Saturday, June 13, 2015

Written on the Road

This is actually a week or so old...oops.  We haven't had much wifi for this kind of thing!

As we drive from Lake Atitlan I am surrounded by His glory…tears wash my face.  Images flood my mind and I am completely without words to match the emotions.  I am taken with these people, this landscape, their beauty, their culture.  Children holding hands, women in the fields with babies strapped always to their backs.  Hard lived lives is all they know.  I have seen measures more than most of them have imagined but somehow I feel at a complete loss.  It is mystery.  It is beauty. 

With the time we have here I don’t know how to dive in, unravel their mystery, learn their languages, live off of their land…I can’t.  I succumb to simply observe, looking from afar at their lives like I would a painting in a gallery…awed, confused, inspired.  It has been a beautiful journey so far.  Each place we go we beg to linger a while longer.  The kids find pleasure in the children and babies…their smiles and playful interactions, in the dogs (or monkeys) that seem to find them wherever they go, and in the new bits of God’s creation we discover around every corner.  Addie is really drawn to the people (and the people to her), Ryland I think enjoys the views, the adventure of the whole thing….and the coffee (of course?!).  Richard loves the unbelievable coffees, the craft of it all, the experience of the place, the architecture (where there is architecture), the views, and seeing the world through his camera lens once again.  He loves to find those little hidden gems downtown where there is beauty, good food, and solid wifi.  I am taken with the people, their smiles, the kindness shown in always looking out for us….though we are trespassers and wanderers in their lands.  I want to touch all of the handmade fabrics.  I am awed by their craft, passed down from generation to generation.  I too love the landscapes, the uniqueness of each area, and watching how it rises and falls and changes as we drive through the countryside of Guatemala and Mexico.   All 4 of us experience this journey differently.   The kids are becoming their own people through this and I am so thankful to have this backdrop to help them along the way.  Here are some photos to give you a glimpse…

Coffee farm near Antigua
Roasting freshly picked coffee beans on a traditional comal used for cooking
Miguel - kind local coffee farmer
Coba Organic Farm, Antigua
Miguel's lovely wife
Freshly picked coffee beans

Morning coffee with a view

Renowned barista doing signature pour over
Just another view

Oh yeah, we went to the best water park ever - Xocomil

Zinacantan, near San Cristobal - Rosa making tortillas

San Cristobal de las Casas at night



Lake Atitlan water taxi

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Horseback riding with the most amazing view of Lake Atitlan and the volcanos 


Misty afternoon with a gorgeous view, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Richard took this at midnight with long exposure...Volcano San Pedro

BEST CAMP SITE EVER!!!  Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Just a roadside waterfall
I need to learn how to do this!

The country side in Guatemala

Almost to Mexico

Another great camp spot

The girls
The markets
This is how we wash clothes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Minnie Winnie Hits the Road

Tonight (which in reality now is several nights ago) we are somewhere in Guatemala, safe, fed, and full of life gratefulness.  Today we drove to the only hot water falls in the world - an unbelievable and beautiful experience.  Lathering ourselves in the hot silky mud from one of the caves and bathing in near 110 degree water from a hot spring that flows over in to a cold river, we touched a new layer of this earth we are exploring.  It was a magical collision of the steaming hot into the refreshing cold…I think this perfection has ruined me for life when it comes to waterfalls.  

Once we left the falls, we decided to continue heading west on the road we were driving at the suggestion of a few folks…curse you people.  Apparently "calle bueno" means something different to them than to us.  We left on a beautiful smooth road, best we've seen in Central America, and ended up driving for hours on, what felt like, a river bed in our RV.  I really can't believe this thing held together that whole time…and guess who drove most of the way (until it really got rough)?  Yours truly!  I was quite proud of myself and even more proud of my sweet husband for letting me drive even though at times I might have just been driving him crazy (smiles).  The kids were great sports and Layla basically crawled up in our lap the whole time thinking we were in the midst of hours of earthquakes.  Now, though, we are parked in a sweet very Guatemalan village in the middle of what feels like nowhere.  Everyone is taken with our casa on wheels and our perro grande.  A group of 20 boys surrounded our car, talked to our kids, and watched every move we made for a couple hours as we settled in.  We laughed, cooked tortillas on our own for the first time in our rv, and are now buttoned up for the night, curtains closed, enjoying AC, a movie, and 3G wifi…what?!!  What a crazy random mashup of the two very different worlds we are experiencing.  Similar to the convergence of the hot and cold water today at the waterfall, I think we found our sweet spot.