Who knew driving on a pickup with a pensioner could be fun?
We get to Santiago, legs wet from the waves and our hair standing in every direction. The pensioner is power-walking again. Who knew someone so old could be so fast?
I speed after James. I eventually get the chance to look around at the expansive weaved tapestries and beautiful Mayan women in traditional attire. Hearing the pat-pat of tortillas being shaped by small hands I take a deep breath and focus on the mission ahead.
“Where are we going, James?” I ask, standing on a busy road whilst an overflowing pickup truck full of people slows down.
“I have no idea!” He laughs.
My face drops. Why is he always doing this to me? I rush to grab my phone from my backpack and look at the destination he sent me on Whatsapp.
“Patchi… Patchi.. Patchitulu por va for!” I yell at the driver.
The pickup takes us through serpentine roads, passing through avocado plantations and large patches of greenery. We look at the lake as we make our way through the valley. I realized Atitlan really is the most beautiful lake in the world.
We had to focus today, and we had to get this right. We were meeting one of the oldest Mayan Permaculture projects by the lake.
I look at James again, my ginger hair flying in my face. “Do you know where we are going?” “I have no idea!” He says laughing again. I could have strangled him. I focus forward, desperately looking for a sign of the organization.
My hat flies into the abyss of the side road. I look back and realize I am never getting it back. I see the sign, I see the gates.
We stomp on the roof of the pickup and like magic it stops. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Hey, in retrospect, that might have even been enjoyable.
However, it was time to haggle over the permaculture portion of our trip, and fortunately, James and Carlos had a solid rapport.
To be continued…