On Saturday everyone in the town takes to the streets for the parade put on by all the regions of Lake Atitlan (in Spanish parade is spelled desfile). Each school entered there band and a float into the parade. The floats consisted of a small display on the back of a pick-up truck. Usually that display was a little girl throwing candy into the crowd. One candy distribution ended in a brawl between little boys on the street. A policeman had to break it up. The video below speaks better than any words I could describe about this parade. The video is pretty long, but the most interesting part is with the fireworks. Fireworks are set off here like mail is delivered on a week day. Last night, fireworks were set of consistently the whole night. They are set off in the center of town, and since my house is directly at the center, I got no sleep. It would be one thing if the fireworks were the type they shoot off when Ken Griffey Jr. hits a homerun, but of course not. Guatemalan fireworks have no color, only sound. They do not call them fireworks; they call them “bombas,” bombs. Rightfully so as every night I go to bed I feel like I am at WAR! They will slow down when the festival ends, but they will not stop. Anyway, in my video you will see a man walk out into the middle of the parade standing proud with his bomba. He is about ready to light off this bomb, but the location he has selected for this bomb to shoot up into the air is right where I would call telephone pole central. If he set this off at this location it would be like the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; they escape through the window tower, but not without breaking the glass. Finally, all the women in the crowd start whistling (signal for something bad) and yelling at him to move. He finally moves the location. I follow him in the video for a while. Safe to say that in the end Charlie gets the factory and all the chocolate safely. (Internet kept cutting out where I am to upload the video, so I put a picture of the parade for now. You can see in this picture the telephone pole wires I am talking about).
Somebody back in the United States please call Michael Vick and tell him I found a sport that he can play, and it’s legal. Saturday afternoon two of the older boys in my family took me to a cockfight. The event was held in the same place that the kids play indoor soccer. Admission was $1 to sit in the stands, and 2$ to sit around the ring. I bought courtside tickets.
That night we went to the basketball game to see San Pedro play Guatemala City. It is hard for me to explain exactly what this league is, but it is basically the Lakers of my city. The San Pedro team was had yellow uniforms and was sponsored by Banrural, the Development Bank of San Pedro. Not one player looked to be over six feet tall, and they were much younger then the other team. The Guatemala City team, wearing green jerseys, are sponsored by And1 and have players over 6’5’’ tall. They also had a few guys that looked over the age of 40 and a few guys that were not even Guatemalan.