Today's post is a combination of three days. I didn't have as many pictures of these days so I can condense it and cut down on the number of posts :)
First up is some photos of the animals and farm fields. This first photo of a row of banana trees is one of my favorite photos :)
I don't think anyone was living in this house, but it was interesting to see with it's homemade bricks.
This is how they do laundry...they set up a shelter over the water canal and stand in the water while scrubbing on the stones. We saw pig intestines and several dirty diapers floating in the water so you certainly don't want to use it for anything other than clothes and irrigation :)
These are peanuts drying in the sun.
While we ladies handed out invatations to the crusade, the guys built a bridge for Emilton's mother so she can gather firewood on the other side of this creek.
Making cookies to pass out to the children at the school the next day.
The next day we did two skits for the children from the school across the soccer field from our houses. Eventually I will upload the videos to YouTube.
Each person on the trip brought items to use in making these bundles that contained school supplies and hygiene products. There were 60 children at the school and each child got a bundle.
These little gecko things were all over in the house...I can't remember what they were called in Spanish. They are only a couple inches long.
This little guy was so cute! You can see how bitty he was by comparing him with the fingers.
And Lavonne :) Can't get enough of his smile.
Me with one of the pastor's and his family. I loved their family! Amazingly, he could fit himself, his wife and there four children on one very narrow motorcycle!
The pastor's daughter, Abigail, playing with some play dough I gave her. She refused to let go of it for the group photo :)
Photos from the balcony of Emilton and Lucille's house of the crusade pavilion and the ladies selling food.
In the post we are going to the Pacific Ocean! This was a special part of the trip for me because I have never been to any ocean before, mainly just the lakes hear in Michigan. And I've never been in salt water before.
There were too many of us to all fit in the van, so some of the group rode in the back of the truck the 1 1/2 hours to the ocean. I opted for the truck...it's easier to take pictures from :) Plus I never pass up the opportunity to ride out in the open!
This was an interesting thing...it's a truck stop for the truck drives...with hammocks! They need these here in America!
We pass miles and miles of banana trees. It was pretty neat to see a fruit we eat all the time growing. They put the plastic bags on the bunches of bananas to trap the gases and help them ripen faster.
We also passed a large section of palm trees planted in perfect rows on either side of the road. It was so dark and cool underneath them, like a jungle, you could feel the cool air.
Welcome to the Ocean!
The sand there isn't pretty and white like our Michigan beach sand, it's black and actually pretty dirty. And it's very hot! I had scandals on and it was still difficult to walk on.
A couple hundred feet from the edge of the ocean, families build these shelters with palm fronds so you can get out of the sun. You can also purchase lunch from them, more on that in a minute.
Jothum enjoyed playing in the sand and Lavonne loved being tossed around by his aunt.
Random photos of our group enjoying the water :)
This is our trip leader, Emilton, his wife, Lucille and their boys, Elison and Lavonne.
Me enjoying the Pacific Ocean!
It was a little intimidating for me as I don't know how to swim and I'm generally leary of water, but I had a ton of fun! The currents were super strong and going two different directions so even in the knee deep water it was difficult to stay on your feet. I was too nervous at first to venture out very far, but with the help of Jeremiah and his daughter, Hosanna, I did finally go out to the sand bar where the water was up to my chest and the waves were high! It was exhilarating. I only stayed out for a little while because it took a lot of energy to stay upright and not let the current push you around.
A shout out to my Aunt Mary for making my wonderful swim suit! Guatemala was my first time using it and it worked splendidly!
Angel, a friend who came with us to the ocean, drawing pictures in the sand. He was quite good!
This was our dinner at the ocean...it was very good.
Horses, pigs and stray dogs at the ocean...quite different from our beaches here :)
On our way home we encountered this sow with her piglets walking down the street in town!
And to sum up this post and our day at the ocean, we were blessed with a beautiful sunset on our way home :)
This post is a combination of the shopping trip we took to Malacatan, and photos of the first crusade we helped with. This crusade was three nights, but I think most of the photos were from the last night.
