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A Good Story

Background: Victor has completed approximately 95% of a law degree which means that in Guatemala he can legally marry someone, just having the signature of a fully qualified lawyer along with his. Thus, many months ago, two of our friends asked Victor to marry them. He said yes. What a great privilege.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago. Victor has the busiest two weeks of the school year so far. His mother-in-law is also staying at our house and his son turns one. We throw a party for about 100 people. So far he still hasn´t managed to get much done on the wedding. Somehow, in the middle of all this he writes up the legal documents, organizes for a lawyer to sign for him and sends the documents to the couple for their approval.

Everything was ready to go for the wedding on Saturday.

Friday evening: Sebastián and I go to the pediatrician. He is diagnosed with a yeast infection on his bottom, ring-worm on his legs and parasites in his tummy. He is still in good spirits though. We meet Victor after work for dinner. Victor is wearing his only current functioning suit. He has managed to keep it clean throughout the week to be able to wear it to the wedding tomorrow.

Sebastián drops his dinner all over Victor´s suit.

We go home. Victor finds his other which has a large split in the crotch. I sew up the crotch.

I remember that I lent most of my dresses to my sister-in-law. Decide to drop round to get them tomorrow in the morning.

We head to bed.


6:15am. Sebastián wakes. I consider taking the sunrise photo, but we will be ‘all dressed up’ later in the evening.

7am. Victor’s alarm starts going off.

7:20ish. We go in to jump on Victor.

7:40am. We eat pancakes.

8:40am. Victor takes one of our cars to get fixed and then heads to his English class. I hang out with Sebastián. We go for a walk. I twist my ankle. It seems okay. I keep walking. We return home and Sebastián has a sleep. I shower and iron Victor´s shirt and newly darned pants. I make myself a cup of tea and sit down to relax a bit. Immediately Sebastián awakes. We go outside and play with water and balls and the pool in the garden. My ankle is hurting. I forget to pick up my dresses.

12:10pm. Sebastián has lunch. He rejects the chilli-beans and rice and ham and cheese sandwich that I make him. He accepts stewed apple that his Grandma had made him. I feel sad thinking that we are eating up one of the last visible evidences that she was here.

12:40pm. I remember about the dresses. I ring my brother-in-law. He says that I can go to their house to pick up the dresses.

12:42pm. Victor calls and says he is ready to get picked up. The dresses will have to wait. I quickly dress Sebas and we head out the door. We drive to pick Victor up and I try to make sure Sebas stays awake. I give him a car toy and then some books to read. We converse about the bath and the boat.

1:15pm. We pick up Victor. Sebas is still awake. I jump in the back beside him and continue my conversation with him, this time about the cat and the mouse in a new book.

1:22pm. Sebas looks at me and coughs. I have time to briefly note that he spat in my face when he coughed when all of a sudden a huge amount of vomit projects towards me. Sebastián, his carseat and I are all covered in half-digested food. We get to see Grandma’s stewed apple again. We stop the car, take Sebas’ clothes off, clean up what we can with nappy wipes and head off again.

1:35pm. We reach the mechanic´s and pick up the car. I put some clothes on Sebastián. Victor takes off his t-shirt to give me and I find a skirt to change into (consider ‘cross-dressing´ themed photo but decide that for the skirt it may not be accepted). We put Sebastián into the clean car-seat in the newly picked-up car and head home.

2pm. Back at home. Sebas goes to bed again. Victor says that he needs to leave at 3. He washes the tie he wants to use and hangs it on the line. He gets on the computer to print out the legal documents. He discovers that the lawyer has sent him a whole new format that he has to use. He starts re-writing the document. I shower again to wash off vomit.

2:30pm. Victor is still working on the computer. I decide I probably won’t have time to retrieve my dresses. I consider my options. Discover a blue dress. It smells quite musty. Decide to douse it in perfume. I go to offer my help to Victor. He is not sure how I can help him. I decide to make him lunch.

2:40pm. I iron Victor´s tie while lunch is heating. It appears to be falling apart. I take chilli-beans and rice up to Victor. I try to discuss tie options but he appears to be preoccupied with his documents. I put three different options with his shirt. None of them look very good. Victor tells me that he is not hungry. I feel slightly rejected about my chilli-beans as no one has wanted to eat them today. I eat chilli-beans and feel slightly less despondent.

2:50pm. I start organizing the nappy bag.

3:05pm. Victor seems to have finished the documents. He finally thinks of something helpful I can do. I print out a page from the computer. Victor is shaving. I show him the page. Victor praises me. I feel happy.

3:10pm. Sebastián wakes up. He points desperately at the ‘breast-feeding chair’. He has a feed.

3:15pm. Victor hops in the shower.

3:20pm-3:35pm. We are blurs running around the house getting dressed, changing ties, loosing socks, printing documents, packing bags etc.

3:40pm. We leave the house.

