Friday, June 20, 2014


Diane and Allan arrived on Saturday morning and didn't have to leave til early Thursday morning.  They were wonderful guests and fit right into the routine of the CCM.  We did plan a little excursion to Lake Atitlan for Monday and Tuesday and I'll share that with you in just a minute.  Our first excursion Saturday morning was to attend the Textile Museum at the University here in Guatemala.  Elaine and Paul Pitcher joined us ..... they had served in Pleasant View as the Stake President for Diane and Allan's Stake, such a small world, huh.  We learned about the "Huipiles" made by Mayan people, the native dress and significance of design and fabric.  Diane and I are modeling this typical fashion below.  The "Huipil" is the shirt.  You have to love our head piece.  It is a sash wrapped around a cord with the design on the outside only.  These skirts are worn by all the women in different colors but for the most part are tied at the waist with a sash.....Some women then wear an apron on top of this ....lots of applique work involved, some by hand and some by machine.

Monday after group pictures were taken at the CCM we piled into our van and headed to our first little vacation.  We had made reservations at Hotel Atitlan and it definitely lived up to its reputation as being the "best".  The grounds were incredible . After lunch we spent some time enjoying this beautiful creation.  The Hotel is 30 years old but has maintained its beauty through the years. 

As we wandered the paths of the gardens we discovered all kinds of birds and even a  family of rabbits.  It was interesting the baby rabbits ears flop on the same side? 

 There were 3 beautiful parrots that we saw...maybe more? 
They were friendly and enjoyed our conversation with one point I thought they were saying "Hola" was probably just my imagination.
 The white peacock I had never seen before.  She was beautiful as she paraded herself across the green gardens....her companion followed her with his long tail dragging behind him...but I didn't get a picture of him.  There were also the typical peacocks in blues and green feathers. 

 We saw ducks and a goose, toucans and hummingbirds.  In fact Tuesday morning we were awakened by the sound of ducks or maybe just a duck at about 5:30am.  He was our early morning wake up call
This is a picture of our view from the gardens across the lake to one of the 3 volcanos at Lake

We made arrangements at the front desk and rented a tuc tuc to see the sights.  Ronny is our driver and we used him throughout our stay.  At this moment we are headed to Panajachel.  Pana is a town which is in the Guatemalan highlands in the department or county of Sololá.  It has become the center of tourist trade in the area and provides the base for crossing the lake.  We did some shopping in Panajachel and made the necessary arrangements for our boat ride across the lake on Tuesday morning.  After our dinner we noticed we were not the only ones ready to climb into bed for the night
We loaded the boat at 8am and headed across the lake.  It was a cloudy, rainy morning and I was a little nervous.  It was a bit slippery and difficult getting in the boat.....but by the time we reached the opposite shore, the sun was shining and it turned into a beautiful day.  We visited 3 villages, San Juan (definitely our favorite), San Pedro and San Santiago.  In San Juan they have created women coops who are trying to maintain the traditional cultures of the mayan people.  The first coop we visited was the cotton coop.  They grow cotton trees (3 varieties with 3 different colors, white, café an brown) 

Each women has her own trees in her house, patio or wherever....they pick the cotton all year round, dye it in natural colors created by plants and soak it in the bark of banana trees to set the color.  They demonstrated how to spin the cotton and I tried but ...... it'd take a long time for me to master that skill
The water level was high and we learned that there is a 50 year cycle on the Lake Front.  We were in the middle of the increase and many of homes, lakefront docks etc were under water

This is a statue of Peter....and he is holding the keys to the kingdom.  We are now in the village of San Pedro.

Our funniest memory was created in Santiago.  We were invited to visit the Mayan Museum and the home of the Mayan God.  Wow!  we were so foolish.  Actually I was amazed that we found ourselves entering the bedroom of the x-mayor and listening to his tale of the poverty and abuse of the people of Santiago, then we went to visit the Mayan God, a clay face sitting on some sort of wooden frame, wearing a wide brimmed hat, smoking a 12 inch cigar with 20 or more silk scarves hanging from his neck covering his body.  There was incense burning in this room, partially dead yellow flowers, a glass casket with something in it???????? and body guards for this Mayan God. (4-5 men wearing dark glasses .....sitting around this table thinking these people from the U.S. are so foolish)  Actually, I began to wonder at this point what percent our driver would receive of our donation to this project. I was really glad to get out of that happy, I forgot to take a picture.

I was glad to get a picture of the women washing their clothing at the waters edge.  I have heard so much about missionaries washing their clohing on the rocks and here is the proof
The Burbidges stayed the night in our apartment while we were away so the missionaries were in good hands and we didn't worry about them at all.  The ride back into town was enjoyable until we arrived to the city.  It was the magic hour.....and traffic was incredible and yes we made a wrong turn and yes we stopped and yes we actually received the privilege of a policia stopping traffic and allowing us to turn around and go the wrong way on a street so we could reach the freeway exchange we needed to find our way home.  It was a memorable ride for all of us.  Wednesday we attended the temple camera battery was exhausted, hence no pictures, but it was great being with Diane and Allan and 30 missionaries from the CCM in the same session.   Later that afternoon we visited the Relief Map and Governor's Palace while Bob stayed and read the missionary letters.  It was a wonderful visit and we are so grateful our dear friends came for a visit.  In addition, Hermana missionaries will be grateful for months to come.....they brought 3 suitcases full of clothing for my Hermanas in need.  Thank you to all those who participated in this great cause.

1 comment:

Diane and Allan said...

Hey thanks for the detailed account. Now I can accurately record in my journal. What a marvelous time we had together. ETERNAL thanks