By David P. Hamilton / The Rag Blog / June 8, 2009
ANTIGUA, Guatemala — Day breaks noisily with exuberant bird songs, fire crackers announcing birthdays, competing church bells and an errant car alarm, its owner oblivious in slumber.
To the west, Fuego puffs against a clear morning sky, telling us the wind is gentle from the north.
Ancient steeples, domes and cupolas rise above red tile roofs.
Poor Maya boys bike over cobblestone streets for the privilege of mixing concrete at a nearby construction site while local rulers leave for their offices in helicopters.
Smoke waifs from the roasting shed of a neighboring finca.
The rising sun bathes the face of Agua to the south.
A single overripe orange clings to the top branch of an untended tree.
Doves cooing remind us of home and provide bass to the avian chorus.
A dense expanse of forests and fields stretches from volcano to volcano.
The air defines mild.
The coffee is rich and so are we.