3:45pm. The wedding officially begins. We are 20mins away still.

3:55pm. Petrol gage is low. Victor decides that he doesn’t want the car to run out of petrol on the way. We stop at a petrol station.

4pm. I feel tense. Victor seems okay. I remind myself that every other time I have felt tense about being late in Guatemala, it has worked out and we haven’t missed anything.

4:05pm. Bride still hasn’t called. Maybe she isn’t there yet. Victor still calm.

4:10pm. Realise that we have taken a wrong turn. Victor turns the car around. We stop to ask for directions. They point us back in the way we have just come from. Decide to ignore directions given by locals. Victor starts to seem a bit tense. His driving gets a bit crazier. Start to hear small whimpers from the back.

4:12pm. Hear louder whimper from back. Turn around in time to see Sebastián start to vomit again. Throw all make-up onto floor and dive into back of car. Remove vomiting child from his seat and briefly look out window, noticing a sign for the wedding venue as we drive past. Victor turns around.

4:15pm. Arrive at venue.

4:16pm. Bride calls. The wedding is about to start. Victor goes ahead. I change Sebastián and then we head to the wedding too.

4:40pm. Victor does his first (and quite possibly only he tells me afterwards) marriage.

10:50pm. Home again. Sebastián in bed. Victor watching T.V. Me on the computer. Two friends married. Two smelly car seats waiting to be washed.


Isn’t it Ironic

Yesterday we bought a new car.

Now we don’t have to get worried about getting stranded on the side of the road in the dark. This is good.

We picked it up from a shopping centre where we met the man who was selling it. We exchanged our car and gave that to him. We spent all day there because it is a very lengthy process to become the owner legally….so we were trying to get all of that done in the government offices which are there nearby. Luckily Sebastian was great and slept in his pram a bit while we tried to get through all the red tape.

At the end of the day we were exhausted. It was pouring with rain. We were rushing because we had another event in the night. We were disappointed cause we weren’t able to finish all that we had to do and have to go back on Monday and we were excited about the car.

We hopped in it and drove home.

At midnight last night Victor woke me saying ‘Jo, do you know where the pram is?’. It seems that in the rush and confusion and excitement I trusted that he had put it in the boot and he trusted that I had put it in the boot. We seemed to have left it in the carpark in the shopping centre…..

I rang today and they said that they hadn’t seen a pram. It seems that someone else must have thought that is was a good find. A lone pram in a shopping centre.

So we got a new car and lost our pram. And these days I use a pram more than a car, so it is a very sad and expensive loss.

I am really not sure how between the two of us this could have happened!! Boo!

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‘Sam is unbelievably pretty, with long, thin, Christlike feet. I told my friend Carpenter this and he said, “It’s an often-difficult world out there, and it’s good to have long, grippy feet.” ‘ Anne Lamott- Operating Instructions

Sebastian has long, grippy, lovely feet. They should serve him well.

Unsettling night

Victor and I went to have something to eat to celebrate me finishing work for a while. When we came out of the restaurant we realised that we were dining right beside a car riddled with bullet holes where someone had been killed just hours before. On the way home we passed an accident that must have happened not long before because the man who had obviously run into the other car was sitting shaking in his car with a shocked and terrified look on his face. Then we came home to watch a DVD about a man having to cut off his arm, not the best theme to end the night with….

However, today we woke up to bright sunshine, birds singing in the tree outside our window and a morning of getting things done and eating delicious fruit.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Happy New Year Australia

We still have another 15 hours till 2011 but hope you have enjoyed yours so far!


We are on holidays in Belize. This morning we got up early and swam in the Carribean. The weather isn’t fantastic. It is now rainy and windy but we don’t mind cause we are relaxing. Fantastic. We told the canchito that he was practicing for birth when we went swimming, having not been able to swim since I became pregnant. We tried to interpret my stomach movements to see how he was enjoying the experience. I interpreted that he was having a great time, Victor thought he was scared and wanted to get out of the water….it is hard to know with a baby, especially one still in utero. Will try again at Easter in Byron Bay hey and see if we can better understand him then.

On pregnancy II

I have discovered (after spending a long time waiting in the normal queue in the bank once) that in Guatemala there are several places where there is a special queue for old people and pregnant women. Like in banks. What a shame that they don’t have that in Immigration where I have spent much time standing in queues in the past few weeks.

Not having been pregnant in Australia I am curious as to whether we have that fantastic tradition or are queues in Australia not quite what they are in Guate so there is no need?

Favourite smells

Some of mine are:

The smell of the ground when it first starts to rain.
Fresh baking bread.

Some of Victor’s are:
The smell of the ground when it first starts to rain.
Cow manure.
Fresh tortillas.



God always provides for our needs in a great variety of ways but one of them is the generosity of our friends and family.

So I want to say thanks to all of you who have gifted us, monetarily or in other ways during this year. We are so grateful for you.

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