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From Cunen Guatemala 3

Sun, 20 Jan 2008

Hello again from Lake Atithklan (sp.) just got done looking a bit at the Star Phoenix and got cold thinking about being in -24C!

Thanks to all that have been sending replies to emails. They are getting through but there isn't necessarily time to reply to them all!

Well this was a day off to enjoy 'being at the lake'. A few of us went into town today with Padre Gerry. We hadn't seem much of the older population here up until now. There actually is one....they're all in church!

The church had one of the 'black Jesus' in it which was rather interesting and was open any airy with whitewashed walls and a lot of wood (probably mahogany). Though I said yesterday that these priests (present and former) have lots of funny tales to tell. Their stories have a darker side with tales of massacres of both the general population as well as clergy, in the not too distant past. They must have really felt as though they were on the front lines here, that any day could be their last. I also wondered what stories some of these elderly people could tell, not to mention the walls of these churches! Anyway, the music and service was pleasant enough.

Next we went for brunch to a very nice patio restaurant with tropical plants and birds as the natural decor. An environmentalist from the area met us at the restaurant and told us a bit about this area, the volcanic activity, climate change (hurricane Mitch, flooding...) as well as mining in the that is destroying some of the lakes. It was very interesting. The afternoon was spent walking around the village, in the markets and taking lots of pictures which I am prone to doing. ...Tried to download them tonight but no USB ports are working on these computers!

A few of us took a boat to the next village (there are about 12 of them around this lake). It was very pleasant with mucho enjoyable scenery. The women wore a different type of headdress and of course sold crafts. On our way back, it was sunset and both the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time and the volcanoes were beautifully silhouetted. We all went out for supper later in one of the many beach restaurants. So that was our day! We leave early tomorrow for Antigua, the old capital city of Guatemala, and will be in El Salvador by evening. I am looking forward to seeing more projects after this 2 day break.

It was quite windy today and well into the evening but at least it isn't -24C!

Talk to you soon......V