Day 1 - I arrive to Guatemala at noon on Monday. Jesse picks me up, we go to the US Embassy - not for me. His puppy, Newman, has turned his passport into dog mulch. The drive is 3.5 hours from Guatemala City, to Quetzaltenango (Xela), and we take in the traffic in Chimaltenango, diesel fumes, and our car winds relentlessly through mountain passes, finally into the Western Highlands.
Out of the country from Atlanta, I sat next to a Guatemalan man named Florencio Aguilar Garcia. He asked me if I might be able to fill out his Immigration forms, because he didn't speak any English, nor could he read nor write very well. After embarking on a conversation punctuated by my mediocre grasp of the language, Florencio tells me he is from Columbus, Ohio, and has lived there as a farmer for the past three years. Returning home to his country's capital, he has a big smile on his face, not missing those Ohio winters.
Day 2 - Shooting on the farms and riding in the back of pickup trucks again, it feels great.