Mother’s Love

Preparing for Guatemala was a fascinating experience.  As a last minute packer it was difficult to ready my bag, clean out the apartment, and clean out the classroom in time to leave.  One constant was genuine concern from family, friends, and coworkers.  The first thing most people worried about was the destination of our trip: “Guatemala?  Kind of dangerous right?”  There were numerous statistics to support this assertion, but I was unaffected.

Folks would then describe how I should stay safe, stay in touristy areas, and be wary of late nights.  As I informed people that none of these would be on the agenda,  jokes became genuine concern.  On my last day of school, I received sincere words from coworkers and family: “As a mother, please be safe, and don’t do anything stupid.”  It became clear that there concern was equal part the country I was traveling to and equal part my judgement.

Guatemala has been a beautiful and friendly country.  The locals are helpful, friendly, and fantastic interpreters of broken Spanish.  My judgement has been impeccable as always.

The looming danger was the one I was not warned about: the roads.  We are stuck in a daily Robert Frost poem and we seem to be choosing the road less travelled at every turn.  It started in Guatemala City, where there were 4 lanes for about 6 lanes worth of traffic.  Intermixed were motorcyclists who careen through traffic without any concern for safety.  It is like watching the fast and the furious 7, and it leaves no wonder why Paul Walker died.

After we left the city, we left any semblance of pavement, or what one in the states would even consider road.  We traversed mountain after mountain, with the only contacts being Pepsi trucks and the ever helpful locals.  When we finally arrived at Utopia, it was evident why we were the only ones driving a rental car.  The experience was harrowing and exciting.  It reinforced what I already knew: people freak out and fear the unknown all the time while we continue to do things like drive machines that way thousands of pounds around unsafe roads and unsafe motorists.  People’s concerns were valid, just misplaced.  Though they may have been right to doubt me, I haven’t been the driver yet.

– Moser

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  1. Tony Z, the Elder

    Who’s the car mechanic on this mission?

    Jun 14, 2014 @ 10:29 pm