For the last several days I have been trying to figure out what´s wrong with my camera (shutting down at the precise moment of photo capture) and I think I've sleuthed the answer- RAYOVAC. If ever you travel through Latin America I would highly recommend avoiding these chintzy batteries, they are cheap for a reason. Unfortunately they are the standard, at least in Itzapa, and finding others proved to be quite difficult. Grumble grumble grumble.
Hopefully with the problem identified I can start taking shots again, I'll try my best to infill the naked posts of yore with delicious bike-laden pixels.
This morning we had a meeting with the volunteer coordinator (i had no idea there was such a person). He was a very friendly, well-educated man, Ruben. He wanted to talk to us about the structure of the organization and get our suggestions. A lot of good things were said, the crew had lots of good ideas on how things can be improved. Beth suggested that there be a permanent resident of Maya Pedal (my cerebral cogs begin to turn...) to organize and structure the work of the volunteers on a day to day basis. They would also be responsible for finding increased markets for Maya Pedal's wares, and looking for grants and stuff like that. It would be a terrific experience for anyone, and Maya Pedal could really use that kind of organizer. [Editor's Note: Maya Pedal has since undergone massive organizational changes and they are doing beautifully!]
We also talked funding, about setting up a way to donate through the web, and some of the organizational issues that MP faces. The volunteers agreed that we would break into committees to try and figure out what we can do to help out. As Anneliese and I will be on the longest of this bunch, I think we'll be the ones to carry this forward on the ground, though I'm sure plenty will happen from others abroad. (I've been thinking about publishing my adventures into a short narrative/ beginners bike manual, full of quirks and drawings and pictures, then selling it and donating all proceeds to help out Maya Pedal- if you have any thoughts or suggestions please drop me a line). Overall it was a good meeting, I hope it goes somewhere.
Between the meeting, a long search for tea and batteries, and a late lunch, not much happened on my end by way of work. But the day certainly wasn't any the less exciting for it.
There is this really wonderful old lady, Angelina, who often wanders into the shop looking for company. She is really sweet. She also has a peculiar and amusing habit of taking things that belong to others, calling them hers and then demanding "presents" in exchange for said stolen item. Today she stole Josh´s camera case and 5 Quetzales from the table (Quetzal are the currency). Unfortunately for Angelina, she doesn't seem to ever get regalos in exchange. But that doesn't stop her from trying. I'm a big fan.
The next piece of excitement came when Josh suggested to Will that to clean his bike chain he:
1. pour gasoline on it
2. set it on fire
3. whip it on the ground