Monday, September 11, 2000

I hope that we have remembered everyone in our e mail list for Yahoo.
Those of you who generously forwarded group messages in the past do not
need to do that any longer.

Two weeks ago we left for Antigua/Guatemala City to shop and to fill
doctor\\\'s appointments. We actually returned a week ago. It has taken me
this long to write to you because I have been busy sewing new bunk
covers for the forward staterooms with our new hand woven Guatemalan
fabrics. I will include a photo of the two staterooms so that you can
have an idea how the project came out.

We stayed with our friend, Romelle in Antigua, once again. Each day we
traveled to Guatemala City to complete our chores. I hope that you will
visit Romelle\\\'s web site for her Foundations for Education.
The address is The site is very well
done and will give you a much better idea about her efforts,
accomplishments and needs. Thanks!

Our first day there we traveled to the city via chicken bus in order to
shop for fabrics. We hiked the ten blocks to find the special store and
were rewarded with bolts and bolts of hand woven colorful Guatemalan
fabrics. All of them were a maximum of 36" wide. I think that\\\'s all
they can handle on the looms. We chose two fabrics, one for each of the
forward staterooms where we have under/over single bunks. We tried to
communicate that we wanted fabrics that would be colorfast. In the end,
one of the fabrics is and one definitely is not. We will have to be
very careful (lucky) not to get that one wet in the future. Our friends from Belize,
Nancy and Bill, always told us that you do your very best in trying to
communicate your wants and then you live with what you get.
We are very pleased with the way that the covers turned out and look
forward to buying more fabric in another part of the world for the aft
stateroom bunks.

The doctor\\\'s appointment for Jane came the second day.
This was a regular GYN appointment with pap smear included. The doctor
spoke excellent English and spent 1.5 hours with her that day. He was very thorough and highly professional. Because he was concerned about the progress of her hormonal therapy, he requested that she get an abdominal sonogram. The
cost of his visit including the lab work was $26.30. He saw me on
Thursday of that week again to discuss the results of the tests - no
charge. That very same day I crossed the street to the hospital to get a
sonogram and a mammogram - total cost $100. The results were available
that same day and we carried the results back to the GYN doctor and
still had time to do some shopping! Try to imagine that happening in
the USA!

The third day we both had visits with a dentist in the city. No
problems there other than the fact that it had been two years since our
last visit/cleaning. The cost was $59 total for both of us.
As you can tell, we are extremely impressed with both the care and the
costs of that care here in Guatemala.

The fourth day we returned to the GYN doctor - all tests were fine and
there are no problems.

From there we went to the textile museum just a few blocks away. Here one can see very interesting exhibits about the various costumes
worn by the indigenous people for every day wear and special wear
during their festivals throughout the year. We thought it one of the
most interesting museums that we have attended in many years.

We were lucky to return to the Rio Dulce when we did.
Shortly after our return there was a bad accident on the road to
Guatemala City. A big truck ran into the abutment of one of the bridges
crossing a large river. The bridge was very old as are all of the bridges to G.C. They were built in the early part of the 20th century by the United Fruit
Company. It is hard to say just how long it will take to have this
bridge rebuilt and the delays are up to three hours just getting around
the bridge.

We are now planning the rest of our time in Guatemala and have
scheduled our haul out for boat work on October 10th. This will be done
at a local rail haulout facility. Since Satori will be on a slant and
no toilet facilities are available in the yard, we will have to stay in
a hotel during that time.

Before then we are planning a trip out to Belize in Satori for 7-10
days. If the weather cooperates, it could be longer. We must renew our
boat papers for Guatemala. They are scheduled to run out on Oct 13th
and we feel that we need another 3 month extension to safely get us
through the hurricane threat.

Another decision has been to return to Illinois (Jane to Maine as well)
for the month of November. With Robin\\\'s help we have found reasonable
airfare through Belize City. We will travel there by bus and leave
Satori here at El Tortugal Marina. Soon after our return from the
states, we hope that the weather will allow us to leave for a leisurely
trip north to Isla Mujeres, Mexico where we plan to provision for the
rest of the winter.

The other two photos were taken by our friends from Brazil aboard the
vessel Voo Livre. The name means "free flight" in Portuguese. They have
a digital movie camera. From their footage they are able to capture
digital single-frame photos. We were both in the canyon at the entrance
to the Rio Dulce from the Caribbean S. We hope that you are somewhat
able to see the beauty of that area. The beauty of the grinning people
can definitely be questioned.

We would like to end this message with some reflections on the changes
in our life style since we have left the USA.

1.) We no longer worry about sweating. We used to escape to air
conditioning whenever possible in order to avoid the discomfort of
sweating. Can\\\'t be bothered any more!

2.) We have forgotten what it is like to wash and dry clothing in
machines. Have washed our clothes by hand and dried on deck for the
past nine months. Can you guess which piece of clothing is always the
dirtiest? The sheets - of course - when you sweat that much!

3.) We always know exactly what is in our fridge.
Nothing has a chance to go bad unless the fridge decides to quit.
Leftovers are always used.

4.) There is no such thing as leisure time when one lives aboard!

5.) When we return to civilization it is difficult to adjust to the
luxury of a flush toilet. When you need to go, you better not be too
tired or too sick because it\\\'s always a work-out.

6.) Always be ready to change your plans or you may miss out on
something very special. Last night a fellow cruiser said there would be
a surprise birthday party for the Guatemalan guard here at the marina.
We were told at 3:30 and the party was at 5. It amazes me that cruisers
can prepare something like that on the spur of the moment. A great

7.) We love the cruising life and hope that we will have good health
and luck to continue for many more years.

Until later, we both send our love and best wishes for a comfortable

Jane and Sander

(click on the thumbnail images to expand)