Saturday, June 21, 2008


It's nothing if not lively here at the moment. On top of an earthquake a week we are being visited by storms almost every evening that might as well be seismic, featuring billowing peals of thunder that rattle every pane of glass in the house

Guatemala City continues to get the worst of it. Many roads quickly become un-passable and on Wednesday night several red city buses came to a halt when the water inside reached passengers' knees.

There there was an early morning hail-storm on Thursday. It was reported that old women scuttled around stuffing handfulls of hailstones into their mouths - apparently a folk prescription for the treatment of tapeworm.

In the picture is one of the tamales made last week by Doña Paula. They may not have olives, capers or chiles like the ones V's brother Felipe likes to buy, but they are very delicious nonetheless. The outer leaf is from a plant known locally as picahue, the inner one - boiled until it darkens - is from the banana tree. On Thursday morning we spotted her coming back from the market with a bag full of leaves, testimony to the length of the preparation process. It's traditional here to eat tamales on Saturday night.

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