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This is us. We had just spent 60Q (~USD8) on ferry tickets to and fro Santa Cruz, thinking we got ourselves a much needed house-sitting job, only to find out that they were asking for USD800/month of rent. We should be disappointed, deluded, despaired…and maybe even a little desperate at that moment.
But you if look carefully, you would realise that we have smiles on our faces. True, we really needed to park somewhere and just get work done before we lose any more material on our servers. We really thought the guy was going to let us house-sit his property or something when he said, “Let’s meet.” It really didn’t go all that well.
But we couldn’t help it. The day was gorgeous, and instead of trying to squeeze out another video, another batch of photos in a WiFi-ed cafe, we had the opportunity to take a boat ride across the lake, visit some of the most exquisite houses in Santa Cruz and enjoy some really stunning views.
And staring at the twinkling waters of Lake Atitlan, we couldn’t help but feel hopeful. Things always managed to fall into place somehow. We’ve always gotten what we needed, when we needed it. And in that moment, we were just so grateful to even be on this journey, to be able to come this far, and be in the presence of the sight in front of us.
One week later, we found ourselves moving into Uncle Robert’s private house in Jucanya.
A note put on the fridge in Uncle Robert’s house. The first thing that caught Val’s eyes when we moved into his house. He had offered Casa Cakchiquel’s office space for us to work in during our stay at Helga’s; and then offered to take us in when we’re “done” over there.
In that one week, we connected with Robert (whom we’ve come to call Uncle Robert by now), held a sharing session, and found places to just do nothing else but work. Magic happens.
And work we did…
Uncle Robert asked us one evening when he came back from Casa Cakchiquel, “I left home this morning and you were on your computers. Now that I’m home, you’re still on your computers. Do you even get up?”
Uncle Robert, we didn’t tell you then. But we were working so hard, because we know we need to catch up on updating our website (and there are A LOT of entries to write). Because we don’t want to disappoint the people who are following us on this journey. And above all, because:
Other than offering us a place to stay and work in, Uncle Robert was also very concerned about our welfare; and would invite us to meals every now and then.
“What do you mean by you don’t know what is tipico Guatemalan breakfast?” Uncle Robert asked indignantly one morning. Well, it didn’t take him long to correct that “injustice”:
“We have to go and have this Japanese food. It is so good I tell you. Soooooo good.” Uncle Robert’s eyes gleamed. “You’re gonna love it.”
It was the silkiest tofu we’ve had in a long long while. The tuna and sashimi were so fresh they’d melt in our mouths. And to top it off, Uncle Robert ordered ice-creams for us!
In exchange, we would take a welcomed break from our working marathon at the desk and prepare meals to share with Uncle Robert, too.
“You know what’s so lovely about coming home? Is that I’m greeted by the aromas of good food at the door, and the sights of 2 beautiful women hard at work in the kitchen. I think opening my doors to you were the right-est things I did.” Uncle Robert said to us one evening while setting up the fire.
“I still remember thinking to myself – I don’t know how to tell the story of a rich banker building his dream house. And then chiding myself for being judgmental before actually meeting Uncle Robert. I’m glad we did connect with opened hearts, because that was an opportunity for us to build this beautiful relationship. I’ve come to learn that magic happens, all the time. We just need to be open to it.” – Val
A recap of the moments of glorious food and conversations:
Thinking about Uncle Robert now always bring smiles to our faces. Somehow, we know that we do the same for him, too.
“Will Uncle Robert’s ego explode if I write to him and tell him that we miss him?” – Tay