Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

the colour of my skin impedes me - Livingston

It seems we've entered some weird X Files world on the carribean coast of guatemala.  A 6 hour bus trip of 120 km as the roads are all unpaved rubble. This followed by  2 and a half hour boat trip of 30 km to get to the lake and sea locked town of livingston.

Jungle hot and humid and juggling between fire sun and dense fog, livingston is home to the Black Caribs.

I met Phillip today a 65 year old dreadlocked man who took myself, catherine and two British medical students on an improvised tour of the Garifuna, side of town.  Turistas don't go there.

The Garifuna are a mix of aboriginal Caribs and African slaves.

Phillip tells us that the Garifuna once ran livingston. During the Civil war many Mayan and metitzos, fled the death squads and supplanted the Garifuna. All the tourist stalls feature authentic Garifuna crafts not made by garifuna.  Reggae music blasts from the restaurants and bars all owned by those who speak spanish. No one will hire the Garifuna nor intermix as they are all Black.

A communal community who live in bare shacks. Garbage everywhere and these two dogs who keep following us the whole way and just won't stop fucking.

We return to the whiter side of town. The medical students canoe back over the river to their jungle lodge.

Catherine and I realize today that our small hotel is hosting a group of Guatemalan gay male activists; this in a country where being gay is a very possible death sentence.

Tonight as we left the sustainable tourism restaurant the skies opened with a torrents of rain so tropical I thought of the movie Platoon.

I stood under the small roof my sandals soaking from the water flooding down the street.

5 of us taking shelter.  I noticed the guy next to me was a gringo. Where are you from I asked. Roswell, new mexico.  I made a joke, so are you half alien and half weather balloon?

Some people think so he laughed back.

are you touring around I ask.  No. I am here on mission work.

oh are you building schools or clinics or so something?

no. We have a few prospects and are teaching them how to spread the gospel.

back at the hotel the entire bottom floor, albeit 4 rooms or so,  is home to the Guatemalan gay men.

One staircase up are the American evangelists plotting conversion strategies. I can hear them talking right now. Tell them they will fall into evil and there is only one God of the whole world. Americans again out of their depth.

and then it starts to rain again so hard that it sounds like thunder.

on the way back from the restaurant I realized the female, from the amorous pair of dogs in the Garifuna town had followed me the many kilometers out of her home territory. She left just before I reached the hotel.

I worry about her shivering in the rain.


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