This is the town of Malacatan. The streets and sidewalks were very narrow...my heart got to racing a few times :)
Our main interest on this shopping trip was fabric. It's pretty cheap compared to American prices and they have a lot of variety. The photo on the left is how they display the fabric on the street and the photo on the right is how the store that we did the majority of our shopping at displayed their product.
The ladies doing their shopping :)
The shop owner.
Lavonne fell asleep in the scrap bin. So cute.
We then went into what would be considered an open air market. They had every thing from garden items, pottery, tourist items, clothing, hammocks, food stands and more. It is under a roof because it so hot, and it was like a maze! I would have been lost for sure.
This is the tent where the first crusade was held. One of the projects the guys had was putting up this tent. They used bamboo for the poles. Inside the tents are the church people and the "friends", or the unsaved, sit outside the tent. At the back of the tent the women of the church hosting the Crusade set up food stands and sell it during the whole of the meeting.
We helped the church youth usher, and then before the sermon we sang two songs in Spanish and in English.
A photo of the youth from our group with the youth from the host church.
It was at this crusade that my phone was lost/stolen. So I was without cell service the rest of the trip. We thought it might turn up, but it never did, so someone in Guatemala has a new phone :)
The highlight of this post, for me, is the iguana! This is a LIVE iguana that the guys caught near one of our swimming spots. In the right picture, I was only brave enough to touch it while Tony held it, but I mustered up the courage and held it. I found it interesting that at no point did it struggle. They said that when you hold it around its neck, it just goes limp. They can bite so you do have to be careful.
This is Mamita, preparing the iguana to be made into tamales. I did try a little bit of the meat. It wasn't my favorite thing ever, but it's neat to be able to say I've eaten iguana :)
On the left is our group leader, Emilton, with the iguana and on the right is Jothum, with his uncle. It's almost as big as he is!
The guys found this log that jutted out from the bank and took turns standing on it while the others bounced it around...no one lasted very long and there were some interesting spills!
A banana leaf hat!!
If there is a flat cement surface nearby, that is what the locals use for drying maize. (or peanuts). This was by the pavilion across from our house. The last photo shows them gathering it up at the end of the day.
Lavonne...we had so much fun!
We enjoyed a couple lovely campfires. It was great to sit around and chat together after a long day.
Are you ready for part 4?
Ready or not....
Isn't this little piggy just too cute?! I'm not usually fond of pigs, but this little guy was cute :)
I was surprised at how many turkeys we saw, all domestic. Some were even tied up. This tom was really showing his stuff.
We were blessed to be able to purchase firewood for a local widow and deliver it to her. She has been widowed for five years and does not have a steady income, so the wood was a blessing to her, as she didn't even have an area she could go gather it. Her name was Lorna, the bottom left photo is me and her.
Horses are still used quite a bit there and we saw some riders doing an interesting balancing act with produce!
You saw a photo of the Moreno's houses in Part 2, this looking from the road toward their row of four houses.
A lady from the church down the road cooking lunch for the guys who were working on a project for the pastor's family.
The guys took down an old tin roof that covered the family's cooking and eating area and put up a new one. (for the pastor's family)
Papito preparing these leaves for our dinner. This plant is similar to something we have here in America and is in the Nightshade family.
The river! We only swam at this spot once and I really enjoyed it. There was a high bank that the guys enjoyed jumping off of. We had a few local boys join us as well. One of our group, Joe, jumped in with his glasses on and lost them in 8-10 feet of murky water. After several minutes of searching, Emilton, our group leader, found them on the river bed! Truly a miracle. This was one of the times I wish I knew how to swim...or at least had a life jacket because that high bank looked really fun!
This posts are not doing our time there justice...I wish I could give you all just a taste of what I experienced...but since I can't, you'll just have to go back with me sometime :)
Life happened, my computer stopped working, but I'm back with Part 3!
