, a nice dinner and an even nicer evening strolling through
the park, having a rather strange conversation with a somewhat
nervous parrot and sitting on the balcony in the warm summer
night air, drinking a bottle of wine. Things were working out
great between Ivette and me, I felt like I had ended up in
Early in the next morning I found myself sitting on the balcony
of the hotel, watching the lake and the jungle beyond. It had
rained a bit that night and the jungle was steaming under the
morning sun. Large clouds of vapour were rising up from the vast
green expanse, large birds circling above it, using the warm air
to carry them along.
That day we went with a bus into the jungle to Tikal. We took
some incredible roads that winded themselves deep into the dense
jungles leading to the Maya temples. The climbed the first one,
giving us an incredible view over the jungle, a vast sea of green
treetops, with the other great temple protruding through it in
the distance. A holler monkey was making some bizarre sounds and
I felt rather strange standing on a centuries old building in the
middle of a jungle with the sun beating down on me while back in
flat and wet Holland it would probably have been about 3 degrees.
It was a great day - we saw a lot of the temples, the highlight
being an old city centre with massive buildings, stairways and
little passages. The Maya culture must have been unbelievable in
the old days.
In the evening we went back, and the DC-9 we were supposed to
take was full. So we got into an antique twin-prop machine that
we quickly called 'The flying bus'. Kindof funny, the people in
the seat next to us had a live chicken with them and we got a
coke with a cookie. I wrote some postcards there, the deafening
sound of the engines making decent conversation impossible. At
the airport we were picked up by Ivette's father and we spent the
evening lying in bed, talking about the times we had and the
times we were still going to have...
The 23rd, the day before Christmas, we spent shopping for
various presents. Together with Sandra we visited various
shopping malls in search of nice stuff to give to everybody. Most
of the big shopping malls in the newer parts of the city are very
American-oriented. Big luxurious shops, food plazas ringed by
fast food stores and lots of shoppers around. The shopping spree
took almost all day and when we finally came home we crashed for
a while because it was party time that evening. Ivette's birthday
was the 24th and we went out with Sandra and Vladimir to a club
in the city. Lots of dancing and of course happy birthday for
Ivette at twelve.
Ivette's birthday was manic. It started with the customary
firecrackers at seven in the morning at the doorstep. Guatemalans
are very fond of firecrackers, they crack fire at every
occasion. The first people arrived around eight in the morning
and the last left around ten in the evening. Never before have I
seen so many people come and go in the same house. Of course I
enjoyed myself having nice drinks and chatting with everybody.
Almost all of Ivette's friends speak good English so I didn't
have many problems communicating.
Christmas in Guatemala is like any other Christmas really.
Presents under the tree, turkey dinner and lots, lots of food and
drink. Nothing I couldn't handle and people loved the many
Dutch gifts I had brought with me. It also was my first Christmas
where I could wear just a T-shirt and sit outside in the sun a
bit. Quite special for a Dutch bloke. Again, firecrackers were
employed by the masses. At noon, at six o'clock in the evening
and at midnight. Good fun really, here in Holland they are much
too strict. Fireworks only allowed from midnight to two in the
morning on the 1st. Hmm...
The next day we visited Ivette's grandpa, who lives in an old
colonial-style house. Very exotic-looking, with an open court in
the middle and all the rooms built around it. Great place where I
found many embarrassing photos of Ivette in her younger days.
Ivette's son Andrés celebrated his birthday on the 26th, and it
was basically a repeat of the 24th on a slightly smaller scale. A
single candle was rammed unceremoniously into the centre of a
cake and the flashlights popped as Andrés blew out the small
flame. Birthdays, Christmas, I was stuffing myself with goodies
like I never stuffed myself before. Yapdiddledoo...
That night we went to Antigua again, this time to the summer
house of Sandra's parents. A small villa set in the hills with a
large garden complete with palmtrees, coffee plants
and...hammocks. Believe it or not, but I had never had the
extreme pleasure of lowering myself into a hammock before and I
felt rather comfortable, lying there in that hammock overlooking
the garden, the mountains in the background...
