At Hermano Pedro, April 13

Many days it is hard to think of what to write about the time I spend at the orphanage.  The kids have become like family to me, and how do you find something interesting to say each day about your routine activities with those with whom you spend most of your days?  Each day is special to me, but I doubt you’re very interested in who did what activities each day.  Progress is being made, but it’s slow—kind of like working in a special education classroom was. 

Today, though, was a bit more exciting than most, thanks to a number of the kids.  Once again, I’ll borrow from Dick:

. . .I also spent most of my Wednesday at Hermano Pedro. I spent the first few hours of my day going around Chimaltenango paying bills but I will not bore you with any details other than telling you that everything here takes 5 to 10 times longer to accomplish than it does in the States. (I had more fun—I cleaned house before I went to Hermano Pedro!~~Pat)

Two of my favorite people at the orphanage have got to be Asension, a young lady who is in her early twenties who atends our camp, and Melvin, who is in his late twenties. Both Melvin and Asension are basically nonverbal and neither of them can walk or use their hands. Fact is Melvn's body is so twisted that he can not even sit in a wheelchair and Asension can only sit in a specialty chair that has every imaginable means of support. You may wonder why then do I consider them 2 of my favorite people. Any of you that have met either of these 2 can no doubt answer that question. Even though Asension and Melvin are some of the most severe of the residents at Hermano Pedro the 2 of them both radiate with happiness.

Today when Pat and I walked into the ward where Melvin spends most of his time lying flat on his back this is what we saw. There were no nurses in the ward so I do not know who brought Asensoin over to visit with Melvin but the 2 of them were having the time of their lives just hanging out together. (When I teased them they were on a date, they both laughed so hard they could hardly breathe.~~Pat)  You would think that they would have every reason in the world to be angry with God for allowing them to be this way but all that can be seen in them is an inner piece that most of us would give anything in the world for. Could it be that they both realize that the most valuable thing in the world, God's own Son has already been given for them and that they need nothing else to make their lives complete?

Another highlight of the day was seeing how well Ervin did at using a walker. Ervin can be quite a stinker and try as they may most of the time the therapists and the nurses at Hermano Pedro can not get him to take a step but today after Pat and I brought him back from lunch we decided to see what he would do if we gave him a walker to use and he must have walked around for nearly 10 minutes with out stopping. Both Pat and I are strict with him but he knows that we love him and I think that is why he gives it his all when we work with him.

Later in the afternoon Daryl and Wanda showed up on their Perfect Date and loved on the kids as well. I am not just saying this because of Daryl's mushy rebuttal that is posted a few paragraphs above The 2 of them and their enormous family are a God Send. It is now much easier for me to be away from the orphanage when need be because there is not a child there that does not light up when either they and their family or Pat walks in to the orphanage. I think that much like Asension and Melvin God has blessed them with the ministry of just Hanging out.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Wheelchairs and Bumpy Roads, April 12


Yesterday it suddenly struck me, through my wife, that there might be some people who read my blog but don’t know me, Dick Rutgers, or Pat Duff very well. As a result, they might be tempted to read in some illusion of truth into my verbal teasing of the other two. (Those of you who know me and Dick, know we probably deserve every bit of the hassling Daryl gives us, but don’t tell him I said that!~~Pat)
I wanted to take a moment to make it clear that my respect and love for Dick and Pat could not be higher. Dick was the one who taught Wanda and I how to love the children of Guatemala and was one of the main influences used by God to bring us here. And Pat has become a sister to me as she has continued our “love lessons.” So, any teasing you see in my blog is just that…loving teasing.

Disclaimer to the disclaimer:

Please do not share the above disclaimer with Dick and Pat. I wouldn’t want our relationships to get all mushy! (Sorry, Daryl, it’s too late.  I knew deep down [very deep down] you had a heart after all!~~Pat)

DSCF6805  On Tuesday morning we
  left our motel in San Pedro
  Laguna after a quick
  breakfast and headed to a
  town on the other side of
  the lake. Although the
  town was only 14 miles
  away as the crow flies, it
  took us about 75 minutes
  to drive there. The roads
  started out nice and smooth, but our nice black top road suddenly came to an end and became a very bumpy and rutted dirt road. I observed that Dick has a talent for avoiding the potholes on the driver’s side but hitting them dead center on the passenger side. Somehow we all managed to keep our breakfast down.
(On this trip, in particular, I repeatedly thanked God for having a strong back!  At least now I have a witness to what I’ve been saying all along about Dick’s talented driving!~~Pat)

Shortly after we returned to blacktop, we noticed an odd sound coming from the driver’s side rear wheel. Dick pulled over and we inspected the tire. At first glance, everything seemed fine, but then I reached down and turned one of the lugs…by hand. All six of his lug nuts had been jarred loose and spun freely. When I expressed my surprise, having never seen anything like it before, Dick just said, “Oh, it happened last month, too.” (Do I really need to say anything more about Dick’s driving?) After retightening the lugs, we were on our way again.

