Rising Water Ruining Man’s Diving
San Marcos, Guatemala – Unexpectedly heavy amounts of precipitation this rainy season has resulted in a significant increase in the water level in popular Lago de Atitlán in central Guatemala. The change in water table has seriously affected on the lives of thousands of people with homes and businesses located near the shoreline and the submergence of docks, walking paths and construction projects has also created a ripple effect on the rest of the communities. And for one San Marcos area man, a maddening interruption of his diving hobby.
Dean Johnston, a Canadian currently living in a small development 10 minutes outside San Marcos known as Pasaj-Cap, recently returned after a year and a half away only to discover that the dock, which used to sit far above the lake’s surface, now finds the swollen waters lapping provocatively at its underside like a mischievous gynecologist.
It seems that this lack of elevation has left Johnston powerless to impress his wife, Laynni Locke, through the use of spontaneous aerial exploits and has significantly undermined his ability to “soar through the air like a sleek, featherless pigeon”.
Looking defeated, and still a bit damp, Johnston laments “If I can’t dive, then what’s this all been about? What have I been working toward?”
Additionally, this personal disaster has forced him to resort to increasingly tasteless ploys to gain his wife’s attention, ranging from the relatively harmless “check out my plumber crack” to the gratuitously infantile “guess where that bubble came from?” For her part, Locke is afraid of what might happen if the water rises any further. “I swear I’ll quit swimming altogether if he starts showing me his dink”.
Now for a little excerpt from our last visit to Lake Atitlan because, like my marriage counselor always says, why waste your time looking for something new when you’ve already got used stuff waiting back at home?
Lake Atitlan: Without question, one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen and somewhere we’ve been looking forward to returning ever since our first visit almost exactly 7 years ago (Laynni, I am telling you, not 8!) It is a volcanic caldera, which basically means it is a huge dip surrounded by volcanoes, and covers an area of 130 square kilometres and is a ridiculous 320 metres deep (roughly 1,000 feet)!
Which really comes in handy when you’ve got truckloads of sewage to dump and you’re really hoping they’ll blend right in, and fast. Despite some of the rather, let’s say, non-green practices around here, so far, at least, the lake seems to have taken it all in stride, especially on our side of the lake which is well away from the bulk of the population. Crystal clear, refreshingly cool water (on our standard Waskesiu scale we’d call it Late July) that is as smooth as glass most mornings (why is it always “smooth as glass”, never “smooth as silk boxers” or “smooth as Lance Bass’ hands”?) before the wind and whitecaps pick up every afternoon.
The lake has risen over 3 metres (!!)since our last visit so the shoreline now looks considerably different. Most people have new docks, the lakefront palapa we used to sit under while waiting for the boat is now a snorkeling attraction, the tables in my favourite soccer viewing bar in San Pedro have been replaced by dinghies, the happy hour litres of Gallo with milling carp, and if you ask me it seems like there are a lot fewer kids around. Plus, the lake is now 323metres deep (and counting).
It’s also rainy season this time so the “afternoon wind and whitecaps” have been replaced by rain, relentless rain. Yellow is now green, dust is now mud, scraggly grass is now lush foliage and it appears damp toe fungus has a new lease on life. But since we rarely go anywhere it hasn’t affected us too much, we mostly just feel less guilty hanging around reading and watching downloaded TV shows, and instead of having to vigilantly protect ourselves from the dangers of sunburn, heat stroke and twisted hiking ankles we now worry about dropping our eReaders when we fall asleep on the couch and debilitating head rushes when we get up to go to the bathroom.
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Household Tips with Laynni Locke
Try leaving dirty pairs of socks in all your favourite locations around the house and you’ll find yourself prepared anytime a touch of a draft comes along. Next to the hammock for reading, tucked behind the pillows on the couch for napping and, of course, a pair balled up on the kitchen table just in case a breeze kicks up over dinner.
Frase de Espanol de la Semana (Spanish Phrase of the Week)
“El gusto es mio tambien. Pero yo tengo perdido mucho sangre y debo decir adios.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you also. But I have lost much blood and should say goodbye.”
Weekly “Californication” Quote That Made Me Sit Up and Say “Oh no you di’int”
“Excuse me, I see a girl I defecated on in Palm Springs once.”
Looking ahead to next week…
Are toothbrushes making a comeback?