On Tuesday, Michael had the vet clinic in Solola, so he had to leave very early in the morning. I wound up meeting Cheri and Angela at breakfast, and Cheri asked me to write a post for their Helping Mayan Families blog.
So I took some time to do that and came over to Sharon's mid-morning. There, I helped some more with putting together tamale baskets and distributing toys and clothes.
Sharon showed me this little boy -- he weighed practically nothing!
Tricia got to meet her last sponsored student, Jennifer, as well as her brother, who had accompanied her to the house.
We saw the rarest of things: a man carrying a baby! This couple had twins, and the wife carried the girl, and the husband carried the boy.
Happy recipients of a basket.
This was a blind man who came in with his son.
The distribution ended in the early afternoon. After that, we had lunch prepared by the Mayan Families kitchen workers, and then it was time to get the toys ready for the San Jorge Christmas party that would take place the next day.
First a word about toys: Beanie Babies are one of the greatest inventions ever! They are perfect as gifts for just about any kids...except for older boys! The older boys were our Achilles heel. We searched through big garbage bags of toys, suitcases in the back of the house stuffed with assorted things, huge cardboard Medrano boxes, all in search of suitable toys to give boys over the age of 10 or so.
We found a few balls (soccer balls, of course, are the best gifts of all, but we couldn't find any of those), some balsa wood airplanes, a few action figures, and a toy vehicle or two, but it was slim pickings. Note for next time: stock up on the older boy toys before I go down!
Once we had the toys together, there wasn't much left to do. Tamale basket production had stopped, since we were waiting for the rest of the contents to be delivered to Sharon's, and that wouldn't be till the next day.
So I went back into Pana for the evening.
Here are some of the fried chicken street vendors. Yes, fried chicken is the ubiquitous street food.
I went down to Lake Atitlan and caught the sunset for the first time.
Of course, there were numerous roving vendors down by the water, but I got off easy. I was only arm-twisted into buying a hairband.
The sunset was gorgeous.
Then I met up with Michael at Dos Mundos' bar/cafe and got to hear about all the excitement from his day in Solola. He'll have to tell you all about it.
While we were having a drink, we met an exuberant young street dog, with whom Michael fell in love. "Chico" just walked right in the door and kept giving play bows. Michael said he would be a perfect candidate to be neutered the next day at the clinic. Meredith, the vet, was there, as well, and she agreed.
Some vendors came in, as well, and one little girl was just too cute to turn away. I bought this stuffed turtle from her.
Before we went off to dinner, we were able to find Patty, one of the co-founders of Mayan Families, who also lives next door to Dos Mundos. Chico was still hanging around, so Michael put him into the back of her pickup truck, so he'd be safe for the night.
Michael and I had wanted to go to dinner at Circus Bar, but unfortunately, they were closed that evening. Circus Bar is great for live music, and we had had dinner there back in April. Instead, we went to nearby Atlantis. It didn't have music, but the food was good.
Stay tuned for photos of Chico! The next day, the saga continued!