Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pitchers & El Presidente

These are our good friends, the Pitchers, who came here in June and have become our best pals.
They are from Pleasant View, near North Ogden. He was a Stake President there and made his living as a plumber. She is a school teacher, who taught 5th and 1st grades and she is Matt and Kristen Rash's aunt. Her sister lives in Layton, but is leaving on a mission to Canada soon. Paul, is a counselor in one of the branches at the CCM and they used to be on our shift until they changed us to all Spanish speakers shift! They are really fun and really good people. They have 5 kids.


Okay, you're not gonna believe this but I swear on my life, I am not kidding! This morning we left at 7:30 for our walk because we were going further than we have ever gone. We walked by the president's house on the way and waved to all the security guards in suits outside and said, "Buenos dias." We walked the other way and went clear down by a frontage road by the main highway... Sort of like walking on a freeway entrance at home. We were on our way back, when we see motorcycles and a police truck flashing! Then guess what?! The presidential motorcade, three black bulletproof SUV's again. We were like a foot from them so we heartily waved again and we got a honk from all three AGAIN! I am sure it was the guys we saw earlier and they were driving the president to work! Seriously... What are the chances we would see them again?! Two brushes with fame in the same month with our personal friend, Otto Perez Molina!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last Week of November!

Here we are buying a pineapple from a little street vendor. He is cutting us a piece of papaya to try, too. He pulls the cart himself, uphill and down!

We call this picture, "backpack buddies" because we both ordered custom made ones from the CCM store and wore them walking to get groceries this week. Brother Pitcher snapped this picture for us!

More flowers... It is seriously like the Garden of Eden here!
This is our Guatemalan cowboy friend who was getting his boots shined... He spoke English to us and told us that he had lived in Massachusetts. He was proud to let us take his picture!
This is the little shoe repair guy who repaired Brother Pitcher's shoes. It is a mobile unit/bike and he lights the charcoal and heats up the glue/resin right on the street. We see him riding all over.

This is Felipe, one of our gardener friends. We had been talking to him and bringing him little treats when we came by. He asked us if we would like to see the house and yard one day... We realized it is vacant and he lives there during the week and cares for it. Wow! It is huge and beautiful... In need of some work, but was probably classy back in the day. He is a master gardener and was so proud to show us all around. He lives somewhere close to Antigua, but stays here during the week. He has a little bed and hotplate in the laundry room. I asked him how he learned gardening and he said Heavenly Father taught him!

This is the big retaining wall and more gardens below the house.  Felipe is showing us all the places he is planting new plants.

Another little pretty spot we pass on our walking routes. Notice the umbrellas? It was the rainy season up until November.

Here is a typical walking day... Dad way out in front, taking pictures of his tired walking companions behind him and Paul flexing his mighty muscles! If you believe that, I'll sell you some swampland in Guatemala! Haha!

This is a little quilt I tied for the little girl who cuts Dad's and my hair. She is having her fourth child, a boy, and won't be back until February. I was wishing I had my little pvc quilting frames because I also taught the young women how to tie one. We did it as a service project for a lady who leads the singing in our ward. They are both due around December 1st. I sewed the edges by hand!

This is the haul I made for my birthday. The Pollo Campero is a chicken place we walked to and brought back a box for Murri's, too. He told us it was good. The sunflowers came from a little street vendor, who cut them down with his machete... They were about 3 feet high!

This is our favorite little friend and gardener. He always drops his rake and comes right out to meet us with his arms wide open. He says we are angels and always gives us a blessing when we leave. We saw him this morning and he called us his hermana and hermano! He has such a sweet countenance.

Here is a better shot of Kellie and Roy's little apartment building. I think there are two of them! I always think of them when I see it, so I made Dad take a picture to send home. They forgot the "S"!!

This was in October at the little mall where we get our groceries. They started playing Christmas music right before Halloween. They were just getting it all set up. Notice the piano man's piano below the giant tree!

This is our friend the dog walker. We see him when we walk at 7:30 am and sometimes bring him a treat. He has a really deep voice like the guy in the Oakridge Boys! Notice the steel gates and barbed wire at the top? They are everywhere! What?! Are they saying this city is not safe?!

This is one of the little "stores" we pass on our long route. There is a little girl that makes the tortillas. They are 4 for Q1. We bought one dozen. Notice her big bowl of dough and the hot ones are in a basket. She was too shy to look at the camera. The little store is run by someone else.

Here's our little "fuller brush man" friend. We got a picture with him this time. He carries all his wares on his back and walks all over to sell them.

According to an old Central American legend, the original poinsettia was a pure white. The natives gathered them on a Great Day of Prayer and offered them on the altars of their God. Then one year savage invaders began to ravage the land. Many natives gave their lives in the disparate struggle, which finally drove the invaders out. When the poinsettias bloomed the following year, it was no longer white, but blood red! The natives believed their beloved flower was stained by the blood of those who died to save their country. They grow like this here in Guatemala!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Some of the City Buzz

Celebrating Mom's birthday!
Construction in the city.


We call this the Three Little Bear's home.

These are some people we have met.

This is a preschool, look at that tiny door! Precious, huh?!

These are some of the markets that are on the streets.

This is a water deliverer. He moves 25 bottles weighing 45 pounds each. Our friend showed us how strong he was!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Seeing" the President

Here's a cute pic of some girls on the street in typical dress... They were a little shy but posed for a picture!

Here's a photo of all the missionaries at the CCM the day we watched the Draper singers, the day of miracles! Oh I just realized, you're not supposed to take pictures at the CCM... Oops!

Presidential Surprise:
We left for our daily walk about at 7:30 am and we go on different routes every day but most of the routes go by the president of Guatemala's house in some way. We always talk to the guards, police, and motorcycle guards outside his place as we walk by and bring them treats. We always joke about seeing the president in person someday. Well, today we were walking by around 9:15 am, headed home with our groceries, and we saw the motorcycles with their flashing lights, so we stopped on the road outside his house. The big steel gates opened and out came his black SUV, followed by two other black bulletproof SUV's. We waved and the SUV's honked at us and the guards we know rolled down the windows and waved to us! It was like a Jack Bauer moment, minus the shooting and shouting! Awesome.
The president's name is Otto Perez Molina and he has been President since 2012. They attacked and wounded his daughter and killed somone who was talking to his wife when she came out of the house. His house is like Fort Knox and always has guards and police around it, but apparently we aren't a threat because they were seriously honking and waving... Photo op moment and no camera! Still awesome! He leaves at a different time and goes a different route every day.
We yelled, "Buenos dias el presidente!!!"  The guards hollered "Buenas Dias," too! They are in suits and fully armed, with bullet proof vehicles and shaded windows... So we didn't actually "see" him!
I am on a presidential high!!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Singing in Sacrament

Here's a photo of all the temple missionaries. We were asked to sing in sacrament meeting today. The subject was eternal families and we sang, "Santos Templos de Sion." I had Kelly take a discreet picture with her iPhone so I could send it to you! I am to the left of Sister Galvez, who is leading, and Dad is on the right in the back. We sounded pretty good for a bunch of amateurs!

Here's a good one of Dad! Notice Elder Amado and Elder Ochoa on the stand today? They were visiting again.