These past 7 days
[Ervin and Estuardo carrying blankets]
Friday: I was in San Lucas Tolimán delivering aid to the victims of Hurricane Stan, walking down this pictured street, speaking to Amber on the phone when behold! I had to jump to the left because I was about to step into a fountain of urine proudly spouting from a 2 year old boy. Immediately after exclaiming to Amber what had happened, an orange dropped from a tree and hit the ground, just brushing my nose. I thought driving while talking on a cell phone was dangerous! Mercy!
Saturday: Got a call from Amber early in the morning who got a call from Saison (my sister) that our beloved car of 5 1/2 years had sold. wESTERn pontiac BUiCK (Ester Buck) in Edmonton sold us the car and it took us 180,000 kms. I hope she serves Neil, her new owner, well.
Saturday: After receiving the phone call, we loaded a boat at 7 am with 100 lb sacks of corn, metal laminant, rice, sugar, salt, and other staples. Then we got onto the boat and travelled to the other side of Lake Atitlan. No one told me we were doing this. I thought we were just going to see the lake at dawn and then eat breakfast (which we ate at 10:30). Lake Atitlan is bordered by three volcanoes and many mountains. It's tremendously beautiful. I rode on the roof of the boat with Eric, Jairo, Jorge, Willy, Erin, Fernando, and Rolando.
Saturday: We landed in Santa Catarina Palopó. We unloaded the boat and carried the supplies on our backs through a steep alley for about 350 metres. Exhausting.
Saturday: Our destination was a pink church tucked into the fray of houses too close together to allow streets. The landslide in this community involved huge boulders which broke loose and careened through the town destroying eight homes and a church. The family living in the first house in the path of the boulders was killed. The panic ensuing after and the shouts allowed everyone else below to evacuate their homes before they were destroyed. This pink church had three pebbles on the front step.
Saturday: My baby sister, Salomé turned 26 today. We thought we'd send her a photo of Blaise wishing her a Feliz Cumpleaños. Blaise is at the age where anything that is brought within an arm's length is lunged for and planted into his mouth.
Sunday: Yesterday, Rita got some photos developed for me in Coban. I had photos developed at the same place a few weeks previous at the price of Q62 + Q20 for doubles. The price the gave Rita for the same deal was Q99 total. That's a difference of Q17. So, this morning I visited the shop and presented the discrepency, expecting a refund of Q17. Instead I got to watch a worker hammer numbers into her calculator for five minutes and then exclaim that one of them cost Q17 more than the other. I agreed. She then said that the price had changed. The customer IS always wrong.
Tuesday: On Sunday evening, we received an invitation at our door. The invitation was for a company party being thrown by the owners of Carneceria Esmerelda (meat shop). The owners are our friends from church - Ervin and Estuardo. The party commenced at 10 am today and took place at a park in Santa Cruz (up the road from Tactic). It included live music, a sermonette by Les, very fun games led by Walter (Estuardo's brother), and then a delectable meal of meat. The families present were those of the workers and each of these families was then given a gift bag of food stuffs for our enjoyment.
Wednesday: I popped by Juan Luis' dental clinic to take some file photos for the ministry. He and his wife have been serving with Impact Ministries for as long as we have. I watched this boy of 11 or 12 scamper into the chair, lay down and open his mouth to receive the big needle. He didn't squirm or make a sound. Five minutes later, when the freezing had taken place, Juan unfolded a napkin and placed it on the boy's chest and pulled a tooth and lay it on the napkin. The boy bit one of those white sponge cylinder and grabbed another napkin. Juan told him to come back on Monday. The boy nodded and mumbled "Adios" as best as he could and took off with his friend, who also had gauze in his mouth.
Thursday: Amber and I bought a new car. It was a tough decision as we have enjoyed not having a car and weren't sure if we really needed one. The good thing is that we pay as we use it: no insurance, just fuel and repairs as needed. I saw the add on an email we got from Inter Missions. "Robby in Antigua has a car for sale." So I emailed him and got details. With the sale of our car we could afford this one and it's 4 years newer and is in great shape. Behold the 2001 Kia Rio - 4-dr, cd, manual transmission, fan. I got dropped off in Guatemala City with Eric and Jairo and completed the paperwork and handed over a check. Then Eric drove us around the city to take care of some errands they had. I took the wheel at Metro Norte (northern gateway to the capital) and drove the 3 hours (165 km) to Tactic. It felt good to drive a peppy car that could pass all the big trucks and buses in the mountain passes.