Sunday, December 16, 2007

Home for Christmas

This is just a quick note to let you know we are on our way to the lower 48 now. We are driving to Anchorage and flying from there to Chicago. Our plans are to go to my parents home from Monday through Thursday. Then we are headed to Andrew's parents on Thursday evening and staying until the next Thursday morning. From Thursday through Tuesday the 1st we are going to be at my parents, then we will head to Tennessee and stay for a couple of days. On Friday we are going to go to Virginia to visit Andrew's brother and his family. Then we are to leave there Monday morning and go to Salem, OH to visit our friends the Quesenberry's and hopefully we will see the Ford's while we are there as well. (Although their daughter's wedding is to happen up here while we are away so maybe they won't be back by then.) Tuesday we are headed back to my parents and Wednesday we drive to Chicago to fly back to Alaska! So, I hope we can see many of you while we are down there visiting. We are looking forward to coming.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Read this before you start reading about our trip

OK folks, that should be all for now. I've told you about the whole trip, leaving out only the tiniest of details. :) The best way for you all to read about this, if you haven't been keeping up as I've written it, is to go to the archive section on the right hand side of this page and go to the one titled "On our way to Guatemala" and then go up. That way you will get the whole story in order. I'm sorry there is so much stuff, I really did try to condense it. And so, because I hate to post without posting a picture I'll leave you with these lovely flowers. :)
Awwww, I just couldn't leave this darling picture out. Look at her cute little Guatemalan outfit. And then, look at this cool wooden boat. Isn't that neat? Now, you would have missed out on those pictures if I had decided not to post them. Aren't you glad I did?

So, now I'm really, really, I am. heehee

To Chichicastenango and Panajachel

Thursdays and Sundays are market days in Chichicastenango, so being as how this day was Thursday, we went to Chichi this day. I guess my camera battery was dead again this day because I have no pictures of the market. I know, I know, you're glad. However, we had a great time at the market getting bombarded with people who wanted our money. It was so hard to tell some of them no. And then others wouldn't take no for an answer. Katie is so soft hearted she would have just given them all money. :) The Rickenbachs went with us, thank you so much, Bro. Lee and Sis. Shari. It was so fun to have someone else around who knew spanish and could help us out when we needed it.
After the market we headed down to Panajachel. It is more of a tourist town on the shores of Lake Atitlan. It was very beautiful and had a market type atmosphere out on the roads. But it wasn't so close together and the roads were easier to navigate than the small aisles at the market in Chichi. Our motel was beautiful, we got rooms with double french doors that opened on to a small yard area with beautiful view of the lake and the volcano. Remember the volcano I told you to remember? Here is the same volcano at a different angle.

This was looking out our double french doors.

Above our rooms was an outdoor eating place but everything had flowers growing around it. It was very lush and exotic.

Drew and the mayan mask

Here's where we ate breakfast the next morning. It was wonderful.

Lee and Shari Rickenbach, she is Ron Hunt's sister. (he goes to my church, Ron does, that is) We had such a wonderful time with them, getting to know them. We are very thankful we got to spend time with them.

Tuesday evening and Tikal on Wednesday

So now Andrew and I are on our own. Mom and Dad headed back to Indiana via Miami and Rickenbachs couldn't be with us in Guatemala City until Wednesday evening. So we flew to Guate. City, prayed that someone from the rental car company would be there waiting for us (and they were) and prayed some more that we could find our way to SETECA (and we did). So the Lord heard and answered our prayers. I'm afraid I was too nervous to take pictures. :) This is us Wednesday morning on our way to Tikal. For those who may not have heard of Tikal, it is a place where the Mayans had their civilization a couple thousand years ago. It started out rainy and cold, we were delayed an hour because of rain in Flores (where we were to land). But we got gone and here are pictures of the rest of our very interesting day. We met our tour guide, we were the only tourists with that tour group so it was awesome. We could do whatever we wanted. Our tour guide was awesome, you'll see a picture of him later. We had about an hour trip from Flores to Tikal. Our first colorful bird sighting. I forget the name of this bird. Our tour guide knew the names of all of the native birds and all of the animals we saw. The first view we had of a temple They must repair any broken limestone blocks very quickly or the whole structure will deteriorate and fall down. See the wood over the door? That has to be 2000 yrs old. Our tour guide, Julio. Here is how we got to the top of one of the temples. They wouldn't let us walk up the limestone steps that are in the front of the temple. (I got to do that 34 yrs ago) We were sooooooo sore for the next couple of days. These steps were incredibly rickety. Andrew did NOT want to use them at all. We had a french tourist take our picture. We were on the top of the temple opposite the one behind us. That is probably obvious, but I don't know and I don't want to assume. Here is a spider monkey. Three really sweet kids.
Toucan SamA howler monkeyThese are animals that are related to our coons. We must have seen a family of 50 or so.
After about 4 hours of walking we had our lunch under this thatch roof building. It was so yummy and very neat to be eating "outdoors". It had been threatening rain the whole day but it held off until we got under the canopy here in the "restaurant" then it poured. But it was done by the time we got done eating.

And then, getting on the plane in Flores, heading back to Guatemala City. Rickenbachs were to be in Guatemala City when we got there this night, but we thought they were going to meet us at SETECA, however, they met us at the airport and we were so very glad to see some other white faces. Plus we were hungry and we didn't know where to go to eat so they were able to take us to "Sarita's" before we went to bed.


As we were leaving on Tuesday afternoon, we got pictures of Mom and Dad with the Meltons. We are so glad we got to meet you, Daniel and Tiffany, thank you so much for the hospitality and for taking us all around SPS. We really appreciate all you did to make our stay so enjoyable.


Monday we rested most of the day, we did go back to the market and got a few things. The kids played on the playground at the restaurant "Larson's" where we ate several time there in SPS. I took this picture because I thought the sign said it was only for ages four and under but what it did say is that those kids four and under had to be under the supervision of an adult. Anyway, see if you can find Heidi int he picture. Sweet little Caleb
Andrew and Daniel went to Tegucigalpa this day. They took a bus, Andrew wanted the experience, and Daniel said he had a surprise planned for Andrew. So when they got there they went to the presidential palace for lunch. The president and his wife were both in meetings or Andrew and Daniel would have been able to have lunch with them. It was very neat for Andrew. You'll have to get him to tell you about it sometime.

Sunday in Armenta and Miramelinda

Sunday morning we went to Armenta. I have heard so many stories about this little town and I thought I would remember it but there was hardly anything that looked familiar to me about it. I remember the river that was next to it but it looked so small now that I can't be sure it was the same town I'm thinking of. Here are some pictures of the service there. This sign says "Welcome Brother Leonard Sankey" - obviously they tweeked the spelling on the last name a little. :) Little "Lizzy" came to visit us during the service, and since the kids couldn't understand any of the service, Drew became very intrigued by Lizzy and took a picture or two of her. Drew wanted to get a picture of all of these kids and somehow he got them to understand him. Kids are great. I was really proud of my kids on this trip. They wanted to communicate so badly they would ask me how to say stuff and wouldn't have a clue what the kids answered back to them but they didn't care they just wanted to make friends. And the little national kids were just as friendly. It was a great experience for them. The only dry road out of this town was being worked on when we left that morning so we had to gun the van we were in and try to make it through this mud... and yes, there is another car coming straight at us. :) Sunday evening they had to take a smaller vehicle so that they could use the 4 wheel drive to get to this church. So only Dad, Andrew and my three kids went to this service, along with the Meltons. This was the little town of Miramelinda (that is why I think I was wrong in the earlier post). The city of San Pedro Sula