Christmas & New Year

17 01 2012

Well Christmas & New Year has come and gone since we last wrote.  It was a great time for us as Charmari’s parents for 3-weeks, we do enjoy being surrounded by family, especially at Christmas time.  We had plenty of time to chat, eat and spend quality time catching up with them after a year since we had last seen them.  It was also lovely to see them and the boys getting on so well… and those relationships growing.

Curry & Chicken

Them coming also meant we were able to travel and visit a bit more of Guatemala.  The extra hands were essential when travelling.  Firstly we got to a famous Mayan ruins called Tikal.  This is in the north of the country in a department called Peten.  Benjamin had learned about this over 15 years ago so it was amazing for him to finally realise that dream to visit the sight.  Tikal is an unbelievable city that was the centre of the Mayan world about 1300 years ago, there is so much still there to see.  There are a series of temples (huge pyramids) that are now surrounded by jungle which add to the mystery of the place.  The boys did well surviving the 4 hour tour and ending it with a 70 metre vertical climb up the most impressive pyramid ‘Temple IV’ which gives you a view above the jungle tree canopy.

At the top of Temple IV

Daniel & Temple II

We then visited the volcanic lake at Panachel this was a much more relaxed part of the time.  More meals and a boat trip!

We had a good Christmas day and meal the six of us at our house.  We also went to a Piñata for a birthday party of a 4-year old in the afternoon… it was a change from the Queen’s speech.

We then went to a city in the middle of the country called Coban.  This has various interesting things close-by but the most popular is an area called Semuc Champey.  This is a series of brilliant turquoise water pools, running over limestone.  The drive to Coban was 5 hours and then another 2.5 hours to Semuc.  The last 1-hour to gain access was on dirt roads… at least Benjamin had fun using the full capabilities of the 4×4.  The beauty was stunning, with amazing views from a viewpoint, the ascent was a challenge but worth it. We wouldn’t recommend you go to with children!

The turquiose pools at Semuc Champey

This  experiences reinforced our belief that Guatemala is a beautiful country with such a huge amount of potential.

The last month flew-by rapidly but we are so thankful for it and the times that we got to spend with Charmari’s parents are such precious memories.  It was a poignant and sad few days after they had left.  We do believe in the work we are doing here and that God is using us, but one of the challenges is the absence of existing friends and family, we miss you all.  However thanks to you all that contacted us or sent us a card or package… we have felt loved and supported through this time…. Thank you.

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