Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Intermissions Conference Weekend 2015

We took a little road trip over the weekend to attend the annual Intermissions Conference that is held in Panajachel, Guatemala.  It is a conference for all English speaking full time missionaries serving in Guatemala.  It's not just IMB folks but missionaries from all organizations who serve here.  It begins on Friday evening and ends after lunch on Sunday.  During our time there we get to attend worship services in English led by a volunteer team from the States.  We attend breakout sessions on various topics related to mission work and family life.  There is a servant team that comes down and does things for us like haircuts, foot massages, counseling, family portraits, and eye exams.  I was thrilled to get a much needed trim on my hair!  We had coffee breaks and free time to mingle with the other families and learn about what others are doing around the country.  It was a fun relaxing weekend and we loved getting to be a part of it.

We had traveled into Guatemala City on Thursday afternoon and stayed the night at our  mission house.  The boys have been sleeping much better lately (and by better I mean they have slept until at least 6:30 regularly).  BUT, on Friday morning when we had no reason whatsoever to be up early, they were up at 5:10 a.m. and 5:40 a.m.  It always makes for a long trip when we start off tired.  We decided to put them a movie on to watch in the bed and it allowed us a few more minutes to just lay in bed but there was no hope of going back to sleep.

Here they are watching Madagascar in the bed.  Don't let those closed eyes fool you.  They were trying to be funny.  Believe me they were WIDE awake and eager to get the day started.

We got up, got dressed, and headed out for breakfast.  We drove to IHOP and had a delicious meal.  And, while the boys played on the playland we sat back and drank coffee- lots and lots of coffee, ha.

We had some running around to do in the Capital that morning which included picking up some curtains for our house.  I now have curtains in every room and I am very happy about that. 

We then headed out to finish our drive to Panajachel.  It didn't take long before I looked back and saw both boys sound asleep. That has got to be the most peaceful sight ever.

We stopped along the way for lunch at a rustic little place called Rincon Suiza.  We had a good meal and met a few others that were also headed to the conference.
our lunch stop on the way to Panajachel

We had made a mental note to stop there on our last trip to Panajachel to celebrate Thanksgiving back in November.   We noticed their large playground area and thought it would be a fun place for the boys to stretch their legs.  They had fun playing both before and after our meal. 

David and Cruz waiting on our food

Our boys LOVE gumballs!!!  The restaurant had a gumball machine by the door so we promised them if they ate well we would get them one.  They were tickled when it came time to put their coins in the machine.

After checking into the conference hotel and unloading our bags the first thing we did was grab some coffee and head to the book fair.  Each year everyone is asked to bring extra books and materials to give away to someone who might need or want them.  We always look forward to picking up a few new things.  I got the boys several kid books in English and David found lots of Spanish materials.

David with an armload of new books for us to enjoy.

Afterwards the kids enjoyed playing on the hotel playground until supper time.

This was the beautiful sunrise view we saw from our hotel room balcony on Saturday morning.  Isn't it gorgeous!

I took this photo of our boys on the balcony before we headed out to breakfast.  I love those sweet smiles!

This was our boys at the conference back in February 2013 (we missed last year because we were in the States).  They've grown just a bit don't you think?  

All of our meals were served buffet style.  Here we are eating breakfast on Saturday morning in the hotel dining room.  Notice how apart from the waitstaff we are just about the only other ones in there.  Yes, it was another early morning for us.

Cruz took this photo of me and David.  It's rare for us to take a picture without the kids anymore.

Here's Cruz leaning over the balcony watching the boats cross the lake.  He really enjoyed doing that.

We took this family photo down by the lake on Sunday morning before attending our last sessions.

Our family at Intermissions 2015.  I had just given the boys a gumball for smiling so well in our portraits we had made so they were done with taking pictures, ha.

and here's our family at Intermissions Conference 2013.  This one was taken on my 41st birthday.

I took this photo during our Sunday morning coffee break.  We sat poolside under an umbrella and enjoyed a few still, quiet moments.

So what did our boys do while we were in worship services, breakout sessions, relaxing and such?  They were in their own classes having themselves a blast.   A volunteer team from Arizona comes down to work with their age group and had lots of fun things planned for them to do.  Cruz could not wait for the drop-off time so he could go to "school".  He loved it!  Both of our boys did.

Ben with two of his "teachers"

Cruz with some of his "teachers"
These volunteers were so great with our boys, and it made our time there even more enjoyable knowing they were happy and having a great time.  Cruz is already asking when we are going back.

We checked out and left after the Sunday sessions.  It was a 6.5 hour drive back home for us.  It was a long day on the road and we were all glad when we pulled in the driveway of our home.

We did make a few stops along the way though and one of those was for ice cream at Sarita's in El Rancho.  Yum!

We love the Intermissions Conference and already have it on our calendar to attend next year.  I know it will be fun and we can't wait! 

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