After dinner Sandra's father presented me with a small red chili
which was supposed to be hot. Up to that moment I always bravely
consumed chilis presented to me and actually enjoyed them. This
one however, was too much for me. I bit off the smallest piece I
could manage and after a few seconds the fire spread itself
through my mouth and tears started rolling down my face, much to
the amusement of the people present. Coke, Sprite, icecubes,
whiskey, I grasped anything cold and liquid to try to reduce the
inferno that was raging through my system. After I recovered, I
respectfully packed the little red fusion reactors in a plastic
bag to take back home, to freak some people out.
We spent the night there and the next morning we were en route
to Lake Atitlan, the lake I had heard so much about. Well, the
stories and rumours weren't overdone. It's a lake surrounded by
seven volcanoes, and when we took the last turn down the mountain
and were presented with the view of the lake, I had to swallow a
few times. I grasped for my camera and at the first viewpoint I
jumped out of the car and started taking pictures. It wasn't
completely clear that day, and the clouds leaning against the
volcanoes created a kind of sinister atmosphere, casting weird
shadows on the lake. It was very impressive, and I understood why
people had been so enthusiastic about it.
We arrived at the village of Panajachel, set on the lake shore
and filled with craft stores, restaurants and gift shops. I found
some great handwoven shirts and other souvenirs. We hired a small
boat and floated around the lake a bit, allowing nice views of
the shores and the ever-present bulks of the looming volcanoes.
Normally I am not too fond of seafood but here I said what the
hell and dug into a couple of small fish caught in the lake. Very
nice really, with the mandatory tortillas and the Gallo beer.
Yessir, I do like Guatemalan food.
On Monday Ivette had to go to her office to take care of some
business and I came along, curious as to where she worked. It
turned out to be a very big and modern office building, the likes
of which you find in any high-tech business area in the city.
Quite an impressive place. We didn't do much else that day, some
shopping in a massive supermarket for our five-day trip to the
Atlantic coast where we were to spend New Year's eve.
Tuesday afternoon Sandra and Vladimir came to pick us up for the
trip. They had one of these small vans and we loaded all our
stuff, food, iceboxes filled with beer, orange juice and rum. We
took a small, winding road up north. The landscape gradually
changed from soft, green hills to large mountains covered in
dense jungle. It was a five hour trip during which I gazed out
the windows almost constantly, admiring the great Guatemalan
landscape. As evening fell, the sunset behind the mountains was
spectacular. The only problem was that driving became pretty
intense at night, the roads are not lit and there is lots of
heavy traffic like big trucks and buses.
Around seven we arrived at Puerto Barrios, a harbour town at the
Gulf of Honduras, at the southern end of the Carribean Sea. There
we parked the car and loaded all our stuff into a small boat
which took us to our final destination, Livingston. It took about
half an hour following the coast. Livingston is a small village
set on the shore of the Carribean, only reachable by boat. It has
a mixture of Guatemalan and Carribean culture, meaning lots of
reggae, rum, palmtrees and other seriously exotic stuff. Our
hotel was fantastic, a place called the Tucan Dugu. Set on the
shore, overlooking the bay amidst giant palmtrees it was rather
splendid. The rooms were big with a small garden and the pool
looked very inviting. The others had already arrived, some
friends of Ivette's, Carol & Mémé and Roberta & Pompeyo. We had
three rooms in a row and Sandra & Vladimir had a small room at
the end of a boardwalk, just under our rooms. The night we spent
in our rooms, having some drinks and a lot of laughs. Five days
in this place, this was getting better all the time...
On Wednesday, December 30 1990, we would embark on an adventure
the likes of which I will not easily forget. About two hours by
boat away from Livingston in Belize (a small country next to
Guatemala, previously British Honduras) territory are a cluster
of small islands at the south end of the barrier reefs called Los
Callos. Small and ultimately exotic islands with white beaches,
superblue water and palmtrees all over the place.
