We arrived safely back to our Panajachel home last month and exchanged cold weather for very predictable 75 degree days and 50 degree nights. This area of Guatemala has two seasons, rainy/winter and dry/summer. Even though Guatemala is north of the equator, we are currently in what locals call “summer.” Woo-hoo!
On our final USA day, we had a wonderful goodbye with family, followed by a sunset walk at Santa Monica beach and dinner with our friend, Christy … then the kids had their first red-eye flight! They quickly realized spending the night on an airplace was not nearly as fun as they thought it would be!
We are settled back into the same home we rented last year. Being able to rent the same space again has been a beautiful blessing. Both the Deeds family and also our neighbors welcomed us back with gusto — stocking our fridge, creating welcome back signs and moving our stored items back for us. Our landlord had also swapped out old/non-working furnishings and done some other upgrades too. We feel incredibly blessed and humbled by all these good gifts.
The kids both caught a strong stomach bug our first week back. They recovered quickly and still enjoyed Thanksgiving even if their appetites weren’t back in full force. Our compound shared a feast together, which was delicious, and the setting was pretty amazing too!
We have again been looking for and trying produce that we aren’t familiar with — starting with these nisperos or loquats and curuba or banana passionfruit. The nisperos were delicious with apple/citrus/peach taste and crisply juicy. The curuba has a wonderful flavor, but the seeds are very crunchy and bitter, so eating it was not great.
Our calendar has quickly filled up with the normal life things of Spanish school, homeschool, basketball and dance. We returned just in time for Mabel to participate in her Christmas dance recital which was so much fun to watch!
Last weekend, Jason joined Will and Daniel (and 1,100 other cyclists) to complete a 45-mile annual race around Lake Atitlán.
We continue to be alert for opportunities to help where we can. This coming week, we get to assist with the children’s program for the year-end celebration for La Casa de la Paz. About 180 women from ten different communities will come together for a day of celebration and fellowship. Meanwhile, Jason has returned to assisting with the boys youth group that started last year.
We are continually thankful for the Deeds family who have welcomed us to join them in this life together and also for the many new friends who God has placed in our path — some simply friends we made on the street and others who are here serving with different ministries.
I find myself shocked anew everyday by the beauty of this place and it’s people —