This was our last morning at Hogar. The alarms were set for 4 am, but we were all already out of bed. As groggy as we seemed, we were all excited for this travel day. That long, winding road out through the mountain was waiting for us. The Majestic Bessie and Buck the Truck did a great job getting us back to Guatemala City safely. Our drive here was nothing short of amazing. We watched the sunrise above the mountains and were able to view 3 out of 4 of the volcanos in this area! Spectacular!
Sunrise looking down the valley into San Andres.
Three of the four volcanoes were visual today. The left side of double peaks are Fuego and Agua. The smaller one on the right side is Pacaya. Note the lake in front of the two volcanoes.
Having daylight was not the only unique part of the route back to the capital city. We were also able to make a stretch-and-shop stop at a roadside vendor where handmade goods for your kitchen or closet were sold. After gawking at all the neat and beautiful things, we settled on what we wanted to purchase knowing there was more awaiting us when we reached Antigua.
Once we arrived in Antigua, it was clear we were going to have an authentic experience of the Guatemalan culture in a city where tourism is developing heavily. The diversity in the city was noticeable and we embraced it while we shopped in an enormous market full of artisanal goods. By splitting into groups, we divided and conquered the market searching for gifts and souvenirs from 10:30 am- 3 pm. Dena and Oralia made the journey with us, so they were able to purchase some Christmas gifts for the kids at Hogar de Vida.
Once we were “all shopped-out”, we headed to the only store of its kind, a mere 5 hours away from San Andres…..Wal-Mart! Our shopping escapade continued with a focus on coffee. Aisle 3 was packed with 13 Gringos sniffing coffee bags and filling shopping carts with a variety of authentic Guatemalan coffee grounds (and some whole beans) to take home.
Finally we arrived at our bed and breakfast, Dos Lunas (Two Moons), for an evening like that of a chick flick movie. The whimsical atmosphere included outdoor lighting strung through the trees and a beautiful dinner table setting. We enjoyed a typical Guatemalan soup, called pepian, that was paired with horchata(rice milk) and our favorite food of the trip, handmade tortillas. Coffee and carrot cake was served to energize us as we sat together one last time to debrief the week and share highlights. After this experience, there was a lot to talk about.
The Lord has brought this small group together and done many works far greater than the projects we completed. We touched lives and greatly impacted the Guatemala countryside surrounding Hogar by simply fanning the flame that burns so brightly here. We are all exhausted, yet energized by what the Lord has done in and through us this week. We can’t wait to share some of God’s impact with all of you at home. This will be our last blog post as tomorrow is another long day of travel. Thank you all for your support to this amazing part of Lakeland’s ministry. This team is going to bed filled with thanksgiving and deepest blessings.