Hi Family, Friends, Dogs, Cats, Cockroaches, Stacy, Etc…..
Following up from where we left off in the last blog, we arrived to the monastery and were treated with a delicious dinner that consisted of homemade pizza and the delicious banana bread again. Word in the monastery is they might give us the recipe before we head home. We then gathered for large group where had to sing the songs at a couple of levels higher due to the enormous downfall of rain on our metal roof. After large group, we went to bed where we luckily encountered no cockroaches. The next morning, we woke up and the monks insisted that we have a “rest day.” We happily accepted their suggestion, and made our focus today on the monks and the people of Guatemala. The goal being that we turn the idea of “us and them” to “we.” Some of the group prayed with the monks in the morning. Then we all headed over to enjoy silent breakfast with them. After breakfast we were given the option to hang out on the balcony and play card games/sing church songs or to sleep for a little longer. Luckily given the rest day, we were able to enjoy morning large group on the balcony with a view of the surrounding mountains. Next we went to the neighboring town of Carcha. There we visited the highest church in the city where we took many pictures, according to Jimmy it was around 800. After our photo shoot we headed to the town square and indulged in some sugar bread, ice cream, and other treats. Quickly, we returned to the monastery to eat lunch with the monks. Axel (a monk in training and a “guat crush” for many of us on the trip) lead us in prayer which we weren’t sure what he was saying but anything coming out of his mouth sounds good. Anyways, we then adventured off to the river to swim by multiple mini waterfalls. There were some locals who were eager to show off their diving, flipping, and other interesting jumps. RJ decided to join the boys (he’s had a lot of girl time) and participated in some of the flips and dives. ** no one was harmed during this time ** Following that refreshing swim we headed to the mall in Cóban where we indulged in taco bell, Chinese, McDonalds, candy, and other various foods. With full and happy bellies, we returned to the monastery, put on official Guat clothing and joined the monks for afternoon prayer. Once again although we weren’t exactly sure what they saying/praying we were very grateful that we were able to spend more time with them and experience their traditions. Father Antonio had marimba players come into the monastery to play for us. The musicians consisted of lots of very cute young boys ranging from the ages of 9 to 12 wearing tuxedos and gelled hair. They were also a big hit for us ladies. Greta was courted into dancing with Father Antonio which she gave it her best effort, but ended the dance by saying “lo siento Padre.” To say the least Greta needs some dance lessons. During dinner (which obviously included the banana bread since we have commented so many times to the monks about how much we love it) the musicians continued to play. Even after all of our thank yous, Father Antonio insisted that the musicians continued to play for us after dinner. Although we never got the chance to dance with the rest of the monks it was an amazing experience we are thankful for everything they do for us. Tomorrow we are off to deliver water filters. We are so excited for what is to come in the next couple of days continuing to build relationships with the people of Guatemala! Again, we are very thankful for the love and support from back home.
PS – Happy Birthday Molly DeVoe we’re sorry Quinn forgot but we didn’t and if you were here we would’ve celebrated with you.
Ellie M and Leah