Snate's Six-Month Sojourn travel blog

Hemp and Angie outside of their luxurious room at Playa Luna Azul

The uncanny likeness between Hempel and Shrek


A while back I promised a little tale about Hempel and Angie, so here it be:

Hempel and Angie are a German couple that we met on our little excursion to Fuentes Georginas a few weeks back. We shared a room with these two, as well as a nutjob named Charley (who we are planning on meeting up with again in the next few days) and a guy named Mark who flew back to the States a few days after our excursion. But enough about these other people.

Hempel is 28 and is part of a guild of traveling construction workers. Five or six years ago, he became a part of this group and traveled all over the world working on construction projects as is the requirement of the guild. There are many interesting rules of the guild, for instance there is a dress code, the person is not allowed to return to within 50 km. (more or less) of his hometown for three years, and he must never fall asleep in a bar. Hempel used to have very long hair, but he fell asleep in a bar, and his friends cut off his hair. Hemp has multiple tattoos, and the one on his left arm signifies the guild to which he belongs. He has spent time in Africa and Asia and now finds work on construction projects in whatever town he and Angie arrive in.

Angie works as a clown and finds work performing in towns she and Hemp visit. She speaks very good English, and every word she utters, story she tells or coffee she orders is done with the flair of a performance artist. She is incredibly animated. Apparently much of her act involves the use of a step ladder and some crazy acrobatics, though Sam and I have not yet witnessed her abilities. She also attended a "Fool" conference recently and has many very interesting stories to tell about the art of playing the fool.

These two currently live in a van that Hemp has converted into a small home. There is a bed, a coach, a cooking area and a bathroom. Essentially, the two of them drive from town to town, finding work and living in their van. When work is slow, they travel for a bit (thus explaining their three months in Central America). However, they were talking the other day about when they get back to Germany and some huge festival in Switzerland where they've worked for the past several years setting up the stages, shops, etc. The pay is good and they're fed in the hobbit fashion. They talk about this month of work so fondly, that Sam and I nearly signed up, though it doesn't much fit into our plans. Alack.

So that's the story of Hempel and Angie. We abandoned these two at Lago de Atitlan a few days ago, but it looks like our paths may cross again at the Rio Dulce, at which point all y'all will hear more of them. Until later.

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