Please don’t throw rocks at the gringos.
category: Jims Guatemala

So, today went form bad to worse. On top of the computer center mess (see previous post), someone tried to kill us this afternoon. The problem is, i am not certain that it was intentional. Let me explain.

rock_throw1SM.jpgTo relax and unwind from our stressful morning, we thought we’d have a little picnic. I baked some challa yesterday, and Emily brought back some Cheddar and tuna from Huehue, so we put these delicacies in my backpack and hiked down to the creek. It’s quite pretty there, i even took this picture while we were eating. There is a nice grassy spot for our blanket, we took off our shoes, and were eating and chatting.

About fifteen minutes into the lunch, I heard a THUMP. Weird. We turned around to see a baseball-sized rock slowly roll past us. I didn’t think much of it at first, as there’s a trail about three feet above our spot, but no one was on it. Weird. Then there was a nother THUMP, and I actually saw the next rock hit the ground. I looked up, and saw there was a 100-foot cliff above and behind us… with another rock spinning through the air at us. Emily saw it at the same time.

rock_throw2aSM.jpg“Pack the stuff,” i said as I watched the rock to make sure it wasn’t going to hit us. Emily threw all the stuff in the pack as I kept an eye on the next few rocks, thinking to push her (or me) out of the way if one was on target. I yelled up at the cliff but that didn’t stop them from coming. Once we were packed, we split.

Upon reflection, I became quite angry: these fist-sized rocks, hurled from that height, would certainly cause death if they hit one of us in the head. But i never saw who did the throwing. It is possible that it was kids who didn’t realize the potential result of their actions. It is also remotely possible that it was someone trying to get our attention (someone DID whistle at us about 10 minutes earlier, and we waved at them). I tend to discount the second option, as they didn’t stop when i turned around and acknowledged them. I want to know if it was an actual attempt on our life; we’re not here to be martyrs. But we will probably never know.

We spoke with our counterpart about it, and he seemed concerned, but I am not sure what he’s going to do about it (if anything is even possible). Emily and I are still pondering the implications of all this.

UPDATE: We spoke with the assembled villagers today (the day after) and they were much concerned. They suggested we not hang out in secluded areas that are outside of our aldea, as the people in outlying villages don’t know who we are or why we are here. Some might not like gringoes, others might think we work for the Canadian mining companies (which are REALLY controversial in this part of the world). They are also going to try to get us formally introduced in the neighboring villages.

Posted by: jfanjoy