Friday, July 26, 2013

Gautemala - Part 2

Part of the view.  This volcano (Agua) kept peeking out from the clouds. It was shy & hiding most days.
A mission team in awe of the view
When we arrived at our host's house we were really taken in by the view.  It was just magnificent.  The clouds would lift & reveal more mountains & the beautiful volcano "Agua".  We spent some time enjoying the view then enjoyed some lunch.  Our first taste of things to come.

on the balcony outside the dorms
We also went up to see the dormitories the men from our church helped to build.  There were 4 that pretty much just looked like hotel rooms with more beds :)  They were perfect.  My family of 5 was comfortable in our room.  We also didn't spend a lot of time in there either.  I think since there was no dresser or TV it was roomier.

Just a light taste of what was to come for the rest of the week. YUM

We had a light lunch of yummy HOMEMADE tortillas, guacamole, lunch meat, & fruit.  It was really amazing.   I am very sad that I didn't think to take a picture of every meal.  While I know that might have been boring for you, each meal Liz made was an incredible treat.  I did my happy dance at EVERY meal.  She was very sweet about my food allergies, etc & was able to help me have some delish food along with everyone else. 

The soccer field.  A great meeting
place & on Sundays legit soccer games
were played here. 

The girls that came with us brought nail polish
and painted nails.  This was a great tool in
meeting the kids & also teaching them
The kids went to the empty lot on the side of the building & played soccer with some of the local kids (this happened just about EVERY day).
We also got to be part of & watch Dr Elry's children's church group that he & a Pastor lead every Saturday afternoon.

Every time we looked more girls had
joined the group to get manicures :)
Childrens church

Some of our team helping
with songs during Children's Church
Children's church continued outside
with Sammy leading the little children

The view from our balcony looking toward the village.  Many people live in these little shacks.

Village to the left. Lake & gorgeous view to the right. Soccer field at center/bottom of pic.

A view we never grew tired of.

The community room where we ate, worshiped and taught the village children & moms English, games & songs.


Some things are the same in a 3rd world country.  You would
think the kids would want these on their feet!!

My daughter writing in her journal about the trip.

Games after learning time - in the backyard.

 HIKING PACAYA (the volcano I wrote about)

 (please scroll down after the pictures for info about our hike.  There are a lot of pictures and I didn't make them small so you can see them better.  Sorry if you aren't into the pictures.  I tried to limit them but I just couldn't help myself!!.)

We were VERY excited about this.   Saturday night there was some SERIOUS rain.  The roof of the dorms we were sleeping in was tin.  This was actually quite nice to sleep to the sound of the rain like that.  We also got to experience the other sounds of the night as well.  Dogs barking & some of the men in the village who stayed up late.  Very late. 

In the morning we awoke to the beautiful view again & gorgeous skies.  Oh & the Chicken Bus horn WAILING as it came down out street.  That is how they let people know they are coming so they can come out to the road & catch a ride. 

We awoke to a pancake breakfast ( I was told they were amazing) and we were on our way.  The van took us to the volcano.  This is where we had to sign waivers saying we wouldn't steal any thing from the volcano & we wouldn't sue if we fell in (well something like that :)  ) 

And the journey begins......

The initial climb felt like it was STRAIGHT UP.  I remember thinking "Oh I can do this!  I just finished P90X with Turbo!!"  Ok, listen up fitness peeps.  Pacaya will KICK YOUR BUTT!!!!  More than Tony & Chalene for sure!   That was only the first 200 yards or so.  I remember getting to that first rest point thinking "If I don't make this hike I will never be able to live it down!".  We got about 2/3rds of the way up the volcano & my daughter (age 7) was crying & others were wondering if they would be able to make it.  Until we looked up and saw the beautiful sight of the crater. 

Most of us stuffed in the van for the trip to Pacaya.

Trees down into the road from the big storm the night before.

Another beautiful volcano (not sure which one this was)

Debris in the road from being washed down from big storm.  LOTS of lava rock.


Our guide hanging on to Dr Elry's car up the mountain!

Our 1st rest stop.  Well deserved!!

The horse guys would constantly ask us if we wanted a ride.  As soon as you even LOOKED tired they were on you like white on rice!!

Another rest stop

Our guide.  He does this hike3-4 times a week during this time of year and every day November - February.  Wow, this is really a serious hike!

almost there!  We can SEE the top!!!

She made it!  Very Very proud of her.  There were some tears but a 7 year old that walked the whole way up (2.2miles up).  That is something!

My oldest enjoying the rest & the view.

My middle child.  Lovin the view

Pacaya, up close & personal.

Our youth part of the team. Look at those smiles!


My family :)  Love Love them SO much.

This guy was explaining how they made jewelry with some of the lava.

The Lava Store at the top


I was told it was VERY warm in this hole

Our guide helping the kids roast (steam) marshmallows

YUM!!  and YES I let her have a marshmallow or two.  I wanted her to be able to say she roasted marshmallows at the top of a volcano!!!

Our way down :(
The End :( 
PACAYA -- we conquered you & plan to come back & do it again.  Thanks for the memories and the AWESOME one of a kind workout!!
(This last picture shows the 1st part of the hike but taken at the end :).  This picture does NOT do the steep angle justice.  The whole path was NOT this concrete/rocky stuff.  It was mostly just dirt & rock the rest of the way.  Oh & horse poop :p)

When we reached the top, there was this little "Lava Shop" with jewelry & do-dads that had lava in them.  They also were selling soda & junk food for those that needed the sugar rush I guess.  I was smart & rationed my water on the way up & also had KIND bars in my bag.  Love it when I think ahead like that.

The kids found out before our trip that at the top of the volcano they could roast marshmallows at the hot-spots.  It was more like steaming marshmallows but they had fun doing it.  It's fun to be able to say you roasted marshmallows at the top of a volcano.

The trip down was FUN FUN FUN!!!  Lots of times we were running & jumping over the horse poop that was in the middle of the trail.  Yes, they do have horses for those that don't want to exert themselves to get to the top.  It went A LOT faster going down (duh) and no one was crying.   It was so much fun I didn't take any pictures until we were all the way to the end.

We were all very proud that we accomplished that hike.  For days after though we were all sore.  I was sore all on the outside of my thighs.  It was a strange soreness for me because I don't think any workout has left me sore like that.  WELL worth it though!! 

Hope you enjoy the pictures.  My next post will be covering the rest of the week. 
I love reliving the week of this mission trip.  It's wonderful to be able to share all this with you.  I hope you aren't getting too bored.  I actually am keeping so much out so this doesn't end up being a book!! 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  I know it's long & has a lot of pictures.  I just can't help it.  I hope the pictures do the scenery justice.  It was something I will never forget & want to go back ASAP!!!!!

If you have any questions just ask.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!!


  1. Oh Pamela! I loved reading this about your trip and seeing the pictures. And I have to say I am very thankful that none of you "fell in" the volcano! :-) Is that steam or smoke I see coming out of the crater in some of the pictures? What a wonderful journey you all had! I can't wait to read about the next part of your journey!

    1. Thank you! We are happy we didn't fall in either!! What you are seeing is probably the clouds. There might also be some steam from the hot spots too.
      Thanks for your comment!!!

  2. Wow clouds! I forgot that you were pretty high up!


Thanks for stopping by! I love to read your comments & hear how you are doing in your health & wellness journey. We are all a work in progress. ~ Imperfectly Pamela