Many of us have been experiencing slow internet speed with some web pages not loading. We spend hours cursing, swearing, tearing out our hair, reloading pages time and time again. After some research, I have a couple of tips to improve your internet experience. First, your computer's DNS (Domain Name Server) may have been set for a default location outside of Guatemala. Secondly, the internet provider you use here (Tigo, TecnoCompu, or other) may not have set the DNS to the ones that work best here. Namebench is an application that will help you to configure which DNS settings are best for YOUR location wherever you are in the world. You can download it here: http://code.google.com/p/namebench/downloads/detail?name=namebench-1.3.1-Mac_OS_X.dmg&can=2&q=
I have used that and have found the following 2 settings for Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala (these are the settings my husband is using on his computer):
Another website also gave me (these are the settings that I am using on my computer):
Next, you need to find where the DNS settings that are set up on your computer. For instructions for Windows go to: http://www.mediacollege.com/computer/network/dns.html
With Mac computers go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced then
- Click on DNS tab at the top.
- Click on the + at the bottom of the left-hand side DNS Servers pane.
- Type in at least 2 of the above settings (separately clicking on the + sign for each setting).
- Click OK.
- Click Apply (if you don't do this it won't stick!)
I think you will see your internet speed improve immensely. Ours certainly did. And we are keeping our hair! (At least I am!)
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Coffee rust, a fungal disease that kills coffee plants, has invaded Guatemala to such an extent that on 8 February the President declared it to be a national emergency. This fungus seems to have originated in Africa being first reported in 1861 and then appeared in Brazil in 1970. Since then it has been making it's way north. The rust plant fungus starts as brown spots that turn the leaves. The leaves fall off and because the plant cannot use photosynthesis to process their nutrients, the plant weakens, the crops decrease and the plant eventually dies. Meanwhile it is spreading to other plants.
The Guatemalan government is advocating wide-spread use of pesticides to halt the spread of the disease and are initiating a program of pesticide use in April. This, of course, is not what organic coffee growers want to do. The best preventative measure is to first have very healthy plants that can fight off the fungus and to keep the ground around the plants cleared of monte and dead leaves. Splashing rain water transfers the fungus to nearby plants. I found one website that reported on a successful study of biological treatment http://www.corpoica.org.co/SitioWeb/WebBac/Documentos/BIOLOGICALCONTROL.pdf
One person told me that he heard that the most effective, non-pesticide treatment is to cut the plant all the way down to the ground and burn the cuttings. Apparently the plant will regenerate without the rust.
If you grow coffee, please let us know if you have observed the rust on your coffee and what you will be doing to avoid/control the fungus. Below are some websites that I have found about the emergency and control of the coffee rust. Send me other websites you might discover and I will pass them along.
Photo by Carvalho et al. [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Started by Padma de Pana, Ijatz Radio Kajol supports free music and environmental awareness in the Lake Atitlan area. This unique online radio is designed to be the ideal online radio community for Lake Atitlan where each person or community can organize its own programing and materials on your own computers with your own software ... serving up any programming on your own page .. sometimes live (recorded live at UStream or listen2myradio), sometimes recorded for programming at another time ... and everything goes on the website of Radio Kajol. Check it out!
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And Roberto Luz has done it again! ONLINE RIGHT NOW! Radio Festival Atitlan, with music from past festivals and LOTS MORE. It sounds GREAT! listen in! http://www.festivalatitlan.com/radio/radio.htmlhttp://www.festivalatitlan.com/radio/radioes.html
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The following is a post made by Pana Haraldo on Facebook about an experience he recently had. It touched me as I think it will touch you. With his permission I post it here.
For the past few years I've made it my daily routine to walk at least 6 miles no less than 4 mornings every week. My walk takes me through Barrio Norte and to the yellow (now silver) bridge, then on up the road that leads to San Andres.
Along the way I've made many daily acquaintances. We exchange smiles and sing buenos dias to each other, or sometimes it's just a wave and flashing of headlights from motorcycles, camionetas, and yes even chicken buses.
In particular, I've come to especially enjoy my encounters with the municipality workers. The wonderful street sweeper and his dogs. The deliriously happy man who maintains the rest rooms at the muni center. The cops. And all the drivers and crew members of Panajachel's 6 garbage trucks as we share the road that goes to the city dump.
The other day something unusual happened. Early on, as I was crossing the bridge, my eyes started badly burning. By the time I reached the other side I was unable to see for the pain. I was forced to stop and try to get some composure. Before I could think about what to do I heard the voice of a good friend and close neighbor. Ted and Kathryn were coming down the mountain and heading home. I climbed into the back of their pickup and gratefully accepted their delivery to my front door.
It was probably from perspiration and excessive use of sunblock, which was very concentrated coming out of the bottom of the bottle. After a few hours of irrigation my eyes were fine again.
The next morning I got back in the saddle, strapped on the walking shoes and did my usual thing. However, and much to my elation, several people stopped me along the way and asked if I was ok. Apparently the word had gotten around that the big old gringo walking dude had some kind of attack at the bridge. The smiles and genuine sense of warm concern I was given just melted me. Even from a couple of the cops!
I love this place.
This experience has given me many smiles and feelings of warmth and humility. The simple act of honest caring from people who I really don't even know.
The experience has also come to me at a time when I have been contemplating if there is a statute of limitation for caring about someone who does not care about you.
These daily walks are good for so much more than just exercising the body.
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Sufi poet and Panajachel resident Eric Halliwell announced that his website is now finally finished and up. Check it out and sign up for his blog. http://rumi-nations.com/