if i'd known the drive was so short, i wouldn't have used the bus's toilet en route.
bumpy road+ high speeds+ bus toilet= a real adventure.
we disembarked at a secluded
, hidden little lake, maybe even
a large pond. some w
ere listening to a sermon. children played and swam (some in skivvies) in a swimming pool. (maybe the churchservices were too much for them?) others were there for the sunday market. most worked, some shopped for food. kids
played on an enormous,
exposed root system of a tree. the mood was very light and relaxed. it was nice to be here. it embodied one of my favorite scenarios. people
playing out their daily lives in a place of antiquity. there are relics all around. it's rich in history. i love when a place
has a story to tell.
we were here playing out one such
story. in a place close by, maybe even this very lake, people escaped religious bondage and came here to be free. to unite and to rejoice. an event that took place thousands of years ago was very real to us here.
after our devotional, dad
asked us to 'move smartly' to the b
us so we would make it in time for the church meeting. i like his use of words. i know he meant don't stop to take a million pictures, or gawk, or whatever. so i tried to listen and
kept the pictures to a minimum as i walked at a nice pace.
patzicia is a place i have heard about since i was a kid. and as a kid, i thought it would be spelled potsy see ya. i have even been here to this town as an 18 year old. it's an amazing town filed with humble, determined, good,
hard working people. i love them. they seem to po
sses an almost tangible- spirit of goodness.
we walk into the chapel and i felt like i was hit in the chest. immediately i started crying. there at the front was a group of children singing. i was amazed at the feeling i got when i heard them sing. (even in a foreign language.)
they stood up straight. none had a songbook. they were remarkably well dressed and had a sense of pride about them. not in
being haughty, but in taking care of themselves and having a real sense of who they were. they had conviction and determination. i don't doubt for a second that they believed the words they
were singing. you can learn a lot about a people by observing them.
we sat in the back and were able to see their meeting. lucky for me, dad was the first speaker. i can understand an american speakin
g spanish, especially on a church subject. (thanks to my mission in italy). but you get
a native speaker, and i'm pretty
lost, only grasping bits and parts.
it was a
treat to hear my dad speak! i love how he connects with the people. wherever he goes. he is able to establish a trust and rapport almost immediately. i know it's because he LOVES the people. really loves them.
sitting in a meeting like this makes me miss my parents and wish we could spend more time together. elder robbins spoke next, followed
by the stake president. he spoke very fast and was quite passionate about the subject. we noticed that the children in the congregation (and up front) were very well behaved. i wondered what the secret was. i need it.
children's choir. both garrett and i
absolutely loved them. between each speaker, they would sing. we heard songs that were familiar to us, in a language that was foreign. but the spirit and truth of the music crossed language barriers. it was an amazing feeling. i love the power of music. i wish i could transport these kids right into my primary room and have our kids experience what we did. especially with the music program coming up. it's not about theatrics or a big production, but about singing from
your heart and believing every word you sing.
afterward we did get a few pictures, although i would have loved to grab the entire choir to snap a shot. they were all off to their various classes. i did peek my head into a vey young class, maybe 4 year olds. they were so quiet and attentive, with their little arms folded, listening to their teacher.
we boarded the bus
and went on our way.
the rainy season is in full
swing and we saw signs of devastation all around.
roads were washed away.
signs of rebuilding.
fili navigated it all- almost gracefully. (can one drive a bus gracefully?) you'd have to see it
to believe it.
we were off to beautiful lake atitlan. g zonked out right on the bed, shoes and all (the motion sickness patch really did its job!). i wandered around and snapped away. every hour or so i would check on him. (he was really OUT. ) i'd give him a quick spritz of bug spray and head back out to explore the gardens. heaven on earth. i was outside- in the dead of summer- notmelting. not once did i miss the 110+ degree weather back home.
it was an amazing day.
lake atitlan garden and volcanos