Our first stop was at a hospital where we were met by Dr. William Boegle. Will was a successful podiatrist in Seattle until he and his wife felt God’s call to move to Guatemala and begin a ministry for women and children in crisis. He also treats patients for free at the Christian hospital in which we met. You can read more about their ministry by clicking here

DSCF6818  A while back Will had introduced Dick to
  Emi, a little girl with Cerebral Palsy who
  was in great need of a wheelchair. We
  were returning to deliver that chair and
  make adjustments to assure a good fit.

  Emi immediately stole our hearts. This
  precious 4 1/2 year old has bright eyes
  and a sweet disposition. Even though
  she is non-verbal, she communicated
  plenty with her eyes. Each of us had the opportunity to hold her and love on her

for a while.
DSCF6821                                           .
Dick and I worked on making the adjustments while the doctor examined and treated Dick’s foot. (Yes, at the same time.) Dick had a run-in with a bike rack last week that resulted in a deep puncture and infection, but Will was able to provide sound advise and additional antibiotics.


We left the hospital, following Will on his scooter, and he led us to the roadside stand of a man named Ernesto. Ernesto was paralyzed from the waist down three years ago when the septic hole he was digging collapsed and crushed his lower spine. He now runs a little booth that sells videos and DVD’s that is about a half mile from his home. Each day someone has to take him to his booth and bring him home at the end of the day. He would like more independence, and Will wanted to know if an electric wheelchair could negotiate the roads to and from his stand. Unfortunately, after traveling the route it was determined that no wheelchair could handle either the incline or the roughness of the roads. However, several options were discussed, the best of which is a used Tuk Tuk adapted with hand controls.

DSCF6839We left Ernesto and went to Will’s house where he and his wife treated us to lunch and gave us a tour of their beautiful place. The view from their home overlooks Lake Atitlan and is surrounded by 70 acres of avocado trees and coffee plants. In addition to the work they do with women and children, this farm also serves as a non-profit ministry that provides income for local workers.

I got to spend a bit of time visiting with Diane, Will’s wife, who is the main teacher and “mama” to the approximately 30 children who attend their program over the course of a week.  She shared with me how thirteen years earlier God had promised her she would have many “dark skinned” children.  He fulfilled this promise with their move to the lake.  Her love for the children was apparent as she talked, and I enjoyed seeing where she worked with the children and the materials she used to make abstract Biblical stories and concepts concrete for these kids.~~Pat

Figures depicting the Last Supper and the arrest of
Jesus in the garden

DSCF6850We left Will’s place and headed to Safe Homes for Children, an organization that runs a feeding program for children and a school. We went there to meet some of the children with special needs and see what equipment could be provided to help them. While there we met Angel, a sweet little guy that we believe has CP. He currently has a walker and is quite mobile using it, but it was quickly determined that he could be much faster with a pair of forearm crutches. In addition, we found out about several more children in need of wheelchairs and Dick decided it would be best to return at a later date to meet everyone and do a seating clinic to provide chairs.

DSCF6854From there we headed back home. Of course, very few things here are simple and straight-forward, and the return trip was no exception. We found one of the bridges washed out (we believe from the hurricane last May) and had to do a short detour around that took us through a stream and more dirt roads. Needless to say, by the time we made it back Dick’s vehicle needed a wash.

Returning to Centro Maya Servicios Integral, April 11

I’m really beginning to enjoy Daryl traveling with us, because he is faster than either Dick or I at journaling when we are out on the road.  Though I have to correct some of his interpretations of events (see below) his stories do make for interesting reading!  Thanks, again, Daryl, for letting me borrow!

