Monthly Archives: October 2008

“Yo creo a Jesús. Digo no a Halloween.”

Yo creo a Jesús. Digo no a Halloween.

Wanderlust

My time here in Antigua, Guatemala, is coming to an end soon. I’ve been here for almost a month, and while it’s been a perfect place to work, study, and socialize, I’m eager to start traveling around Central America now that the rainy season has come to an end.

Time to take a leave of absence from Conexion, the high-speed Internet lounge where I’ve been working day in and day out. Every post on this blog of the past few weeks has been written here, where I’ve made myself at home.

Jason Birchmeier Working at Conexion, the Best Internet Lounge in Antigua, Guatemala

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“Once-Mighty Michigan”

No matter how much I try, I just can’t quit my football team, the Michigan Wolverines. Under the leadership of our new coach, the much-touted Rich Rodriguez — whom we’re paying at least $2.5 million annually for six years, I’d like to add — we’re presently in the midst of one of the worst seasons in the team’s 129-year history.

Not since the 1960s, before the arrival of Bo Schembechler in 1969, have we been this bad. To date we’ve lost six games, and with four more games to go, we’re sure to lose at least one more game (to Ohio State), if not more. Not since 1962 have we lost seven games in a season, and before that, not since 1936. To my knowledge we’ve never in 129 years lost eight games in a season, something we may likely accomplish in this most pathetic year.

Moreover, for 33 consecutive years we’ve gone on to play in a postseason bowl game. Already we know that streak will be broken this year, the first time in 33 years that we won’t be playing in the postseason.

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Clifton Hillary III in Antigua

Embedded below is an entertaining four-part documentary of Antigua, Guatemala, filmed by walkaboutgroup during holy week. It’s done in a professional style, is filled with jokes, and covers most of the city’s key highlights.

There’s no better Antigua video on YouTube.


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Domingo

Despite the gloomy weather report, it’s been a pleasant Sunday morning here in Antigua. ¡Gracias a Dios! For the first time in a couple days, the skies have been clear as is well evident in these photos taken today on my way to the Internet lounge:

Volcán de Agua

Volcán de Agua

Volcán de Fuego and Acatenango

Volcán de Fuego and Acatenango

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The Return of the Rainy Season

The weather here in Guatemala has been terrible since Thursday, when Tropical Depression 16 began sweeping across Central America. The storm hit hardest in Honduras but nonetheless brought the entire Central American region days of relentless rainfall and relatively cold weather.

The weather report at Weather.com/Espanol forecasts rain and cold weather for the next ten days straight here in Guatemala. Granted, cold weather here means about 65-70°F, so it’s not too bad. But still, this is Guatemala — anything below 75°F, anything that requires a jacket, is considered cold.

Worse is the rain, which isn’t too bad here in Antigua — just a steady, relatively cold misty downfall — but which is reaping havoc on the Caribbean coast, where flooding has gotten out of control.

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Jessica Fairchild

I’d like to refer a fellow WordPress blogger, Jessica Fairchild, a talented photojournalist whose blog features samples of her work and stories about her adventures, primarily in Uganda, where she works for a non-profit organization.

Here’s a photo of her, followed by her self-description:

Jessica Fairchild

Jessica Fairchild

I am a photojournalist, and I love every second of it.
I currently work for a non-profit organization called Invisible Children who are focused on education in Northern Uganda, and I am currently living in Northern Uganda, photographing and doccumenting the progress they are making, and how the money raised in America is being used on the ground there.
Besides IC, I am majoring in Visual Communication, while persuing my own photo business of weddings, concerts, and creative portraits on the side.
I have little desire to be a fashion photographer, or work for an ad firm , because I find it ridiculous to sell something to people who already have everything they “need.”
Images are powerful, and can move and inspire, and therefore I want my images to capture the emotion, pain, hurt, broken hearts (both around the world, and in my own neighborhood), and bring them back here to america to open peoples eyes to see not only the tragedy, but to see the joy as well and truly learn the story of of each culture I experience-and be inspired to do something, and act.
At age 20 I have already discovered what I want to do for the rest of my life, and I am doing it.

Her blog includes a couple posts about Antigua (one, two) that feature some striking photos. From her post “Camera Shy”:

Camera Shy

Camera Shy

This blew my mind.
The people here are camera shy…
Having traveled to other developing countries I have found so many (especially children) who crave to have their picture taken, but here it is a different story.
During Guatemala’s 36 year civil war, the government would take photos of people on the street in order to show their army the targets. Because of this, when you go to take a photo of someone they will immediately cover thier face because they are afraid of being identified.
When you walk past them they will smile and say hello, but the second they see you with your camera they hide their face. What amazes me is how the war has been over for many years now, yet the survivors of the war have instilled this fear into their children of having their picture taken. Yet in this photograph, the littlest girl had no fear, I couldn’t figure out why.

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