So we all got into a small boat, about 12 metres long with two
outboard engines, managed by two capitanos. The sea was calm at
first, but when we left the bay it started to get a bit windy and
the sea was getting quite rough. Since the boat was rather light
and small, it was getting kicked around by the waves pretty badly
and every time we would go over a wave, the boat would slam back
onto the water with bonecrushing force. We were seated on small
wooden benches that weren't built for this kind of onslaught and
soon our behinds felt like slabs of concrete, and we were getting
very sore all over.
But it was bearable, the nice sunshine and the whole idea of
being in a small boat on the Carribean Sea made it pretty
exciting. The Callos came into view about two hours later and
when the ocean became more shallow, the colour changed from deep
blue into that kind of light azure blue you always see on
postcards and Bounty advertisements. I also noticed that the
water was actually warm.
The islands were amazing, like I had expected, really. The beach
was white, the palmtrees were present in extremely large numbers
and there were coconuts all over the place. The shallow waters
around the beaches were inhabited by dozens of small fish, crabs
and those enormous shells you can put to your ear and listen to
intensely, hearing the rush of your own blood through your ears.
We shored on one and unloaded the boat. Soon we were set up
nicely, towel spread on the beach, nice cold beer from the icebox
and the sun warming us very comfortably. We went for walks on the
beach, lazy swims in the calm, warm water and generally had the
kind of time you have on small, exotic islands in the Carribean.
Sometimes when I opened another beer I thought of the people back
home jamming up their heaters and scratching the ice off their
cars in the morning. Ah well...
In the afternoon some clouds started rolling in and the two
capitanos began watching the heavens with troubled faces. It
turned out that a minor storm was coming and we had to spend the
night on the island. The seas would be too rough for the boat.
So we were stuck on a tiny island, with no facilities or
whatsoever. Luckily, there were some half-finished bungalows
around for a (supposedly) abandoned resort project. One of them
had some slabs of foam in it and we dragged our stuff to it and
set up some kind of camp. A trip around the island brought us to
the only inhabitants, two women and a small boy living in huts at
the other side. They kindly provided us with a few small roasted
fish and some more foam and a couple of sheets. We found the
carcass of an old barbeque and managed to make a small fire using
some of the wood lying around the place. So we sat out there on
the porch of the bungalow having the last of our drinks from the
iceboxes while the warm rain was falling outside. Something that
only happens once in a lifetime, especially if you're from
Later it cleared up a bit and we ventured out onto the beach
where we built a small campfire. Lying there, in the sand by the
warm glow of the fire with the murmur of the ocean in the
background and a startlit night up above I looked at Ivette and
realized what a lucky bastard I really was...
Around eight it became seriously dark and since we wanted to
leave as early as possible the next morning we went back to the
bungalow to try to get some sleep. Now outside it was dark, but
inside the bungalow it was absolutely pitch black. So we had to
move around on touch, relying on the mental map of the place you
made before. I actually slept pretty well, unlike some of the
others who didn't get much sleep. Around three I ventured outside
for a pee and was presented with a starlit night the likes of
which I hadn't seen since that night in the desert of Arizona
some six months ago. I considered waking up Ivette to enjoy it
together but I decided to let her sleep. Around five thirty the
first light started seeping through the windows and half an hour
later I was actually able to distinguish the shapes of the others
lying around the place. At six, we were all up and about an hour
later we were in the boat, ready to go back to Livingston. It was
the last day of 1992.
Unfortunately, it was still very windy and the sea was rough.
Too rough for our small boat and soon we were all sitting there,
cold by the continuous water splashing over the boat, covered in
salt and very worried. This was the only moment during this
holiday that I felt totally uncomfortable. We were on a small
boat, in the middle of the ocean, no land in sight, the boat was
not equipped or anything and the sea was way too rough. Great. It
was like a ride in a rollercoaster designed by a madman. When the
first of the keys of the bay came in sight I was slightly
relieved and the sea actually calmed down a little but it was
still quite unnerving. We did spot a dolphin however and as time
passed I realized that we wouldn't go down after all and relaxed
a little. Since the boat couldn't travel fast the hours crept by
and after about three and a half hours we entered the bay. Here
the fun started anew, the wind had turned and the waves were
coming sideways this time, causing the boat to sway very much,
and sometimes it was only a matter of inches or we would have
tipped over. Then, after about four and a half hours of madness,
the capitanos announced that we were running out of fuel. The
coast was already in sight but still too far away. How
convienent, running out of bloody fuel at a moment like this.