Originally published as:

Pat Needs a Nap
Written by Daryl Fulp

Today has been a weird day. Of course, that could be said of every day on spent with Dick and Pat, but today was strange because of our lack of activity. (I think Daryl makes our travels weird, with his unusual sense of humor, but he’d probably disagree!~~Pat)


IMG_0523We started off the day by walking down the street from our hotel to grab a quick bite of breakfast. Unlike last evening’s dinner, this meal was actually quite good with generous portions. Our entire group was able to chew the food. This is a noticeable improvement over last night’s shrimp which is being used to resurface the roads here in San Pedro Laguna. (My veggie-quesadia was HUGE and cost a whopping Q25—about $3.25!~~Pat)

DSCF6764  After breakfast we headed
  across town to visit a
  school for children and
  teens with special needs 
  called Centro Mayan
  Servicios Integral. This
  place is a wonderful school
  that provides a quality
  education and helps its
  student reach their full
  potential. While we were there we delivered a shipment of vitamins, sized up a little girl named Lucy for a wheelchair, and Dick adjusted the speed of Domingo’s wheelchair. It seems that Domingo had been discouraged because his buddy Manuel’s wheelchair was faster than his. He was quite pleased to find that he had far more juice than before and seemed ready to drag race.

In the afternoon we returned to the motel and gambled again as we tried to find a place to eat. The first restaurant we went to told us they had no soft drinks, water, or tea. When Pat asked him what they did have to drink we were told, “Beer!” We left in search of another restaurant. We did find another place and the food was decent and chewable.

DSCF6787  The rest of the afternoon  
  was spent relaxing back at
  the hotel. We have
  determined that none of us
  are good at doing nothing.
  All of us have taken time to
  work on our blogs, and Dick
  and I disappeared into our
  room for a time of quiet
  reflection (we slept). By
  then we found that Pat was getting cranky because she hadn’t take the time she needed for quiet reflection like Dick and I had so we took a walk and got her some ice cream. That helped, but we hope to send her to her room soon before the sugar high wears off and the crankiness returns.
(If I was irritable, I think it probably had more to do with the constant teasing of my companions than with a sugar high, or lack thereof.~~Pat)

Tomorrow promises to be much fuller as we will be heading to San Lucas to deliver and fit a wheelchair for a little girl and to Godienes to make arrangements for an electric chair for a gentleman there. We will swing back by Safe Homes for Children and visit with Vicki Dalia. If all goes according to plan we hope to be home before dark.

Good night from San Pedro Laguna!


Here are a few more pictures of our day:


I had a great time working with Kati~~Pat









This classroom is always fun to visit.  I’ll be returning to spend a week with them in May!  Can’t wait. . .~~Pat


Dick adjusting the controller on Domingo’s chair.~~Pat


Thanks, Daryl, for making my journaling, if not my life, easier!~~Pat

On the Road to San Pedro (Traveling with Dick and Daryl, but not his other brother Daryl)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Again I’m borrowing from Dick, and Daryl Fulp, who was with us on this trip, along with his daughter Brittney, and a friend Kathlyn Beier.  We had a great time serving and laughing together.~~Pat

Dick writes:

On the way to church this morning the boys and I parked the car at Pat's house and then walked in to Church. Each weekend starting several weeks before Easter the streets of Antigua get so crowded with people that come to see the processions that even if you do manage to find a parking place in town it can often take you forever to get out of town so we thought that it would be wise to walk in to church.

A few of my Boys with Pat's puppies

After church we headed in to Chimaltenango and had lunch. After lunch Pat and I joined up with Daryl Fulp, his daughter Britney and her friend Kathlyn and headed off to Lake Atitlan.

Any one that read my last journal entry (March 27, in my blog~~Pat)  no doubt read the portion that Daryl wrote. You are then no doubt aware that that Daryl's recollection of what actually took place was far different than mine or anyone eases but being the kind person that I am I printed it anyway. Well once again Daryl has asked me to publish what he wrote about today. Although most of what he writes about Pat is completely true, what he wrote about me and especially my driving could not be further from the truth.


Road trips, Blood Stains, and Spewed Spaghetti.

Mostly fiction, (Dick)
Written by Daryl Fulp

This is a special request for prayer from all our supporters and prayer partners. As I write this, I am currently in San Pedro Laguna with Dick Rutgers and Pat Duff, and these two are exhausting! It is difficult to be the only mature person in the group. It is like being responsible for toddlers! I’m a little confused here.  I thought we brought Brittney along to be the adult with the group.~~Pat

Our group left this afternoon after church. As already stated, the team includes Dick, Pat, and myself along with my daughter Brittney and Kathlyn Beyer. The plan was to drive out to the region of Lake Atitlan and stay in a motel for the next two evenings, using it as a base while we deliver a wheelchair, repair another, and make a couple of deliveries in the area. It didn’t take long for me to determine that I was in trouble. Daryl is usually in trouble~~Pat

My fear began when Dick informed our group that he had driven carefully on our trip last week. But after reading my blog in which I complained about his heart-stopping driving technique he would no longer “hold back.” I immediately began to pray.

