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Americas Social Forum 2008 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The morning dawned bright and beautiful in the paradise that is San Pedro de Laguna. It was horribly tempting to stay there and enjoy the day, but it was time to go back to Guatemala City and get to work.

We get on a shuttle where we are crammed in uncomfortably like sardines, and we have these round about discussions whether a chicken bus would be faster, safer, and more comfortable. Who knows. It sure would be cheaper. We need to pass by Antigua to drop some people off, and once in Guatemala City we start dropping others off downtown, and the bus station, before finally continuing on to drop us off at the hotel by the airport.

We get to the hotel only to find out that a bunch of people who were supposed to leave that morning had their flight canceled, and despite our reservations there was no room in the inn. So, I get outsourced to another hotel, which is a further pain because their internet does not work (probably because of the kid running the hotel playing with porn on their computer). It's going on 4pm and I still have not had lunch and I'm starving, but out here there are no places to eat.

We go the San Carlos University where the forum is being held and registration is a mess. Apparently their computers with the registration database crashed, and so we all have to register again, and by hand. By the time we figure out the entire process, all of the bags with registration information are gone. I still haven't eaten and am starving, and so we go across the street to a cafeteria which turns into another whole zoo (can you make me a vegetarian burrito without meat, I ask? Ok, I'll make you one with chicken then, is the standard answer).

It's getting dark now, and the inauguration of the forum is surely going on by now. So finally we give up on filling our stomachs and go join the festivities. With the wonderful music and inspiring talks (Alberto Acosta talked about Ecuador's new constitution), all of the old worries melt away. We're here at another forum, and we're working to make a new and better world.

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