Victoria Secret Photographer

Trip Start Mar 22, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Friday, April 28, 2006

I think this is the only place in the world where a Saskatchewan farm boy can meet a photographer from New York that works at Victoria Secret. When Troy and I sorting out his stash of magazines we decided against bringing the Victoria Secret catalogs. Well, that was a mistake. The fun I could have had at school. Now I know where my nephew Eric gets it from.

It starts out with the photographer getting a chilly reception from some of the others at school. The Spanish School I attend is very community project oriented from helping sponsor poor children in school to growing trees for reforestation projects. Of course each project is led by a somewhat vocal proponent and you can only imagine the dialog when employee of mass marketer of paper wasting catalogs meets "tree hugger."

Last night she wanted to see a movie but was concerned about walking home in the dark. I guess that's one way to get an invitation. The movie "Rabbit Proof Fence" was excellent and of course just at the end it had to start raining outside. We waited for a while for it to let up and meanwhile this dog gets up and we watch it stretch its back legs. She is quite envious of the dog and wishes out loud that she feels for the dog and could do that. The dog stretches its front legs and she says the same thing wishing she could stretch out. I know where this dog is headed and it gives itself a little scratch to knock the fleas off and she keeps saying how she feels like doing the same thing and is just enviously admiring this dog. Now anyone that's been around dogs knows what is about to happen next - yep, head between the legs and licks its ass. That's when I should have had my camera ready for the look on her face. They must not have many dogs in Brooklyn.

The rain let up and I walked her home. Huge frogs every where and they scared her and I am sure the little ones would too but I didn't see any. Actually some of them made more noise than a dog running through the bush. And then they would land right in front of her and make her jump. Tried to get her to hold one in her hand so that I could get a picture but that wasn't going to happen. You would think someone from the big city would be a bit braver. I still don't have my frog picture but got another lizard today.

I volunteered to carry some of her photography equipment and tripod around today. First we went for lunch and didn't bring the equipment. Of course every 5 minutes I remind her of the great shot she could have just had, not like I am trying very hard to provoke her. She does personify the New York minute. Didn't seem to be able to relax and wanted to get going on. Now I realize she has this thing about dogs - they don't like her. Every where we go they bark or growl at her. It is actually funny to watch her bend over to pet a dog only to see her jump when it growls. Now every restaurant seems to have a dog. It waits at the end of the table for left overs. Now my dog was doing pretty good. Stared at me the whole time I was eating my first piece of pizza since starting this trip. She wanted something without tortilla and I obliged. I haven't seen tortilla pizza yet. The dog sat there patiently the whole meal, she sits there squirming and fidgeting the whole time because once she is done eating she wants to go. I was enjoying the lake and watching the boats come and go. Relaxing while she is quizzing me what the Spanish word was for "give me the check" is. Finally, I get up and pay the bill and bring a chunk of pizza crust back for my dog and it's gone. She has no clue where it went but it definitely wasn't sticking around for her no matter how hungry it was.

Having been lost for 4 weeks in this place has given me a really good idea where almost every road leads. She gets lost and she takes a taxi back. I am showing her the sites of coffee bean equipment, armed guards on the water truck, coffee beans drying, children bathing in the lake, the one titted milk cows (I let her assume the steers were for milk - there are just some things better left unexplained) and of course the more I bugged her about all the great photo shots she was missing, the faster she walked to get home to her equipment.

Now exactly how much equipment can a person have and how heavy can it be. I mean she lugs it around everywhere. It started getting heavy after walking about a mile past the Chocolate Factory that she wanted to visit. Each person we met told us further down the road or maybe you passed it already. Pretty soon a taxi was looking good to her and if one was going our way (which I wasn't sure anymore even what our way was) she was ready to take it. Then of course someone that knows where it is comes along and tells her that she doesn't need a taxi because it's just over there. Three more people helped us find "just over there" which we walked by twice. We get there and there isn't anything to take pictures of. An unassuming house with a couple that makes homemade chocolate but not today. She buys me a chocolate for my efforts. I want to put it in her photography bag because it's melting. Nope, had to carry it along with a tripod and large format camera.

Now on our way back from the chocolate factory I keep bugging her that going home without a photo of coffee beans drying is missing out on a large part of San Pedro. Now I have to give her credit because she knows just enough Spanish to walk into this lady's yard and ask her if she can take a photo. That's ballsy. The lady says no problem and I am sure she was thinking "click" and she will be gone. Nope, she sets up for what seems like a major photo shot session with light meters and everything. Except their dog wouldn't let her close enough to the beans to check the light. Dogs just have an issue with her and she doesn't really stink. I posted my amateur pictures of a professional photographer - they tell the story better. Plus it gives you a good idea of what drying coffee beans look like. It was an interesting afternoon and better than bugging the tree huggers.

Tonight I am getting ready for a chicken bus ride to Guatemala City in the morning at 4 AM. Then a volcano hike on the weekend, so the next update will be a few days away.
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