I saw a man today with blue cotton shorts on over a pair of jeans. He walked like a soldier down a median in Guatemala City. Beams of sunlight dripped from the wireframe glasses he wore. And then as the bus surged forward, he was gone.

I saw a man today pushing an ice cream cart up a mountain, a bag slung over his back like a sinking balloon. And then as the bus surged forward, he was gone.

I saw La Limonada today, the largest slum in Guatemala City. The buildings, stacked together like cobblestones, stretched far into the Guatemalan horizon. Exhaust and gasoline perfumed the air.

Guatemala is stained with the kind of beauty no amount of sadness or poverty can scrub out. Like the graffiti caressing the walls in Zone One. Like the trees growing between the highway lanes – life demands to be seen. I grew up in buildings that required walls and ceilings. The buildings of Guatemala do not.

I’m sorry that I came here with ideas. I’m sorry that I came here with plans. El país de la eterna primavera blooms with ideas and plans so much better than my own.

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