I just finished breakfast, and wandered down to a sunny spot. I have been here about ten days and only just now discovered that there is a lower gate into the hotel from the embarcadero, the dock. But it is locked. In an hour or so from now the group will be heading out there for our boat ride around the lake. We will revisit the town with the pottery workshops and weaving collective. This time our other stop will be Panachel, the larger town from which Loring and I took the boat to Hotel de Mundo, and later, to Antigua. We didn't spend any time there, though, aside from waiting for our collective shuttle vans.
It is amazing how much we have accomplished In just three days. Granted, there have been a lot of us working on them, nearly twenty of us, plus three or four young men from the community. So many, in fact, that we have had to work in shifts at times.
Cindy'sdesigns are again based on photos that Walt had taken in the past. There are two portraits of an elderly man and a woman. Those will be installed flanking the larger mural we did last week, also based on a photo by Walter. The man depicted is Walter's father. The other is of is of a woman who has subsequently died.
The other mosaic, the one I have worked on the most, is of three young children. As I wrote earlier, the little boy is the music teacher's son, taken about a decade ago. He is now sixteen, still a member of the marimba band, and a part time music student in Guatemala City.
The parts of this mosaic that I worked on are the boy's and one of the girl's clothing. Although I needed a lot of guidance from Cindy, I am still proud of and pleased with my work. From the time I saw the shards of broken pottery in the workshop last week, I wanted to incorporate some of them into the mosaic. It was Cindy's idea to use them as part of the clothing. I am also pleased that I have met the actual person the design depicts. I wonder, though, how Jarbin, the young musician, feels having his image on public display. Proud, I hope. Cheyo, his father, certainly seems to be.
Speaking of the marimba band, they got a lot of tips a couple of nights ago in the restaurant, after I gave a little pitch about them to our group. When our first group, last week, saw them, it was much more as background music, although some of our group did pat them attention and give them tips.
When they played a few days ago, though, it was Valentine's Day, as well as Friday, and the restaurant was decorated with flowers and balloons, and they were offering a 15% discount. There were quite a few local families and couples. And it was also the Habitat for Humanities group's,( who have also been staying here) last night here. So the tip money seemed to be flowing.
Did I mention that when I had showed them video of them playing that first night, they were intrigued. I am pretty sure they had never seen themselves playing before. On the other hand, they do have a Facebook page, so I could be wrong.i need to post some of the videos or send them to Cheyo.
I had mentioned before that there were a few young men who participated yesterday with us on the mosaics. They are the members of a collective of local mural artists who have painted on various walls around town, with permission of the city. They had all painted from a young age, but were organized last year by Oliver. He led us around town to see many of the murals, explaining to us the symbolism in the works. It is he who does all the design work and directs the others (not unlike our groups,) with a major difference being that he does all of his design work spontaneously, on site, whereas Cindy and Deb carefully plan their design work in advance.
I asked Cindy where the group gets its funding. She answered that our groups give them some, with money from our payments to the program. Good to know. I imagine that Chati, the hotel manager, also contributes. Chati is quite involved in the community in a number of ways. And of course the hotel employs a large staff, including cooks and servers, gardening staff [a lot) housekeepers, and more.
I will stop for now, and eventually pick up the narrative again, with the info about our meals, coffee, likely more info about handicrafts, and whatever future adventures await us!