Glenn and I spent a few days in Panajachel at Las Buenas Nuevas. The Good News is that it was perfect timing to rest our souls.
We enjoyed a very relaxing time with good friends, Forrest and Carol. We cooked up a traditional "pre-Christmas" meal including ham, corn casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce and even pumpkin pie.
We finished off a 1000 piece puzzle complete with the cold snow scene.
We enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets down by the lake.
I relaxed by cross-stitching. The others read, worked puzzles, we laughed, played Phase 10 and Skip Bo, and listened to the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network for the play by play call of the victory for the Dallas Cowboys over the Eagles on Sunday night.
How 'bout dem Cowboys?
I'm thankful for the time away, to reflect, relax and appreciate the goodness of God in our lives.
On Saturday, Glenn and I picked up our good friend, Carol (Forrest arrived on Sunday), and we headed to Lake Atitlán. Glenn decided to drive the back way, by way of Patzicía, Patzún and then a more rustic route straight down the side of the mountain through the small village of San Antonio Palopó.
We've taken this road 3 times before. It is not on your recommended high speed roads routing. It is mostly a one-lane, gravel and dirt road. There are two spots that have several yards of rippled concrete to help with traction. Once, going uphill on a pretty difficult climb, the rear drive wheels were slipping and sliding. But mostly we were going downhill, so we felt confident that we could make it to our destination in our trusty Toyota HiAce (the Silver Bullet).
We came across a small hut with this huge Poinsettia tree,
approximately 12 feet tall.
The sign says:
You are stupid if you take this route.
No, just kidding.
It really says,
"...alternate route to Panajachel, Be Careful, Dangerous Curves."
Guatemala City traffic on the whole is horrible. We try to avoid peak rush hour traffic between 6:00am to 9:00am. However, we have noticed just this past week, the rush hour traffic seems to be
ALL day long. Holiday season.
I took my camera earlier this week and documented our several mile journey from the San Cristobal Blvd towards the airport and we had several options of entertainment as it took us 1 hour to drive the few miles at 10:30 on a Thursday morning.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO WHILE SITTING IN TRAFFIC, YOU ASK?
Purchase the Prensa Libre
Give to your local Fire Department
Purchase some Banana chips, Spider Man towels or lottery tickets
Help the homeless
(we've seen her here at the 90 degree bridge and at the aqueduct bridge coming out of the airport)
Enjoy some street entertainment (The Silver Medal goes to...) What does your daily commute look like?
Forty years ago, 1,000 miles from home, as an 18 year old student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I had my first of many Thanksgiving Days away from my family and home in Dallas.
Pamela Barden's mom gave me a ride from the downtown campus out to my home college church, Foster Ave. Baptist Church for me to stay with the Schroeders. It was snowing that Wednesday afternoon. The following morning, the youth had their traditional Turkey Touch - Football game. In the snow! That was my first snow experience!
Since then, I have been celebrating Thanksgiving more away from home than at home with family. That is the way of the missionary life. Now, it just feels so natural to be with friends rather than family for this traditional US holiday.
However my friends have become family.
circa 1975 Thanksgiving weekend
back row: Eldon Schroeder, Gary Barden, Dan Genheimer and Steve Hardy
front row: Nancy Stevens, Ramona Schroeder and me (Judy Marr Stewart)
Several weeks ago, I had my yearly check-up with Dr. Bristow.
Stop, don't read any more if you don't want to read about a medical procedure.
Dr. Bristow said it was apparent that I had a bladder infection and I need to take some oral medication for the next 7 days. I drove over to Walgreen's, sat in the consultation area, while the Pharmacist completed my order. Three hours later, I was on the plane heading back home to Guatemala.
Then earlier this week, I get a personal phone call from Dr. Bristow explaining that some more blood work had revealed that the oral antibiotics that I was using were not being effective and that I would need to get a different type of medication administered intramuscular.
I really don't have a general doctor here in Guatemala, however, Glenn went down to Cruz Verde Farmacia to see if he could buy the medication and then just have someone give me the shot.
For the past 3 nights, I have been going back to Farmacia Cruz Verde to have the nurse, Glenda, give me this special antibiotics for my bladder infection.
I'm thinking, I sure like this procedure where you can get medication off the shelf without a prescription, and I'm sure it is cheaper than the medication issued in the states. I'm thankful for Dr. Bristow who took the time to call me here in Guatemala and suggested the correct medication.
STEPS TO GETTING A SHOT: 1. Find a local pharmacy that sells your medication
2. Purchase the medication and syringes
3. Check for a volunteer to administer the shot. Cruz Verde has a small clinic on site and has a registered nurse to do give the shot.
4. Give the medicine to Glenda and watch her fill the needle up.
5. Don't cry.
6. Watch Glenda fill the form out - also give her a propina, "tip".
*If you have read this far, do you understand the title of my blog post?
No, Thanksgiving is not a Guatemalan holiday. But we missionaries still celebrate it here in Guatemala. And we celebrate any way we want to. We will have the traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day with co-workers and friends. However, we had an early celebration at the special invitation of good friends, Bob and Ann earlier this week.
Bob's brother, Joe and his wife, Bonnie; were here from Virginia visiting Bob and Ann as well as Bob and Joe's mother.
Ann, Bob, Mariana, Joe and Bonnie
Bob and Joe with their 88 year old mother, Mariana
On Sunday, Glenn and I helped John and Sarah with their youth group from Rio Hondo.
This is what Sarah posted on her FB about the event.
kids all said Romans 8:1-17 so for their reward, they got to come to
the city and see a movie at the nicest mall in Guatemala City. For some
of them, it was their first time to the city, to a mall, and on an
escalator. (Kind of funny to watch the escalator part.)
After attending early church service, we drove our 12 passenger van to the other side of town to pick up the youth group at the bus station. Their bus left late, but made up time. This group of young people had memorized and recited Romans 8:1-17 to earn a trip into the city. Several of the kids had never ventured outside of their small village, let alone into the large city of Guatemala City of at least 4 million people.
Can you imagine their eyes wide open as they saw this Oakland Mall, all decked out in Christmas decorations, the electronic waterfall, a 5 star movie theater and trying to navigate an escalator? It is hard to imagine never having stepped on an escalator before.
After exploring the fancy Oakland Mall, the group enjoyed some Pizza at
Then they watched a Disney movie about Alexander having a very bad day. One thing is for sure, their day was a LOT better than Alexander and his family had.
I am so proud of John and Sarah and their ministry at the farm with the kids in Rio Hondo. They help out with the food kitchen, Awansa (Awana) program, teach English and have such a love for the kids. I am glad we could have a small part in their ministry by helping with transportation to get the kids from the bus station to the city mall and back for their day trip into the city.