We stopped for a break at a gas station where Pat promptly fell out of Dick’s Land Cruiser. (With as high as Dick’s Land Cruiser sits, and as short as my legs are, it’s a miracle that I haven’t broken my neck before now. ~~Pat) Dick immediately expressed his concern by asking, “You didn’t get any blood on my car, did you?” (Note: Dick asked me to clarify this story by letting you know that he did ask her if she was okay a split second before expressing his concerns about blood stains, although his concern for the car was expressed more loudly and with much greater emotion.) Dick was greatly relieved to learn that no skin was broken and, therefore, there was no blood.

Our journey through the mountains was an adventure in itself. The descent to the lake takes us through a section of road that Dick and Pat have dubbed “The small Intestines” because that is what the road looks like on the GPS. We traveled down the side of the mountain through a series of switchbacks involving sharp corners that left you wondering if we would meet a bus head-on.

DSCF1183[3]  We arrived in town and
  checked into our motel which
  is quite nice and only set us
  back by 100 Q (about $12.50)
  a night per room. We were
  hungry, so we walked to a
  local restaurant that
  overlooks the lake. The view
  was gorgeous, but the food 
was lousy. Dick and I both
  got the shrimp (at least that is what it was called on the menu). (I tried to warn them.  Lake Atitlan is highly polluted, and I really think these were crawdads, not shrimp.  I’m waiting for the two of them to start glowing in the dark!~~Pat) After trying it, we both decided that they must have been composed of crawdads from the lake combined with rubber from old tires. So, I ate the bread on the plate and ordered a cheeseburger. Dick chose to finish Pat’s spaghetti for her. (There was still a little left that she hadn’t managed to spew at me or splatter on me from across the table. Never sit across from Pat when she eats!)
(Is it my fault these two guys made me laugh so hard I thought I’d choke to death?  Then again, maybe that was their plan. . .~~Pat)

Today was mainly just for fun as we traveled over and settle in, but there will be some actual ministry done. To be honest, life and ministry here can be difficult and draining, and sometimes we just need to laugh and have some fun. It is good to have friends with whom we all can do just that. My respect and love for these two have grown exponentially in the last few months, and I am privileged to call them my friends. (We love you, too, Daryl.~~Pat)


We are all getting ready to settle down and get some shut-eye. Another day awaits us and will arrive soon, and I will need to be ready to keep these two toddlers in line. Please pray for me!

Goodnight from Lake Atitlan!


Hope Haven Distribution April 7 & 8

IMG_0183bI was only with Dick on April 8 at the distribution, but I believe his insights on these two days are worth sharing.  I love working with Hope Haven and the families that come there for chairs.~~Pat


Dick writes:

For the past 2 days I have been helping out with a Hope Haven wheelchair distribution in Antigua. During these 2 days we gave out around 30 children's wheelchairs. Most of these chairs were ones that were manufactured in Hope Haven's Antigua wheelchair factory. During this 2 day event many of the factory workers who are themselves in wheelchairs were active in seating those that came in to receive wheelchairs.

It was good to see Guatemalan's with disabilities being helped by fellow Guatemalan's who also had disabilities. I am seeing this take place at Bethel Ministries wheelchair shop in Chimaltenango as well and it is great to witness. It was not that many years ago that only a few of us (all Americans) did specialty seating but that is rapidly changing.

Am I worried about working myself out of something to do by helping train these workers? Not as long as there is so much need here in Guatemala. Besides that I think that it should be the responsibility of every missionary to train nationals to take over where ever possible. I am praying that some of my boys can someday do the same in other facets of this ministry. I don't have to worry that I will run out of things to do though because the needs here in Guatemala are endless.

I loved working with this mom and her daughter. This young lady could not even move her hands to point to the pictures, but clearly could indicate what she wanted by looking at one of two large pictures.  As soon as I walked away, I turned around to see Mom working with her and the communication cards.  This absolutely made my day!~~Pat


Pat Came along to the distribution on Friday and although see spent most of her time working on communication booklets with the kids she even managed to help work on a few wheelchairs. I was honored, and more than a little amazed that Dick actually allowed me to touch, let alone use his tools—guess he was getting tired since this was the last chair he worked on!~~Pat



Both Pat and I are continually amazed at the love that so many of the parents have for their children that they bring in for wheelchairs. Just today one of the mothers told us that she viewed her special needs child as a gift from God. It was not all that long ago that most Guatemalan parents looked at a child like the one pictured below as a curse from God. As I look back to when I first came to Guatemala 11 years ago I see a big change in not only the attitude of family members towards the disabled but also the attitude of the general public in general.

