In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Panajachel is only a 7 minute,
winding bus ride to
the city on the mountain top. We heard there was a local festival there one
weekend, so we decided to check it our for ourselves.
A Maya family dressed in
their native best.
The bus drops us off at the
Plaza and this is where the action was. Maya families turned out in their native
best to attend the festivities. There were carnival rides, music blaring,
vendors selling and restaurants under tents.
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Here you see a Maya man in
his decorated woven shirt and pants, along with his family in their tipico.
The young boy is in western clothes, but women and young girls - and men of a
certain generation - still wear their Maya garb.
Sitting on a bench,
taking a rest
When I see these
ancianas, I always wonder what their story is. Usually the color and woven
design of her blouse and skirt will tell you which village she is from, and in
this case she is from the city of Solola.
You can tell by looking at
her face that her lifetime has been one of work and toil. She was sitting alone,
so it was hard to know if she was a widow, if she had any children or
grandchildren, or even if she was enjoying her Sunday outing.
We turned the corner at the Plaza and all of
a sudden we hear this BLARING band music. Even from a distance, our chests where
thumping from the sound waves. We move through the crowd and get closer... and
I'm wishing I had brought my ear plugs. I look around and see these children and
adults and no one seems to mind this assault on their ear drums.
The song that the band was playing was the
Latin version of Inagodadavida. Over and over and over the same pounding rhythm.
Dancing costumed man
In the center of the crowd
are these costumed dancers wiggling and wriggling with the music. It was hot and
humid that day and there was a girl going around fanning the dancers so they
wouldn't faint from the heat. We were warm, so I can only imagine what it was
like to be physically active and in the sun.
A Love Healer, a Mystery Man and a Warrior
The costumed lady on the left is a Love
Healer, whatever that is. I imagine she heals broken hearts or makes you ready
for the love of your lifetime with some sort of potion. The man in the middle
looks a little bit like a circus guy with a boat hat on, but he's carrying what
looks like a shoeshine box. Your guess is as good as mine... and of course we
have what looks like a Spanish Warrior in his armor on the far right.
Notice that some of the Maya women in the
front row have woven cloth on their heads to keep the sun off. This is a very
common sight here in Guatemala.
Maya fried chicken
After so many minutes of the pounding
rhythms, we decided to give our ears a break and head over to the tented
restaurants. At this one we found fried chicken.
Billy and his latest girlfriend
Billy enjoys flirting with the locals and I
think he made her week. She was willing to play along, but I think it was
because she saw me smiling and she knew it to be all harmless fun. Billy would
not take advantage of her innocence! You can just see the warmth in her eyes.
Our $3 meal
For 25Quetzales we got a piece of fried
chicken, rice, vegetable salad, refried beans, endless tortillas and a drink.
Not bad for $3USD, eh?
The sound of tortillas slapping
Tortillas are a staple food in Latin America.
You can hear the slap-slap-slap of tortilla making all over town and there are
shops that sell nothing but tortillas for every meal period. This young girl has
many years of tortilla making ahead of her.
Notice the brilliant aqua of this woman's
Blue and white corn tortillas
The blue color of these tortillas comes from
the anthocyanins in the corn, which are the same healthy compounds found in
berries and red wine. Blue corn has several nutritional advantages over the
standard yellow or white corn varieties. It contains 20 percent more protein and
has a lower glycemic index than white corn.
While there might be a subtle difference in
flavor, we find the blue and white corn tortillas to taste about the same.
Others may disagree.
There's nothing like an ice cream cone on
Ice cream vendors were making a killing on
this hot Sunday afternoon. Even Billy and I purchased one of these chocolate
dipped ice cream cones. It had to have been one of the biggest I have ever
attempted to eat!
Guide to Early Retirement, 3rd Edition
Notice these hand woven, hand embroidered
blouses, skirts, shirt and pants. The Maya just love pattern. The more the
The face of an angel
After our raucous afternoon at the local
festival, it was time for the 7 minute drive home on the public bus. We quickly
found seats before the bus filled up to capacity. This young angel-faced boy had
a curiosity about us foreigners and just unabashedly stared at us. He was
drooling everywhere including the back handle of this seat. Good thing we travel
with baby wipes! One must hang onto the back of seats or else you might just get
shot into the aisle on one of these hair pin turns. The baby wipe helped clean
up the grabbing area.
Aaaahhhh.... that's better.
view of the lake
as we head on home.
It's mind blowing to realize that the Maya
have been living here on this lake for centuries. They had their own societies
for about 1,000+ years, then they survived the Spanish invasion. Now they are
surviving the jostling into the future with digital gadgets, cable TV, western
medicine and education, tourists and a change in diet.
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About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.