My parents came for a visit a while back and I asked if they would like to write a post about their trip. Complete with pictures, which I've never really figured out how to do (but may retrospectively add some if I can), here is another perspective from my favorite (and only) visitors (would have been my favorites even if I would have had others).
Guatemala Rubbed Off On Us!
We went on a trip over “spring break,” to visit Barrett, our son who is a Peace Corp Volunteer. Well, I guess Guate got into our blood… to prove that, this blog is a little late in the coming! Barrett planned the trip from beginning to end. All we had to do was get on a plane. I did an extreme amount of talking to myself before getting on that plane. I said things like, “Don’t scream if you see
a spider, bug, etc.," and “Eat whatever is put before you, or least smile as you move the food around on the plate.” Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised that none of my concerns ever really came to fruition. We were amazed with the beauty of the country, even though we were taken back by all the trash on the countryside and the political paintings on rocks and boulders.
The first morning we awoke to the most beautiful scenery on the lake looking out at a couple of volcanoes. It was just breathtaking. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Barrett’s friends. After almost two years of keeping up with blogs and facebook posts, and listening to stories from Barrett, we felt as though we already knew them. We really appreciate all the kindness they showed us and how they made us feel so welcome. Meeting Betty was a special treat and we really enjoyed kicking around with Barrett and his “LOVE!” (I had to embarrass you a little!) We will cherish the memories of this trip forever: the stays at the lake, shopping in the markets, traveling (with Bryan driving) through the treacherous roads, seeing a couple of ruins, catapulting out of the underground parking lot at a 45 degree angle onto the street in Huehue, the visits to the women’s meetings and schools with which Barrett works, walking to the “store” (a hole in the side of a house,) the visit to the Peace Corps Headquarters, the “chicken bus” ride, a dinner party at Barrett’s co-worker’s house, and all the other sights too numerous to even mention. Meeting Amy, Barrett’s site-mate, warmed our hearts, as she has literally spent two years in a close relationship with our son. Roberto, Barrett’s closest co-worker, was just as Barrett had described him and a very friendly guy who showered us with gifts he’d made.
Barrett’s host family, the family he rents from, pulled at our heartstrings by cleaning the compound dirt with brush, making boiled potatoes for our breakfast, and genuinely loving our son during his stay in Guatemala. Visiting the place Barrett has called home for the last couple of years was one of the best parts of the trip and allowed us to get a real taste of what life has been like for him. Even so, I can’t imagine living without running water for two whole years or having to climb that wall to get to the latrine in pouring rain, especially if you have an upset stomach. And, I’m thankful Barrett didn’t expect us to hike to all the places he goes!
Visiting Guatemala was not on our list of places to visit, but will most likely remain the greatest adventure we’ve ever experienced. This trip will forever be in our hearts, as we are extremely proud of our son and the man he has become.