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Early Wake-up Call in Coban

Posted: May 14, 2014

Roosters crowed and dogs barked to announce our day! Lauds, morning prayers, were recited and sung in the chapel starting at 6:00 a.m. Breakfast was served promptly at 7:00 a.m. Fresh, hot tortillas were served. The local cook had been busy in the back shed preparing tortillas over a wood burning stove before dawn! Monks assigned to kitchen duty were busy preparing our meal behind closed doors. When it was ready, it was wheeled out on a cart! It was simple and delicious. Most of the food we enjoyed grows at the Monastery or out at the farm.

There is fresh, black coffee with coffee beans picked on the property! A large pot is brewing all day! Black beans are served piping hot even for breakfast. They are also grown at the Monastery! Our first breakfast featured eggs, beans, tortillas, hot cereal: a similar variety to oatmeal. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast. This was the beginning of our adventure in Coban!
We left promptly after eating our breakfast and washing up a quick batch of dishes! The brothers do kitchen duty immediately after meals. I could use the crew at my house! There is no discussion around whose turn it is!

I found the morning prayers and singing in the small chapel to be a peaceful way to start my day! I had lost all sense of time, because my global phone did not hold its charge. I had been encouraged not to bring my watch so I relied on the clock in the kitchen or my colleague Jaclyn. It’s funny, because at first it seemed rather disorienting, but I quickly found the rhythm. Once I heard the roosters, I knew it was time to start my day!

I am amazed at how industrious the people of Guatemala are… Young and old are up early walking to work or school. People walk everywhere. Few people own cars. There are lots of buses, taxis, and motor cycle taxis. You can identify them by the bright orange vests they wear when they scoot by!

Pedestrians be warned… Anything with a motor that is moving faster than you has the right of way, no exceptions! There is no slowing down or stopping. Traffic works, but moves in so many directions that you must pay attention. And, you walk in the street at your own peril! To be continued...                                                                                          --Maura