Fortunately, there was a large boat a few miles away so we
decided to head to it.
It turned out to be a small destroyer of the Guatemalan navy.
They agreed to take us on board and tow our boat to Livingston.
So we climbed the small ladder swung over the side of the ship
and moments later I found myself sitting below deck, shivering,
cold, salty, but very, very relieved. Everybody was hungry,
thirsty, dying to go to the loo and very, very sore. Yet we made
it and the whole ordeal was almost over.
When it finally was my turn to go to the toilet (ladies first of
course) and I stumbled into the small space (the ship was swaying
pretty badly) it happened. I was standing there, trying to have a
pee in a ship on rough sea, quite an achievement and when I
looked right I saw tulips. It took me a while to get used to the
idea, tulips in a place like this. I looked right again and there
were some soft sloping banks of a small brook covered in grass
I stared at my shoes for a while, convinced my mind had finally
surrendered to exposure and hardship and had started to
hallucinate. Visions of home, Holland. A blissfull smile formed
on my face and I looked over my shoulder again. This time I saw
some swans on the brook and a nice windmill in the background. It
wasn't until I saw 'Diciembre' printed over this idyllic scene
and lots of numbers under it that I realized I was staring at a
'Holland' calendar. So I was on a boat of the Guatemalan navy,
floating on the Carribean and there was a Holland calendar in the
toilet. I shook my head, hitched up my shorts and returned to my
seat, slightly dumbfounded.
About an hour later we were back in our hotel room. We spent
an hour in the shower, an hour in the hotel restaurant and the
next couple of hours sleeping, grateful for such nice smelling
soap and soft sheets. We made it, and promised ourselves we would
get suitably blasted that evening, New Year's eve!
When everybody had recovered we went out into Livingston. A
small, crowded village in a sort of carnival atmosphere. Small
shooting galleries, little stalls where they sold fried bananas,
small liquor stores, souvenir stores and lots and lots of people.
It was New Year's Eve of course. We ended up in a small
restaurant that advertised fresh lobster. I ordered some fish
because I wasn't sure about eating something that was served on
your plate complete with scaly legs, pinchers and eyes on stilts.
I nicked some from Ivette though and I have to admit it was
pretty good. These lobsters were immense, and once more we
There was a party in the hotel bar that night and we decided to
go there. There was a band playing salsa music and of course I
had to try it. I was dragged to the dancefloor by Ivette and soon
I was busy with my best approximation of the salsa which
basically consists of holding each other as close as possible and
squirming over the dancefloor. Interesting, and the more Cuba
Libres I drank, the more I enjoyed it! Pompeyo had some small
crackers he scattered over the dancefloor so the dance was
accompanied by the odd small explosion under someone's shoe, much
to our amusement.
Midnight came sooner than I expected and there were the usual
firecrackers and New Years's kisses. After that we continued our
dancing and I don't really know what time we went to bed. Again,
a New Year's eve I am not likely to forget easily, and later
Ivette and I decided that if I ever ended up living in Guatemala,
we would go here every year.
The first day of 1993 we spent being lazy in the hotel. Sleeping
late, hanging out by the pool in deckchairs drinking cold beer
and Bloody Maries. Great for the suntan and while dozing in that
deckchair I couldn't help but thinking about the people back home
again. Later I heard that around that time it was freezing about
-10 degrees Celcius in Holland. Some things just ain't fair...
