Monday, June 30, 2014

Josh and Margaret's Great Adventure

For the past 2.5 weeks we have helped Josh and Margaret on the beginning stages of their "round the world" mission trip.  Guatemala was their first stop.  We suggested that they take at least a one week intensive course of Spanish school. They joined us as we were also involved in showing around the new Camino Interns who arrived the day after Josh and Margaret did.  Josh and  Margaret went to Panajachel, Antigua, Chimaltenango and Cobán with us.

{selfie photo courtesy of Josh P and 
my photo bomb}
Josh and Margaret are willing to learn.  They ask questions.  They're helpful (even washing the dishes many times) and insightful.  In all, they were a real blessing to us and our work.  I'm sure they'll be a blessing to those who they come in contact with as they travel and learn new customs, foods, language and experience different cultures.

Check out
 Josh and Margaret's Great Adventure FACEBOOK page.


 follow them on their travel page  Josh and Margaret Travel Blog

They joined us in our ministry.  They were helpful, free spirited and willing to learn.  I'm anxious to see how the Lord will use them in the next 12 months as they travel through Central America, down to Peru and Bolivia and then over to SE Asia, Nepal, India and finally Africa.

Their bio says:

Over the next year we will travel around the world serving and learning from missionaries in their fields. We'll be visiting many different locations, spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in each place. We are Americans who will be pilgrims passing through foreign lands. More importantly, we are Christians whose true citizenship is not recognized by any nation on this Earth, but by the Kingdom of Heaven. We are just passing through this life on our way to our true Home. We hope that the transitory nature of this trip will remind us and teach us of the transitory nature of life on this Earth. Keep up with us here - or join us on the trip!

Prayer items for Josh and Margaret over the next 12 months would be
  • Safety as they travel by land; making the correct choices of which bus lines and the best routes to take
  • Putting people in the right places at the right time for Josh and Margaret to minister to and learn from
  • Good health as they taste new and unique foods
  • Willingness to learn from the Lord   
    Thank you for serving us here in Guatemala.   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Semuc Champey {Part 3 of 3}

Semuc Champey.  I couldn't just do 1 blog posting. 
 This place is spectacular.

 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
            So my soul pants for You, O God.
Psalms 42:1

Psalm 23:1 & 2

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Semuc Champey {Part 2 of 3}

 {photos courtsey of Josh P}
The definition of Beautiful!
After the 2.5 hour ride from Cobán, we finally arrived at the Guatemala Natural Reserve Park.  Glenn and I opted out of the 1.5 hour walk to the top of the mountain to look down on the cascading water falls.

 Once Margaret and Josh climbed down from the look-out, we all jumped into the pools.  This was the most beautiful place I've ever experienced.  The cool water, cascading waterfalls and turquoise water was gorgeous.

We traversed 7 different pools.  Sometimes we had to jump or slide down the rocks into the next pool.  The kicker, was climbing back up.  I had no swim shoes.  We did have a guide who lead the 8 folks from pool to pool.

Open your eyes Judy!
Diving into the pools!
Climbing down the rocks on my back side!
 Swimming in one of the pools
Swimming through the entrance of an underground cave
This place is gorgeous.

{more photos coming in next post}

Friday, June 27, 2014

On the Road to Semuc Champey {Part 1 of 3}

On Tuesday we drove over to the other side of the city, down towards the Carribean coast, hung a left at El Rancho and headed towards Cobán.  This is one part of the country Glenn and I have only visited once.  Our destination was eventually Semuc Champey (se-muk cham-pay).  I normally brutally killed the pronunciation as Shampoo Champane or any other possible versions thereof. As I plan on writing this post, I know I'm going to have to dedicate at least 2 blog posts to this adventure.