Time with Herlindo

I’ve been involved, along with Dick, in trying to find out exactly what is going on with Herlindo’s (Rony’s brother) health.  I’m borrowing Dick’s and Daryl’s journals about our experiences during the time he spent with us in Antigua/Chimaltenango. . .

Dick writes:

A good part of my time has been spent running back and fourth to and from the home of Ronny's family. Ronny who had muscular dystrophy passed away about 2 months ago and although his family seems to be going on with their lives Ronny's death has still left some scars. Mom and dad are aware that all 3 of Ronny's younger brothers have the possibility of having muscular dystrophy as well so they are rightfully worried.


Herlindo in my (Pat’s) yard playing with one of the pups

Arlindo who is 8 years old is there biggest concern because that is exactly how old Ronny was when he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Although Arlindo has lost some of his appetite and often falls asleep in school, his muscle tone is good and Pat and I are pretty much convinced that he does not have muscular dystrophy. We feel that he is going through a bit of depression over loosing his brother and hearing Mom and dad continually talk about the fact that they think that he has muscular dystrophy is making things much worse.

A few days ago I asked if it would be OK if Arlindo came to my house and spent a few days. I wanted to observe first hand how he was doing and I wanted to get him in to see a doctor and have a good checkup.

During the 5 days that Arlindo has been with me I have not seen any of the things that mom and dad had told us. Arlindo has been sleeping well at night, his apatite has been great (even though he has been eating my cooking) and he has had lots of energy. I think that he my be a bit anemic though so I have started him
on some good vitamins.


Mom with her other 2 sons

Although both Pat and I are convinced that he does not have muscular dystrophy we still felt that it would be a good idea to have him go in to Hermano Pedro for a physical examination. Although the results of the blood tests and a few other tests have not yet come back the doctor is convinced that Arlindo does not have muscular dystrophy. We are praying that his parents will now be convinced as well and not keep telling their son that they fear that he has a disease that would likely take his life within a few years.


Although some of the tests were not the most pleasant for Arlindo or myself (I don't really enjoy taking stool samples) he had a great time while he was here and he and my kids had a great time playing together. When we brought him back to his house yesterday it was not easy for any of us to say goodbye. We did make a promise to the 5 kids that attend school that we would return once they get their report cards and if they were good that Pat would take the 4 girls to her house and that I would let Arlindo come back to my house for a weekend.


   Daryl and Wanda Fulp with one of   
Arlindo's sisters

It is a bit against my better judgment to post journals that are not 100% accurate but after much arm twisting Daryl Fulp convinced me to publish his rendition of yesterday's events. I am sure that on reading the following you will soon become aware that not everything that Daryl says is true but than again what can you expect from a missionary.

Much of what Daryl has learned about blogging, including the license to exaggerate, he’s learned from Dick, so I really don’t know what Dick’s worried about~~Pat

Daryl wrote,

In addition to our normal work and ministry, on Wednesday Wanda and I were able to journey over toward the coast with Dick Rutgers and Pat Duff. During that afternoon we experienced a temperature increase of about 15 degrees as we dropped in elevation. By the time we reached our destination things were plenty hot and humid, and this is not even the hot time of year. In addition to the heat we were also exposed to the back and forth verbal bantering between Dick and Pat. Dick had “forgotten” his hearing aids, although I wonder if it wasn’t by design so he could pretend not to listen to Pat. Meanwhile Pat kept trying to prevent Dick from talking while she was attempting to translate:

Pat: “I can only listen to one person at a time!”

Dick: “No Problem, Just make sure it’s me!”

clip_image003  Our first stop was at the home of
Gabriel. He is eight years old and has
  Spina Bifida. His back has never been
  repaired, so this little guy has a large
mass on his back that prevents him
  from sitting up with firm back support.
  Dick delivered a new wheelchair and
  fitted it with a back pad that is
  positioned higher, allowing the lump to
  fit underneath. This chair also has the
  benefit of folding easily as his family
  takes him to physical therapy each
  week. This journey is actually a nearly  
two hour trip one way on a crowded chicken bus, so a folding chair is a great asset to them. We were blessed to meet this wonderful family!



