I am in Panajachel, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan, the date is September 19, 2011.
I have been in Pana now for about two and a half months, on the 11th of October I will fly to the USA to visit my parents for a couple of weeks. After that, I will fly to Goa, India to meet with Andrew my partner and techie in Goa, India. He has a girlfriend and I want to meet her.
I have been to Pana many times in my life, it has the most perfect climate I know of on the planet.
However, I am tired of Pana, I have spent too much time here right now, it is becoming boring. I think the biggest problem here for me is the overabundance of older expatriates. In a way, this is a colony of older American women who come here for some unknown reason, older hippie girls, not my first choice of people.
The local are great, I told James yesterday, Pana is the closest to my culture on the planet. I am from a small town called Orland in the State of Indiana. The culture of my small town is soft and easy, and people say hi to each other. The locals here in Pana feel compelled to reply or say hello.
For me to feel comfortable, the closer a specific culture is to my own, the easier it is to feel good.
San Marcos on the other side of Lake Atitlan is extremely different than me, the foreigners to me seem crazy who live there, they are all searching for God. Which is OK when you are 22, but when you are 50, it is time to grow up and shut up, but they do not, it is Peter Pan Syndrome to the max.
This city is for relaxing and not for chasing girls, it is place to sit around and drink coffee and talk, not for party. Although there 100's of people here who are hermits and smoke pot until the fall down.
I was happy, Dale can now read again with his new glasses. It took me a week or two realize he needed new glasses, this was small success in friendship for me.
Dale Marsh in Hospital
I have been helping Dale, a man 75 years old to get his money arranged, he is too old to think clearly. Yesterday, he fell down in the Parada Coffee shop and the Bombaros came and took him to the Solola Hospital maybe five miles away.
In a way, he is waiting to die, it is sad, but this is reality. He has some new glasses now, and can read gain. I paid 600 Q for him to get new one, it is his money and he is OK for money, just slow to think.
I suppose I need to go Solola and see him in the Hospital, this is for sure a Charlie Foxtrot, he had no family, we can manage his money OK, but to help him in the Hospital is more complicated or confusing.
There is a need to have someone responsible for another human, without a mate or children, what is the next option?
Me and James have been calling the management of Dale as OF-Management System.
Old Fart Management, for the lack of a better way of looking at it, this is what it is, when a person become old and does not quite remember the plot, they need help, and truly only a few people are capable of managing others.
Andy Graham on Lago Atitlan in Guatemala
Andy it is so nice to see you helping Dale. Do you have someone in Pana who will step up to the plate to help him when you are gone?
Andy, Being a little older than you and seeing the same thing happening to friends around me bothers me. I would like to believe society (you and I) can take a little time and help. The truth is most places do not have the right "society" to help. You and I and the people who are willing to reach out do not go to many places because they are hostile in some way. Keep smilin' and lending an occasional hand.
It was the right thing to do, and it is never the wrong time to do the right thing.