(Written last night...spotty Internet coverage)
It took 14 hours of cars, planes and bus rides…but we (and all our luggage) have arrived in Coban, Guatemala!
My husband is down the hall getting an overview of our work for the week (beginning tomorrow morning). My children are snug in beds next to ours and my tummy is full from the most amazing guacamole and corn tortillas we just enjoyed for dinner.
So far, the countryside looks much like I had expected. We took a five hour bus ride today from the airport in Guatemala City to our destination here in Coban, so we saw a great deal of the landscape. Busses and walking are the predominant modes of transportation, so I have been struck by the number of pedestrians lining the windy, mountainous, relatively narrow roads. We have also marveled at the women carrying large things on their heads.
I have been impressed by the gorgeous flowers that grow plentiful and naturally in this lush part of the country. There is a vase of calla lilies outside in the hall that I had to touch (twice) to believe they were real.
Our group consists of our family of five, a group of three men and 7 year old boy from another part of Georgia, our missionary friends who live here and a trip leader. This makes our group 8 adults, 2 teenagers and 7 children between the age of 7-10. The word flexibility is likely to take on a whole new meaning! So far, however, they have all been amazingly cooperative and enthusiastic considering the amount of travel today and the time change.
Tomorrow we will begin our work with Food for the Hungry and Eli’s Wish by taking a one hour bus ride into a somewhat secluded village. We will hike house to house delivering and installing water filters. In the afternoon, we will host a Bible School for the village children. We have been told to expect 30 or so the first day and up to 100 once the word gets out. I cannot wait to see my little people interacting with the local children in this setting! This will be our routine until Thursday when we journey back into a more densely populated area (Antigua) to see more of the country.
I learned a couple of things today:
1- Toilet paper is rarely kept in stalls in public restrooms. It is generally out in the common area and you are expected to take it in with you. AND, you usually have to pay for it!
2- When you lose a tooth in Guatemala, there is not a Tooth Fairy. Instead there is a mouse, named Raton that sneaks and exchanges your tooth for a treat. (You can only imagine how well they are sleeping imagining a tooth stealing mouse scurrying into our room tonight while they sleep!)
3- In Guatemala (or at least in this hotel) the H and C on the shower handles showed be considered. C isn't 'cold,' it's 'caliente.'
Off to work!
Off to work!