From there we delivered Herlindo (Dick: Daryl spells Arlindo a bit differently than I do but it is the same kid.) (Come to think of it everyone spells things differently than I do?) to his home. Herlindo is the younger brother of Ronnie who passed away in February of Muscular Dystrophy. Herlindo had been showing some weakness and weight loss, and his mom was concerned that these were the early signs of MD. Dick picked him up and kept him for five days so that he could take him to Hermano Pedro for testing. I am pleased to report that he is free of MD. While they are still waiting on a few test results, the general consensus seems to be that he is still depressed from losing his big brother, to whom he was very close. After a few days with Dick he seemed much happier and was eating like aclip_image007 horse!

When we took him home we were able to meet his brothers and sisters. There are seven children remaining, including Herlindo. While there, Wanda got to hold some little ones so that made the entire trip for her!

Then we traveled through the town of La Gomera where we delivered a load of vitamins to a medical clinic and picked-up wheelchair applications. At this point, it was after 3:00 pm and we still had not eaten lunch, so we stopped at a roadside chicken place for a quick bite to eat. The food was good and there were some tables under an awning, so it was a welcome stop. By the time we had eaten and left we all felt renewed.


It was great afternoon together. I saw that Pat has finally gotten used to Dick’s driving as I saw no tears and heard no screams.

Dick: Daryl had evidently left both his glasses and his hearing aid at home.   Truth is, I was too busy praying~~Pat

However, I think maybe Wanda has become a Catholic as I believe I saw her cross herself a few times as she sat in the back. (Now that I think about it, I think she started that around the time I started driving here.) In reality, everyone felt better when Dick let Herlindo ride in his lap and steer.

Dick: The only reason that they felt better was because I first offered to let Daryl drive but he didn't think that he would fit on my lap, and Wanda said that she wasn't sure that she could find the right buss to take home.

When we returned back home we dropped Pat off at her apartment in Antigua and Dick came back to our house. He needed a break and a place to do some journaling so he spent last night upstairs. I just realized that I should probably go check on him to make sure he is not wandering around lost. I think I saw him carrying his GPS around the house last night.

Dick: Daryl's guest bathroom is larger then my entire house. This may sound disgusting but his bathroom is located inside of his house.

Blessings from Guatemala!

Daryl, Wanda, and the Fulps

Thanks Daryl (I think?) : Dick

April 1, 2011 (There’s no April Fool’s Day in Guatemala!)


Michelle on her first “tuk-tuk” ride

This morning I went to the Guatemala City airport to meet Michelle Hogg.  She arrived a bit late (due to the need to de-ice her plane in Houston!), but none the worse for her trip.  Michelle is a speech pathologist from Lexington, Kentucky, who wanted to come down for a week and work with us over her spring break.  It always gives me great joy when someone wants to spend their vacation working with us.

I had not met Michelle before, but felt completely at home with her before we even were out of the airport traffic.  I was so happy to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and someone who had more insight into communication disorders than I did.  It promises to be a good week.

Not wasting any time, after we arrived at Mari’s, got Michelle’s baggage settled in her room, and ate a quick lunch, we left to introduce Michelle to the kids at Hermano Pedro.  It was great fun introducing her to each of the kids, and I had particular questions for her about many of them.  It astounded me that she was not totally overwhelmed by all this after her long journey, but she was a great sport about it all, and gave me some valuable insights into the kids.

IMG_0325  We arrived back at Mari’s just
  in time to accompany her and
  Father Enrique to
  a “velacion”  at the church in
  Santa Ana.  Each weekend
  during lent, a different church
  holds a “street fair” and a
  Biblical display in their
  church.  I couldn’t help but
  think of this as a “Fish Fry
  Guatemalan Style” with a little bit of a religious slant.  The display in the church was of the Resurrection, and it was incredible how many people could pack into the place to see it.

IMG_0332  IMG_0333

After visiting the display, we went outside where we ate our share of street food.  Mari has given me some tips to doing this with a reasonable amount of safety, and she often knows people who are selling food at these festivals.  Tonight we ate a luscious sandwich of sliced hotdogs grilled with onions, and topped with tomatoes, mayonnaise and more onions.  I think this was the first hotdog I’ve eaten here in Guatemala and it was yummy.  We also ate corn on the cob (Father and Mari ate theirs “loco” style with mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard—yuck; Michelle and I settled for the less traditional, but tamer topping of “limon y sal” (lime and salt).


Though I have to admit I enjoyed the crowd and chaos of this annual celebration, I think one “velacion” a year will be more than enough to satisfy my exploration of this Guatemalan tradition.