The road trip was fascinating as we climbed over mountain ridges and down into valleys and again up over mountain ridges until finally we ended up in Cobán.  This quaint little town reminded me a lot of Sucre, Bolivia.  The colonial windows, cobbled streets, vendors selling their fruits and vegetables all looked familiar.
We shared a room with Josh and Margaret at a hostel near the main plaza.  I feel like a real globe trotter now.  The room was descent and the shower was refreshingly hot.  The Perrys had ear plugs so they didn't hear me snoring or Glenn's sleep machine.
We checked out a tour company to take us to Lanquín and then on to Semuc Champey.  The reviews were terrible.  But they were the only company.  So we set our expectations very low.  In the long run, besides having to change vehicles from a bus to a pick up truck in Lanquin and then having a flat tire before our long 2.5 hour long road trip back, we were pleased with Maya'ch Expedition.

What is the definition of Semuc Champey?
Semuc Champey is a natural monument in the department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, near the Q'eqchi' Maya town of Lanquín. It consists of a natural 300 m limestone bridge, under which passes the Cahabón River. Atop the bridge is a series of stepped, turquoise pools, a popular swimming attraction. Although it can be difficult to get to, Semuc is becoming more and more popular with travelers.[1]

I'll post more tomorrow!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Trek Between Casa Del Mundo and Santa Cruz la Laguna

20 minute Boat Ride to Casa Del Mundo
One of the most beautiful lakes in the world
French Toast
Fruit Smoothie
Check Check

 Another map
Directions along the way
Check Check
 Getting passed along the trail
Stopping to enjoy the view
More Signs along the way
Stopping again to enjoy the view
An hour later arriving at Santa Cruz la Laguna

I've had a desire to walk between Casa Del Mundo and the village of Santa Cruz la Laguna for some time now, but it was never the right time.  Normally, we have a team of folks with us who have an agenda to get back to Panajachel so we can either go zip-lining, to Nancy's place in San Antonio Palopó or CrossRoads Coffee Shop, etc.  Today was the day, along with round-the-world travelers, Margaret and Josh. Today was the day that we decided to take this walk on the trail, over several wash-outs, and down the slopes through the corn fields to the small village of Santa Cruz la Laguna.  

Hiking the trail reminded me...

  •  of my personal challenge of Summer Team Mountain in Bolivia with team leader Jeff Orcutt, where I mastered this mountain at kilometer 100, Carretera Cochabama. 
  •  of climbing with Glenn and Ellen at Machu Picchu in Peru to the top of Huyaana Picchu (scariest trail I've ever been on). 
  •  of team work, where Josh, Glenn and even Margaret helped me with encouragement and hand holds as I climbed steep parts of the trail.
I have checked this activity off of my bucket list.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CrossRoads Café in Pana

 If you are ever in Panajachel and need a good laugh, then mosey on down to the CrossRoads Cafe for some specialty blend coffee, delicious home made carrot cake or cheese cake and then a tour of Mike's hidden room where he roasts the coffee.

 Mike is busy taking your orders, he'll just hand you a piece of paper and you write your coffee preference.  Yesterday, he asked Josh to go into the roasting room to check on the temperature of the beans that were being roasted.

200 degrees
Great coffee and fun time at Mike's coffee shop.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

False Alarm

Its was a rough day. (Several weeks ago) Things were falling apart.  The car alarm was blaring through the neighborhood.  And it was our car.

Our CRV that we have has a security alarm that was blaring off.  It all started when Glenn started up the vehicle to head out to SETECA for some meetings, when he decided to come inside and retrieve a forgotten item.  He left the car running with the door left open.  3 minutes later the engine shut off

Because the security/alarm system is wired so that if the door is left open for a period of time, the engine shuts off.  EXAMPLE:  Say you are held up at gun point here in the city and someone wants to steal your vehicle.  You leave the door open, and presto, the engine shuts off.

But what do you do if you just get distracted and forget about this alarm?  Well, you have to tow the vehicle to your favorite mechanic shop and get it rewired.

The next day the alarm was repaired.  It was a bit complicated but we were glad to get that over and done with.