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   September 25, 2004
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Has it been that long?  It seems like so much has happened and yet not much has changed down here.  That is one of the many things I love about Guatemala: the pace of life.  You don't see so many people rushing around or worried about tight schedules.  I think it is a easy trap to fall in.  We spend so much time running our lives and not enough time enjoying them.  

Still one of my favorite activities is just sitting in the central park and eating a chocolate banana.  This has to be one of the least stressful times of my entire life.  

We now have more regular friends here so we also go over to each others houses for dinner or lunch.  Such a variety of people.  We were at the beach a few months ago and Annette recognized a girl she went to high school with.  She lives down here and has a Guatemalan boyfriend.  They are both fun to hang out with.  

We never thought we would be able to take health related courses down here, that changed also.  The picture above is of lake Atitlan,  this is a view from San Marcos.  San Marcos is now known as a health retreat town.  There are many different types of massage therapist, shamans, reiki practitioners, silent retreats, yoga instructors and one kinesiologist.  The kinesiologist, Louise, is a certified teacher of Touch for Health.  Touch for Health is a layman's approach to kinesiology (muscle testing and what not).  She teaches four different levels of this and Annette attended levels one, three and five, I was present for level two.  It wasn't very expensive and any opportunity to go to the lake is worth it.  Unlike Applied Kinesiology there is no chiropractic involved.  I think the two go very well together. 

Louise also came to Antigua to teach a course in Bach Flower Remedies.  This course is internationally registered and was a great introduction into that field.  The more you know the more you can help the next person who walks through the door.  Of course you know we don't spend so much time at the office so here are pictures of our latest trip. 

Annette's parents came down for a second visit so we rented a car and drove to Lanquin.  This is a small village, a really small village in the highlands of Guatemala.  To give you a example they did have a gas station, however the gas was stored in gallon containers which this very polite guy poured into the car using a funnel and hose.  We of course were happy just to have the option of getting gas because it was a very long, bumpy dirt road that got us there.  We had no idea what to expect.

 

The reason we went to visit this particular town were some famous caves in the area and also a fabled swimming hole.  The caves were fantastic, large open caverns each one bigger than the next.  They are not fully explored and really you could go in as far as you wanted.  It was lighted from the inside to a certain point.  We of course wanted to go as far as possible, but we ended up in a wet area with a 20 foot drop off.  There were no good places to set your feet or hands so we decided that was it.  Next time we will bring a rope.  At the mouth of the cave there was a river exiting below it.  We expected somewhere inside must be a large cavern with water running through.  That would be quite a sight.

 

The next day we drove to this breath taking swimming area.  Another dirt road that ran up one mountain and down the other side.  We had rented a small SUV with four wheel traction, very useful.  The water here was crystal clear and had numerous small waterfalls.  The picture on the left is the lowest set and the picture on the right is a bit higher up.  The water was warmer because it sits in these natural pools and the main body of water actually diverts under the rock and comes out farther down. 

Here is a picture of where we stayed.  It was very comfortable and the area was entirely fenced in so the horses on the property didn't escape.  We woke up hearing them call to each other and race around.  Across the river was another mountain populated with a heard of goats.  Nature and animals, you can't beat it.  We paid 13$ per night and Annette's parents paid a wee bit more for a room with a private bath.  There where also dorm rooms for far less if you were backpacking and on a budget.  Well that seems to sum up a bit of what we have been doing.  We hope to hear from you guys and gals soon.  Take care and lots of love,

Nathan and Annette