A stray dog got in the house. Not my house, of course, I live on the 11th floor of the second tallest building in Guatemala. The stray dog was hiding in the bathtub of my friend Lissy’s mother’s house. The dog was hiding because tonight is La Quema del Diablo, or The Burning of the Devil. According to my friend Tobin, The Burning of the Devil is the informal commencement of the holiday season, a day when Guatemalans get together and burn effigies of the devil to represent a clean break for the year. It is also a wonderful excuse to light fireworks and burn effigies of the devil. Supposedly the new start that the festivities represent is not specific in any way, but I am going to take it as an opportunity to not be as self conscious. I think a clean break is due in that department, at least until I start wandering around in my bathrobe in the afternoon, demanding people write down everything I say.
The stray dog was hiding out in the bathtub because every living soul in a three mile radius was lighting bottle rockets and firecrackers. If you are wondering, I think she made it out alright; last I saw of her, she was lounging in the garage, gnawing on a salchicha.