Getting from place to place in Guatemala is a trip in itself. In the city, we saw lots of “chicken buses.” They’re actually old American school buses, painted with colorful murals and tricked out with chrome, neon lights and air horns. They’re usually stuffed with people and animals, and topped with rooftop cargo – I actually watched someone unload a turkey from the top of a bus! From what I’ve seen, when it’s time to get off the bus, you’d better move fast — one poor guy I saw didn’t move quickly enough had to sprint alongside the bus to get his luggage from the “rooftop attendant.”
But you don’t see any chicken buses up here on the mountain. In fact, if you don’t have a pick-up with 4-wheel drive, you’re not going anywhere. Yesterday we drove up what we refer to as “King Kong Mountain.” It’s rained the past three days, so the road was pretty slippery, and slippery isn’t good when the road is only about as wide as your truck and there’s no guardrail to protect you from the 1,000 ft drop off. We’ve been driving slow and safe.
During this project, I’ve been in charge of pulling wire. I work closely with the same group of locals each day, and we like to have fun teasing each other. The villagers pick on me because they can walk so much faster than I can. I think it has to do with the elevation, but I tell them it’s because I’m too fat. I can always get them laughing when I make fun of myself. I may not be able to use the fat joke too much longer though, we’ve been working so hard that I’ve had to move my belt in two notches since we got here.
-Contributed by HomeWorks Tri-County lineworker, Richard W.