Monday, March 5, 2012

We are home, but I am not yet done with this blog.  As I sort through my photos, I'll continue to add descriptions, like what the school was like, a sequence on the adobe house built next door, and so on.

Saturday was a very long day.  We took the boat back to Panajachel, where Ruben picked us up in the bus.  The drive back to Antigua was about 2 hours, and Ruben's son was born during that drive.  (In Guatemala, men are typically not in the delivery room as they are in the US.)  Mom and baby are healthy.  

When we got back, we had lunch at the Rainbow Cafe.  Since we thought service would be a bit slow, Karen, Michael and I went to the Jade Factory that we toured the previous week to pick up a few things.  The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping at the artisan market.   In my case, it was finally time to start taking Cipro, as I didn't feel well.  Sara and her daughters came back to Antigua and spent a few hours with us.

The day ended at La Pena de Sol Latino for a fabulous dinner with the whole group.  Great musicians, too - besides Latin American music, they played something I knew by jazz flautist Tim Weisberg. By then I was so tired I could hardly stay awake.  I got back to my hotel room around 9:30 and was asleep by 9:35.

Sunday, Ruben picked us up for our trip to the airport at 6:30 am.  Flights home were uneventful.  By the time we got home from the airport, it was 10 pm.  And today, I worked from home then went to Lansing with Andrew to borrow a car.

So today's blog entry will have no photos.  Instead, I'll list the great people that I met on this trip
Here’s the crew with their nicknames - as given by MJ  :) 

John Barrie – ATC JB (since there is another John Barry from Ann Arbor who lives in Guatemala) – sometimes Gringo Rojo because he was sunburnt so often.  John is the vision, leader , planner, and driver behind ATC.

Greg Long - Super G
Mary Jane (MJ) O'Brien - Flaca (Flaca means skinny lady in Spanish)
Greg & MJ brought much experience to the team – their business is  Greg also speaks Spanish, having learned on the streets of Chicago.  They lead the solar building crew.

Tim Greenia – Banana Boy – because he bought bananas and was then mobbed by  
local kids to whom he gave them away.  Sometimes called 5-string because he played The Iguana’s guitar that was missing a string.  (We’re looking forward to getting Tim’s CD, though our favorite song is Perfect Girl).  Tim’s carpentry skills came in handy at the bajareque site.
Gail Presby – Angelica – because she is so sweet
Gail teaches at U of D and is interested in ATC for her school. 

Craig Harvey – Professor Lighting – for his instruction on solar technology
Craig is a retired mechanical engineer – and a very good dancer

Karen Tice – Mamacita – though not for its connotations. 
Michael Szocik – Spikey Mikey – for his hair
Karen was our most fluent Spanish speaker, having learned it in Mexico when she lived there for a summer at age 14.  Michael, her son, spent a summer in Ecuador, so also speaks very well. 

Doug Kelbaugh – teaches at UM.  Was the dean when JB taught there.
Kat Nolan – a nurse
Tess Kelbaugh – a florist who lives in Seattle, Kat’s daughter
The three together were Tres Amigos.  I don’t think they had individual nicknames.  

Tina Watson – Queso – “cheese” for all the photos

Our UM students

Ben VanGessel – Ben Hur – I think he had other nicknames from his versatility.  Welding skills.  Rappelling.  Many talents

Leena Jube – Yip
James Carpenter – Yani (or Yanica)
Leena and James are dance partners at UM ballroom dance.   Their nicknames may seem backwards, since Yip is male and Yani is female, but that’s how Leena wanted it.

JC Barnes – Kamikaze and/or Crazy Pants – the first comes from his flying leap off the dock and the second speaks for itself
Tim Wurman – Marimba Tim or Timba
Tim and JC are leaders in the same design club at UM, and part of their role was a scouting trip for a future project in solar water heating.

Andrew Curtin – Techno – speaks for itself.  My son.

Our local crew in Guatemala

Ryan Helmer – MJ had so many nicknames, I’m not sure which belongs here.  The friendly giant? 
Ryan is from Arkansas, and lives in Guatemala City, where he teaches math and physics.  Because he was local (and fluent in Spanish), he was often our guide.

Charlie Rendall – Bam Bam – Charlie was our green building expert who taught us bajareque and showed us many local examples of Green Building.  He lives in San Marcos.

Carlos Alvarez – Charlie Cruz – Carlos is an electrical engineer, led that part of the solar project, and is in charge of it now that the ATC crew has left.  Carlos will also be teaching solar classes at the CECAP school.

Ruben Mata – our local transportation contact – fluent in English, and a great person to start with for anyone planning a trip to Guatemala

Pat Torpie – executive director of Amigos de Santa Cruz, sponsors of the CECAP school

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