Well, the weekend is over and done with again. Here's a little review of what happened:
We began Saturday morning by being picked up by our host family at the Seminary at 7:30. Then we drove to Guatemala City, where we ate breakfast at the guys' house and picked up Luis. Then, guess what? Off to the beach! We zipped along at break-neck speeds (ok, not really), and eventually arrived at the beach. Well, not exactly at the beach. We arrived at a river. The river is one of two access points to the beach of Monterrico. So, onto a ferry we drove... a two-care ferry, powered by a little outboard motor. Yeah, that was pretty sweet. =)
We put-putted down the river, watching birds, turtles, and trees. The area we floated through is actually a conservation area, protecting the trees which grow in the water... it kinda reminded me of pictures of parts of Louisana with the trees growing out of the water with long roots. Finally, the boat docked and we drove off it into the town of Monterrico.
Monterrico is one of those beaches with "black" sand... dark sand that they call black. It's pretty neat, but with the warm sun it's also hot on the feet.
Arriving in Monterrico, we drove to a little animal world. I don't know what else to call it! There were sections with crocodiles, iguanas, turtles, and fish. They actually raise sea turtles to release back into the ocean, allowing tourists to pay a little to release a turtle themselves. I took a bunch of pictures, but, wouldn't you know, can't really upload them easily! (remember the computer issues?)
After taking pictures of the contained wildlife, we ate a little snack and headed on down to the beach! Into the water we jumped, laughing at the massive waves. We still were very aware of the strong current, so didn't go in deep. Ah, more sunscreen! Trying not to get burned, we, along with our host family, slathered on SPF 50 sunscreen and relaxed in the sun.
Eventually it was time to return, so we showered, changed into normal clothes, ate lunch, and headed back to chilly Chimal. Back in time (well, a little late) for youth group, we participated in that and had fun with the group. We had a snack afterwards of chuchitos, so we didn't really need dinner when we returned to the house.
Saturday night our host mom's sister, bro-in-law, and kids arrived, so we had even more of a housefull. It was fun to meet them and visit. =) We stayed up late chatting, eventually turning in around midnight (yes, that's late here).
Sunday we got up, breakfasted, and went to church. Part of our team joined their worship team which was really cool to see. In the afternoon we visited more with our host family and their relatives. Nap time came, and then some friends from church came over to have fun and visit with us.
They brought a box mix of Ghiradelli brownies, which they wanted to try and make just right... evidently the last two efforts had been hard as rocks. Well, this time it worked perfectly, and we had amazing brownies to snack on while we played Charades. Now, when I say "played Charades" I mean this in a loose sense. When Spanish is your mother tongue, it is much more simple to come up with synonyms and connections that if it is not. As it was, many of the options we were given had to be translated, and then we had to have sharp ears to hear the exact word that we were looking for. It all worked out though, and everyone had fun.
Also to snack on during the game, we had a mole of fried plantain (fried plantain in a chocolate/cinnamon/something else sauce), tostadas with beans, tostadas with salsa, and fresh tamarindo juice. It was quite the party!
Eventually the church family left and we settled down to a little visiting. The guys left for Guatemala City, and we soon retired to bed. Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast, and returned to the seminary. And thus ended another weekend.
Monday was a day of meetings, 7 to be precise. Debriefs, briefings, discussions, interviews, and more discussions. All for good though. I was really happy with what happened during the team debriefing.
Tuesday (today) we went to the beach again... but a different beach-- San Jose. Most of Discover went this time, and it was a fun time of relaxation, warm sun, and water.
Well, that's all for now. If you have questions or comments, feel free to ask!