What an amazing week as we had our daughter Erica here with us. Fantastic sharing with her some of the friends and places we have grown to love here on our mission. The hard part was as heading back to Guatemala to drop her off and realizing all of the things we would have still liked to share, but we had run out of time! We played with children, worked with the choir, visited members, ate Caldo.
Funniest event of the week was visiting the family in La Tinta where I had promised to teach them how to make a meal using cardamom, especially since he deals, dries, and sells cardamom. No one here knows how to use it, only thing they do is grow and export it. We arrived at their home and visited, telling them we wanted to go see the swinging bridges and would then return, the wife was going to kill and clean the chicken while we were gone. Went to the swinging bridges and some of the family accompanied us on a lovely walk there as we crossed the huge swinging bridges and then walked on the other side. When we returned to their home, the chicken was ready to go- they had just started it on to boil, so after explaining it should not be boiled and taking it off the heat I helped with chopping the herbs and vegetables. Next step was outside to the waiting fire to put it all on to cook. First we sauteed the herbs and vegetables and were ready to add the chicken - they then held up the chicken head to put in, very evident still that it was a rooster. Oh My!!!! I was glad it had already been cleaned and cooked a little. They thought it was very funny when I reacted, because to them it was all quite normal. The food turned out great and so did the visit!
In the capitol they changed out our tires to more rugged ones, we thought it humorous, since we are now at the end of our mission! Hopefully our replacements get our car! They also put on new brakes and a new battery. This is starting on our 3rd set of brake pads, and since we don't drive that much it seems crazy, but the roads and hills and turns and children and animals on the road put a lot of wear on the car! Very grateful for the new battery, since the car didn't want to start this last week once when we were in Teleman, not a good thought, luckily the Branch President had the number for a member who is a mechanic and he brought jumper cables (riding on his motorcycle) and a transport driver gave us a jump start. Neither one of them accepted any payment for their kindness and help. I love the goodness of the people here!
We are hitting our one month mark this week which feels very strange. How much can we accomplish in one month? We are headed back out to Senahu today excited to fill our days with this wonderful work. Having to plan also for our return home makes it a little interesting, so it is definitely mixed feelings we are enjoying. We love the people here, but also very excited to be with our family back home.