On Saturday, January 2nd, we boarded another boat. Very similar
to the one we spent some frightened hours in but this time it
would be an easy ride along the coast and down a river that winds
itself south into the jungle, Rio Dulce. Mere minutes after we
entered the river, the banks started rising and after a while, we
were surrounded by steep walls of jungle, rising hundreds of feet
into the air. A very, very impressive sight, and I spotted many
wild birds like big parrots and tucans in the foliage. Later on
we emerged from the gorge and the river banks would be cluttered
with small huts and other primitive buildings, giving
opportunities for some great photographs.
We shored at a small museum where they had a collection of local
animals, poisonous snakes, massive spiders, tons of small mammals
and monkeys. There was one tame monkey running around the place
and it seemed to take a particular interest in Mémé, the poor lad
just couldn't get rid of the little agile creature clinging to
him. After he got rid of it, it turned its attention to me, and
before I knew it, the beast was all over me. Arms, legs, tail, it
was driving me mad. I never guessed I would be walking around a
jungle with a small monkey clinging to my leg. Later on the
monkey calmed down and Vladimir took it while we walked around a
small path through the jungle that led us to several special
trees and other interesting flora. I saw 'parasol-ants', those
red ants that carry small pieces of leaf they hold above their
heads like parasols. They use them for compost to grow fungi they
eat. I saw them on TV before, but never for real.
Further down the river, across a lake was a small castle,
Castillo de San Felipe. Built by the Spaniards to control the
traffic down the river and destroyed and rebuilt many times by
all kinds of invaders including of course my proud ancestors, the
Dutch pirates. We stalked around it for a while until it was time
to return to the boat, back to Livingston.
On Sunday we returned to Puerto Barrios and from there on back
to Guatemala City. Another long ride, but Ivette and I could just
make ourselves comfortable on the back seat so it wasn't too bad.
At night we went to one of Guatemala City's many steakhouses, a
big place with even bigger steaks for prices you won't believe.
Six of us stuffed ourselves on huge, juicy steaks with salads,
baked potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic bread, tortillas and
drinks for about 75 guilders, 25 pounds. That's barely enough for
two down here in Holland and the steaks aren't half as good. As I
said before, some things just aren't fair!
The last week of my stay was very modest compared to the first
two. Ivette had to work, and I would come along to her office
sometimes. There I realized that professionally, there would be
opportunities for me and all kinds of wild ideas were drifting
into my mind. I spent a lot of time being lazy, watching TV (they
have American cable over there, about 30 channels of it) and
playing Nintendo with Andrés. Wednesday morning we went to a
crafts market where I stockpiled some souvenirs. Clothes, small
woven rugs, huge towels with amazing prints on them and lots of
other stuff for amazing prices. Again, Ivette managed to cut the
prizes considerably by a few moments of Spanish babbling. By that
time my Spanish had improved quite a lot but when people start
speaking really quickly, it all merges into a stream of
incomprehensible sounds. Ah well, one day I'll pick it up.
We went to see "Dracula" that evening, Francis Ford Coppola's
interpretation of the original Bram Stoker book. Visually
brilliant stuff. The costumes, sets and special effects are
completely overwhelming and after two and a half hours you
stumble out of the cinema, kindof dazed. Opinions varied about
the quality of the story and the film as a whole though, but to
me, fan of Gothic stuff and vampires in general, it was amazing.
Friday, the day of my departure was approaching without remorse
and we had to see many, many people before I left. Everybody kept
inviting us to lunches, dinners, visits, and other social events.
It was great, these people really know how to make you feel
welcome in a place. I regretted having to say goodbye to great
people like Sandra and Vladimir, Eduardo and Ligia and all of
Ivette's friends. But the three weeks were over and it was time
for me to return to Holland.
Goodbye in the airport was very, very hard. Lots of things had
happened between Ivette and myself, and we realized that what was
going on between us was pretty serious. Serious enough to repeat
the experience soon, and this time she would come to Holland,
preferably in April around easter, my birthday.
I've been home for two weeks now and I have kindof gotten used
to this place again. No cheerful sunshine early in the morning,
no tortillas with my dinner, but most of all, no Ivette. But
she's coming over in April for three weeks so that gives me
something to look forward to. And after that? Don't be surprised
if a certain editor decides he wants to live in Guatemala for a
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