Friday, April 5, 2013

Travels

We did take a trip to the tropics. And yes, my husband and I did leave the children behind and go alone.

But it wasn't exactly a romantic get-away. Or even a vacation.

But I'm not complaining. The trip was a dream come true and we had a wonderful time.















 Holly and I

Twelve or so years ago, my dear friend Holly went to Guatemala to serve as a nurse in a mission clinic. A year later, I was able to visit her. And I've always wanted to go back.


 The Good Samaritan Clinic

But I married, and had children. Occasionally, Ed would mention visiting Guatemala someday but it looked impossible. I figured we would have to wait until our children were grown.


 Benj and Holly, Ed and I

Six years ago, Holly married one of her co-workers and she and her husband Benj made Guatemala their home. Their days are spent encouraging others and their small house is presently the home to, not only Benj and Holly and their three young children, but also five youth.





 The two clinic nurses who live with them.

To continue their ministry of discipleship, Benj is building a larger house. Several months ago, Ed shocked me by saying that he wanted to go help Benj build the house. Now, not some future day. Ed didn't have to twist my arm too hard to come along! Thanks to the generous offer from my parents to keep our children, a dream became reality.


The two young men who are presently also living with there.

The trip there was grueling. Guatemala contains various climates and terrain. Holly and Benj live in the Peten which is the northern tropical region. We flew into Guatemala City which is located in the mountains. It was after dark and we were already tired from a day of traveling but we were not there yet. We spent the night traveling through the mountains and curves with whitened knuckles.

 
There was more than one reason why I was relieved to see Benj and Holly's front gate (with its lovely flowers in the early Saturday dawn.

 

Since their house was already maxed out, Ed and I stayed in a tent in the backyard under the coconut palms. We enjoy camping and had no complaint about our accommodations. 

 

But unknown to us, our tent was pitched under the chicken roosting tree. Whoever says that roosters crow at sunup were never in Guatemala. Hours before daylight, an ear piercing screech sounded directly over our tent. I thought I could tune out a lot of noise but the five roosters in the tree crowed loud enough to blast the ear drums. It was answered by the dozens of other roosters all over town.

 

After enduring what seemed like hours of this, I stuck my head out of the tent door and yelled at them to be quiet. The roosters ignored me but the dog next door woke up and added to the din. Ed thought it was rather funny. Not the roosters, but my attempt at shushing them. At that point, we might as well be l laughing.


The children and I climbing the chicken roosting tree. 

The sun came up at 5:30 and mercifully put an end to the racket as the roosters jumped down and began to harass the hens. The next night we dragged our tent to the other side of the yard. We could still hear the roosters but at least they weren't directly over us. We slept much better, but maybe we were just too tired to care about noise.



Most of our meals were served in the back yard. It was cooler out under the trees, and much less crowded then the small kitchen.
 
 

Food always tastes better outdoors anyway. And we did eat good! I wish I would have thought to take photos of our food. We ate homemade corn tortillas at least once a day, sometimes every meal. And of course, lots of beans and rice. So good!



I did remember to take pics of tamales, a special holiday treat in Guatemala. Inside the banana leaves is a corn dough, meat and sauce. Yummy!



I've rambled on enough for today. Next I'll show you some pics of the work we did while in Guatemala.

24 comments :

  1. Chickens defiantly go off at all sorts of time.. lol.. Great pics and thanks for sharing

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  2. Welcome back Gina, I am so glad you got to go and see your friend. And your hubby being a servant to help them build. I sometimes wonder why almost all of our vacations are turned into ministry LOL (Because that is who HE is)
    May God richly bless you!
    Blessings, Roxy

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  3. My guess was a mission trip, but I think I forgot to post a comment! Such fun to see your friend after so many years. And what a blessing to be part of their work in Guatamala.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  4. So excited for you, Gina! I'm sure you and Holly (& hubby's) will savor the memories for years to come!!! :-)

    ~eunice b

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  5. I started following your blog a little while ago, and today, I just wanted to share how much I enjoy reading it! This sounds like a great experience, and I look forward to hearing more about the work you did.
    God bless,
    Kara

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  6. Sounds like fun and is making me home sick for El Salvador. Well, it's not my home but my hubby's and I've been there several times and love it. We've also flown into the Guatemala City airport a few times and it is in an interesting location as you say in the mountains and makes for a different landing :0)

    BTW, those tamales look so yummy. Most people think of Mexican tamales but I think those in banana leaves like they make in El Salvador or Guatemala are better :0)

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  7. Hi Gina - I always love your blog but this was an extra glimpse into your wonderful life - regards
    jane/UK

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  8. Oh Gina!! I had a big smile on my face through every word of your blog!! Can't wait for pt 2!!! I hope it's the first of more visits to come!!

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  9. Aw! I love this post. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to read more!

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  10. My son is serving a mission for our church and he is in Palin just outside Guatemala City. He's been there a year and will stay another. He loves the people and the country. Looks like you are enjoying some fun fellowship, service work and food. Thank you for the pictures and taking time out of your life to blog for us.

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  11. Oh I so enjoyed this post! My father is Guatemalan and we still have family there. I have never been but hope to go someday. I can imagine you ate very well. I love to eat my grandmother's cooking. And those Guatemalan tamales look wonderful. Christmas doesn't come often enough for me. That's the only time we get them. I love mine covered with lime! Looking forward to more pictures! Blessings!!

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  12. Aahhh, so glad you could go! I guess El Chal was quite different from here, where the spring is forgetting to come!! Aren't the Guat. people so wonderful!

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  13. Sorry, forgot I wanted to laugh with you about the roosters! Yes, they don't wait till the am! Even in Guat. city. But you soon get used to it!

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    Replies
    1. Wendy -
      So you were in Guatemala?
      Gina

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    2. We went to visit my sister twice- she was secretary of MAM for 10 years. Then we went for a month to help with building the church in the city. Definitely left part of our hearts there!

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  14. What an exciting adventure - looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

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  15. What a wonderful trip! I laughed when I read about camping out under the 'rooster tree':)

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  16. That's funny about camping under the rooster tree - when we visit my husbands sister in the mountains - we often sleep in the backyard in a tent. Not as fun as in a banana grove, but similar! We prefer it as I find I always sleep better outdoors than indoors, esp in the summer where it is cooler and there is a breeze. I love reading about your adventure - share away!!

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  17. What an amazing trip - I am so pleased you were able to visit your friend and also to help them out with their new home. I would be too scared of spiders to camp in Guatemala - I bet they have big ones there!! Lily. xxx

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    1. Thankfully I didn't see any spiders while we were there - but they do have tarantulas!
      Gina

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  18. Oh Gina! This makes me miss Guatemala and the dear people there so much! I am so glad you all could go and help Benj's with their house! I have tamales and tortillas from Guatemala in our freezer at this very moment and very soon we will have a very special meal remembering Guatemala. J. Yoder

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  19. What an amazing trip for you and Mr. Ed . Glad Yall made it back safe. I am so courious about that recipe cooked in banana leaves. Can you share it. We have two banana trees on my dads farm had no idea you could cook with its leaves.he doesn't always get any bananas but once every few years. But the leaves are beautiful . And we have seen a banana spider that, huge. Thank goodness no trantulahs( sp.)

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea how to make tamales. We got them from others who know how to make them. You can google tamales and see if you can find a recipe. I know that different regions make different kinds of tamales. We had the Guatemala version but I think the Mexican tamale is different. They are often eaten at special times like Christmas.

      I'm very glad I didn't get to see any huge spiders!
      Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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