San Pedro La Laguna

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have you ever had your breathe taken away by nature? Like so much so that you can't stop starring at it? I experienced that this past week on multiple occasions. You're probably going to get tired of hearing me say how beautiful Guatemala is, but it really is a beautiful country.

I feel like I connect so much with the Lord through nature. His creativity is outstanding.
Exhibit A:

 The cool thing about this view is that we saw it everyday from out hotel! Like right outside our door. 

We met up with a group from GBSI (Global Business Solution Institute) on October 18. Half the group being from Pensacola. We rode with them to San Pedro La Laguna where we worked all week. Note, this place is about a 7 hour drive from where we actually live. But oh how it was worth it! It was so great seeing familiar faces and some amazing scenery. 

Although we were in the same country, we saw a very different side of Guatemala. 
Not only was it beautiful, but the people were too. And look how colorful and fun their indigenous clothing is! We don't really see a lot of this where we are. 

We spent most of the week helping plant seeds. The group brought over 20,000 seeds to plant in order to help the community! They also built a chicken house featuring 200 chickens (that's a lot of eggs!).

Mitch and I always accidentally kind of match. Whoops

Took a boat ride across the lake to Panajachel. So amazing!

What a view! 

So this was one of my favorite things about the week. Just kidding, but I did eat 3 of them within 6 days. No shame. Warm, flakey bread stuffed with chocolate. Gosh, I'm spoiled. And then there's Mitch with his gigantic latte.We were in heaven.

I'm kind of kicking myself for not bringing my "real" camera along on the trip, but the iphone camera got the job done. Despite being sick twice, we had a great week! We're so glad GBSI invited us to join them for the week. Can't wait for more trips to San Pedro La Laguna. It was such a refreshing trip.

This week we will slowly begin to move into our little home here in Cuilapa. I AM SO EXCITED to have a house again. It's been 7 months people! 

But God is good. He's always good. Praising him for last week's adventure's and his breathtaking creation.

Hiking adventures

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cuilapa, Santa Rosa, Gutatemala (Our home for the next 2 years)!

Thursday we were dropped off in Cuilapa and got acquainted with Pastor Mario and a little bit of the city. 
The next day we went around touring the city, which is pretty small. Mitch jokes that it is like driving around my parent's neighborhood, which is probably pretty accurate in size. Our friend we were with asked us if we wanted to see a waterfall. Thinking we were just going to do a drive by we said of course! Who wouldn't want to right? ...

Little did we know that we would be going on such an adventure. We got out of the truck, met another fellow from the church and we began walking. We crossed a busy street and started walking through a corn, bean, and coffee field. Our walk quickly turned into a strenuous hike. This hike was unlike any other though. There was no trail. The "path" was very narrow. It was really rocky. And it was wet which = slippery! Oh and downhill! Have you ever hiked downhill? It's nearly impossible.
The very top is where we started and we hiked down. 
I almost slipped about 15 times. It could have been very bad. But we kept going hoping that this crazy hike would be worth it.
As we made our way through the rocks and the mud we eventually saw this beautiful site. So, what do you think? Worth it?

Our tour guide, Fito

All this hiking took place before noon! Needless to say, the rest of the day we were exhausted. My legs are still sore. In the end, I'm kind of glad I blindly went on this adventure. Of course, I wouldn't recommend that all the time. Mitch and I will probably ask more detailed questions before agreeing to "see" a waterfall or whatever. But sometime's these adventure's are good for the soul. The physicality of it and witnessing this hidden gem of God's creation was really worth it. 

I feel like we have officially been initiated into Cuilapa! What a welcome! 

City adventures

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In some regards Guatemala City is very much like any other big, metro city. Public transportation is everywhere, traffic is horrible and there are a plethora of young urban professionals. The city is broken into zones. Some zones are upscale, modern, and full of charm. And like any large city, there are places (or zones) that you should avoid. We were told that if someone were to drop us off in zone 18 we would survive simply because we're short and small like most Guatemalans. But I'd rather not find out! 

We've been staying in Guatemala City longer than expected, but it has actually turned out to be a blessing. I've already experienced sickness while being here and am thankful that the hotel is only a block down from a pharmacy. We've also had the pleasure of meeting with 2 other American missionary families and they have been such a huge help to us. And now we have new friends too! The extra time in the city has also helped us get things squared away with immigration. 
You might notice from the photo that we found a Starbucks. We have already deemed this as one of our getaway places. It's like a little piece of home. 

Thursday we move to Cuilapa, Santa Rosa. We will finally meet the pastor we'll be working with and begin our house and car search. House hunters international Mitch and Amanda style coming your way! We are so ready to begin our adventures in Cuilapa and can't wait to see what God does! 

100th post and the big move

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Writing my 100th post from Guatemala City!

We awoke October 1st around 4am in order to catch the 6:30am flight out of Nashville (Who does that anyway? Ok, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be). We gained an hour when we arrived in Guatemala City around 11:30am. Needless to say, we were (and still are a little) tired! But we're so glad to be here finally. 

Our first few days here will be spent in Guatemala City (the capitol) getting those necessary things done such as Visas, cell phones, looking for a car, etc.

Here are some recent photos from this past week:

Enjoying our favorite Nashville coffee house, Fido, one last time.

Birthday number 25! Celebrating at Cantina Laredo…yum! 

At the age of 25 I bought my first pair of reading glasses. I'm way too young to feel this old.

A beautiful Saturday stroll in Franklin, TN with my love.

Visiting with my lovely mom!

Our favorite things one last time. Frozen yogurt for me, Starbucks for him. Mitch will be okay though since the coffee here in Guatemala is apparently amazing. The ice cream however, not so much.

And we're off! This bird's eye view never gets old. Beautiful

I want to say thank you to all of our friends, family, and supporters for all your love and encouragement .  I know some of y'all are just as excited as us for this new journey. Photos from Guatemala will be coming your way soon! 
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