I have to say, going through these pictures for the posts is hard, really hard. Even though I only got back a few weeks ago, it seems like a lifetime since I was there. I loved every second and I miss it terribly.
This picture just gets me every time...how could you not fall in love with that face?
Passing out baby clothes and salve :)
This cutie...she was so shy but so adorable!
Being the animal lover that I am...I was in heaven! This puppy was adorable and I got to see him twice :) The palm trees were on of my parts of the scenery. This was something that for me, I'd always seen pictures of, but it was really interesting to see them in person. To look up in the sky and know that it wasn't someone else's photo, but the read deal!
There are banana trees everywhere, another novelty for me. The second photo is Emilton, our group leader, purchasing oranges from a passing vendor. They peel their oranges with apple peelers.
A creek that we swam at several times. A very beautiful spot to cool off at.
I had so much fun with these three....Elison and Lavonne are brothers and Jothum is their cousin.
Helping with the dishes :) I told my dad we need a sink like this...it's huge! But really handy.
That sums up part three...hopefully I'll get part four up sooner!
Day 2, Feb. 16th-
Time for Part 2!
These are the houses we stayed in...there are actually four houses in a row that belong to the Moreno family, but we were staying in the blue and red houses. Emilton and Lucille's house is the blue one and that is where the married couple and the three guys stayed. All of us ladies stayed in the red house.
This is the Moreno's truck. If we were going only a short distance, this is the vehicle we used. Depending on how many were riding in it, we sometimes could use benches along the sides, but most time we stood.
This was our first full day there and we got up very early to start handing out invitations to the first Crusade before it got too hot. We paired up with some of the local Christian youth. We walked and walked and walked! But it was very interesting to walk the back roads and see how the majority of the people lived....very, very primitive.
There were pigs everywhere!!! Even in the houses. The piglets were cute, but they are an important part of the food chain there.
These two houses are pretty typical of what you see. Very primitive and they still use thatched roofs!
A local church that was putting on the first Crusade we helped with.
The kitchen area in the red house...I love their sink! And yes, there is a motorcycle in the house...that's where they store them at night.
Putting together bundles for the school children. They consisted of hygiene products and school supplies.
Our dinner....still alive!
This is Papita, Emilton's dad, with one of his horses.
After all that walking we still had enough energy to play volley ball in the pavilion across from our houses.
And that sums up our second day. I hope you are enjoying the photos!
I had so many wonderful experiences in the last two weeks that I want to share with you all...if I tried to squeeze them all into one post it would be very, very long!
So I'm going to break it up into parts...I'm not sure how many parts though. We were there for fifteen days...but some days I'll combine together so it shouldn't be that many posts :)
To start off, the first photo is our entire group, twenty individuals including the children.
Day 1, Feb. 15th-
My trip actually started on the 14th, when I drove down to Ohio and spent the night at my friend, Alyssa's house. We had to leave around 2 am for the Detroit Airport, so it was easier for me to go with her. There were four of us leaving from Ohio and we met up with another girl at the airport, so there were five of us flying together.
This was my first time flying, so it was a new and interesting experience. It was a lot of fun! We flew from Detroit to Atlanta and from there straight to Guatemala City.
From the airplane as we descended into Guatemala.
Looking over Guatemala City from the airplane as we landed.
At the airport waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.
The van we crammed about fifteen of us into for the seven hour ride from the airport to Emilton's home town, Escupula. Emilton is a native Guatemalan and was the mission trip leader. He is standing on the back of the van. I couldn't believe we fit all our luggage and all the people in this van...
A man we saw juggling machetes in the middle of the street in Guatemala City.
Some interesting things we saw in Guatemala City.
Some of the gorgeous scenery we saw on the ride to Escupula. The mountains were so beautiful.
We stopped and had dinner at a nice restaurant about two hours into our trip. It was very good food!!
We arrived at Emilton's home very, very late and it was dark so I didn't get pictures of us arriving. Our first day wasn't terribly eventful...the second day saw more action. Check back tomorrow for that post!
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