One year and counting. . . (June 22, 2011)


Today marks one year that I have been living and working in Guatemala.  Looking forward to it, I had hoped for a quiet day so I could reflect on the changes, challenges and blessings of the past year.  It did not seem in the cards, though, as we were to be at the Lake (Atitlan) working on a chair, visiting a school and heading home.


God knew my “secret” desire, however, and He made it happen.  We started out from Santiago fairly early this morning, and reached San Juan La Laguna, our destination, in reasonably good time.  I have to say, though, that we traveled some of the ruttiest roads in Guate on this trip.  What was fun, though, was literally, a few feet later, the road turned to four lane, divided paved highway.  Of course, a short distance later we were back on dirt.  Such is life in Guatemala. . .

When we entered San Juan, it looked like there were an awful lot of people on the streets, but we didn’t pay much attention. . .at least not until we hit our first closed road.  Following his GPS, Dick tried an alternate route.  That one might have worked, except that the road was too narrow to pass through, thanks to two “stands” that had been set up.  Dick carefully backed down the crowded street. Alternate routes two and three were blocked also, and we decided to head to the outskirts of town.  This was quite a challenge, as most of the streets are one way, and it seemed they all went the wrong way for us!

Finally, we encountered a traffic policeman who informed us there was a “parade” in town, and we would not be able to get through for an hour.  We pulled in to a space in front of someone’s house, and decided to wait it out.  In short order, though, we attracted the attention of at least a couple of locals, and decided it might be a better idea to go to San Pedro (the next village only a few miles away) and wait it out.  After all, one hour in Guatemala is usually two or three in any other part of the world.

We did make it out of town, only because Dick pretended that the roads were going the direction we needed to go.  After driving down a couple of one way streets the wrong way, we made it to the exit of the town.  (Though the town was filled with police because of the “parade” no one seemed to even notice this huge Land Rover going the wrong way down its streets!)


We got to San Pedro and stopped at a restaurant on the Lake for something to drink.  Katie had a ring side view of one of the most beautiful places on earth (at least in my opinion). We all (even young Katie) discovered we were unexplainably tired. (Of course, this had nothing to do with our hike in a thunderstorm yesterday!)  We talked about it, and decided we would stay in a local hotel we knew that was clean, comfortable and very affordable.  We would try to get to Manuel and his power chair tomorrow.


So, thanks to circumstances beyond my control (but not out of the control of my Generous Father) I got to spend the day resting, reflecting, and enjoying one of my favorite places on earth.  Dick and I even took a walk that reminded me once again that he takes me to the “nicest” places—usually off the beaten path! I experienced once again, that my God cannot be outdone in generosity.

Dick’s version of today was a bit different, but thought I’d share it with you, too.  The verse from James at the end of is post is a good reminder to us all:

Written by Dick.

This one is going to be short because we are all tired and in 5 minutes it will be Thursday. Today we had planned on traveling around the lake to a village that is about an hours drive from where we stayed last night. Our hopes were to repair the Power wheelchiar of Manuel a young man that lives there and then head for home. As we entered the village we were met by a policeman who pointed for us to turn up a road that headed off in a direction that I did not want to go. He indicated that the road ahead was closed but did not tell us why. I immediately realized that this road would not take us where we wanted to go but the road was very narrow and people were beginning to line up on all sides of it. We knew that there was either going to be a parade or a demonstration and feared the latter. We tried a few other roads but they were all blocked off so I go to do a lot of baking practice with my new Land Cruiser. It seemed like an eternity but we finally got turned around and back onto the one way road that the policeman had directed us up. Yes we were going the wrong way on a one way road but it was the only way back out of town. About the only traffic we met were a few police cars though but most of then told us to keep going. We had to hurry though because we had to beet the procession to the intersection and make a right turn before running into them. To make a long story short we made it and are now spending the day in San Padro Lagona a village about 15 minutes away from the activity. We are not suffering though as we have a nice motel ($12 per room) that overlooks the lake. The food is good to but both Pat and Katie are taking it a bit easy on eating. Perhaps something they ate in the village yesterday. The rest feels good to because we are all a bit stiff and sore after hiking out of the village in the thunder storm yesterday. Not only that this is giving us time to get this journal done and hopefully posted. I guess God knows what he is doing. I do hope to get back home tomorrow though because I really miss the kids. Please pray that the roads are once again open and the we have a safe trip home.

James 4:13&14
Pay attention, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a town. We will stay there a year, buying and selling, and making a profit.” You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes.

Yours in Christ: Dick

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