Friday, December 17, 2010

Traveling Blues

We left home on Sunday traveling into Coban.  We decided to stay overnight there and finish our trip into Guatemala City on Monday morning.  We left Coban Monday morning around 8:30 a.m.  About forty-five minutes out of town, in Tactic, we encountered a protest/ demonstration that had the road completely blocked.  It is very common for people to protest and block the roads in this country.  It can be very frustrating!  We have been forturnate to have lived here as long as we have and not really be affected by them. Monday definitely made up for it.  After sitting still for a while David got out of the car and starting talking to some of the other drivers.  They told us that they thought it might be over by mid-day.  We turned around and drove back in to Coban.  I got a haircut there, something I had planned to do in the City that afternoon.  We ate a quick lunch and then headed back to wait.  We arrived a little after one.  This is what we saw.
Not much had changed since earlier.  The maroon vehicle on the right was another missionary who was trying to get his son to the hospital to have hernia surgery.  It was horrible for him not to be able to pass.
We just cut the car off and waited.  We took turns passing Cruz back and forth playing with and entertaining him.  
Many people like the man above came by selling food, snacks, drinks, etc.  The locals always sell like this on the street when cars are stopped.

The road finally opened around three.  It took about thirty minutes for us to get going.  The whole protest had lasted eleven hours.  We could see some of them gathered above as we passed by.   
At this particular location they had burned trees in the road to keep the cars from going by.  In many other places they burned tires or used vehicles to block the passage. 

We encountered another place where the road was shut down in Salama.

These ladies had several baskets of live chickens and turkeys waiting to catch a bus to town.

Some residue of what they had burned. 
We made it to El Rancho around 6:00, stopped for dinner at Sarita's, and traveled on in to Guatemala City.  We arrived at our mission house at 8:30 p.m.  It was a very long day for all three of us!  Once there we were able to watch some local news and learned that the protests had taken place all over the county and that all of Guatemala was pretty much shut down for the day.  It was not a good day for traveling!

Tuesday morning we had to be in Antigua to meet with our supervisor.  It was a beautiful day and I took this photo as we entered the town.  In the background you can see two volcanos.

I never get tired of the beauty of Antigua!

Volcan Agua

We stopped by our favorite bread store, Cuchi Cuchi, and purchased some sweet bread.  We have been enjoying it all week.

I love the beautiful flowers you see all over town.

We had a good meeting and lunch with the Stamps and also a visit with our former landlady, Ilse.  I didn't take any photos and haven't taken many all week.  Tuesday night we met the Groff's for dinner at Nais.  It was good to visit with them as well.  The rest of the week has been very busy with medical check-up's, shopping, and running errands.  Today we attended our mission Christmas party at the Hardeman's.  I'll post photos of that as well as Cruz's six month check-up in a few days.  Guatemala City is always busy and full of traffic but this time of the year is it just terrible.  We have had full days because we have had so much to accomplish while here.  Because we have been so busy it has not been a very enjoyable visit.  We are looking forward to getting back to our home and a slower pace of life. We plan to return home on Sunday. This time we'll be driving the whole way in one day.  Please keep us in your prayers for traveling safety.

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