I am at a divide of sorts.

I returned to work in April but I am still on half time and still get exhausted easily. Sunday I went to a four hour choral workshop, from 2 to 6. I went home, hugged my daughter, asked her to make dinner, and went to bed. She woke me to ask if I wanted dinner and I didn't. I slept until 5 am. Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment an hour away, across the Hood Canal Bridge. But when I got there, the doctor had cancelled because he was sick. I am rescheduled for three weeks.

Officially I don't have chronic fatigue, because chronic fatigue by definition doesn't have a known cause. This has a cause: streptococcus A. It's gone, but my lungs took six months to recover and my muscles did not work right for six and a half. And now I've been back at work since the start of April and I still get wiped out if I do a little too much.... I drove back yesterday and went to chorus. Chorus is two hours. I left after 30 minutes, muscles cramping. Rats.

I went to sleep at 7:30.

I am being a typical convalescent in that I alternate between frustration or rage that I don't feel better and oh, yeah, happy to have survived.

But my improvement is currently incremental or not at all. So something has to go. I have to cut back some activity. The question is: what?

The Band Across the Great Divide

Day Three.

I said a previous one was my final node, but I am breaking that simply because of the events of the past few days.

I am on the banks of Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. I{d do some square brackets, but this is not my computer, I am typing this from a cafe underneath a bird{s nest of wires.

The first day we were supposed to go to the build site, a pile of collapsed rubble that used to be a single family home. But the developing world had other ideas. We ended up rained in and even during the following day, parts of the road were impassable.

 Someone asked me about this as voluntourism, why didn{t the government or agency or whatever step in to house the Mayans. They don{t, The government only cares about them when National Geographic style pictures need to be taken for tourist purposes, for which the indigenous people get no respect, compensation, or reward. Apparently one of the uses of Facebook in these small cafes that dot the calles is to try to reconnect with family who fled a literal genocide attempt in the 1980s. Wearing the tipico was enough to get a bullet in your back. Those that didn{t flee, hid in plain view.

We{ve hired locals, but the grunt work of moving the rubble that was once a family{s home and tossing the debris down a ravine fell to us at first. Hard work, busting up adobe blocks and digging out collapsed tile, stone and so forth. But so we did, for the six children happily running about, grateful for our help. Two dogs fought in the distance, roosters and other birds wandered through the corn. Once the family is housed we{ll buy them the basics to start the family business, and the mortgage isi in the woman{s name. The father left, having mortgaged the property and then abandoning the family.

Nestled in the curves and folds between volcanoes and mountains, barnacled with trees and building crude furniture during a torrential rainfall, I realized the words of Jean Anouilh ' it is beyond human strength to weep for the whole world. One must choose.

I have chosen, amongst others,  this country and these people. The rewards are far worth it. in no way are we displacing or hurting people here, we{re helping them grow from strength to strength.

 The volunteers here do not take exorbitant salaries, in fact most don{t draw any at all. Only first world drifters themselves starving and needing a second chance take any kind of money from this. The whole project depends on the business started here and fundraising.

I have a mission now. I am happy. I am exhausted, sunburnt, and nursing callouses and wounds, but I have some pride that I could keep up with the locals, who worked at a level that would scare most people.

Be well to each other. Please try and find some corner of the world like this who needs it to give some of your time and your support to. That is all.

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