Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our weekend adventures and more pics!

We had quite a weekend. We left on Sunday to go spend one night with Nathan's friend from his mission in EsQuintla (just past the capital, a 4 hour drive). We were only going to be able to spend one night and head back on Monday. Thankfully Nathan told me to pack for two days just in case.

Our car started having troubles an hour or so down the road. Every 20 minutes or so it would just shut off and after a brief rest start right up and off we went. It was slow and painful and the car was slow going up hills and we couldn't pass all the trucks on the road in front of us driving slow because we couln't eccelerate. After 5 hours we pulled into our 3rd mechanics house, but he wasn't home. We waited a while hoping he would come home. Luckily his brother dropped by the house to do something and was a mechanic also in another town. He drove us back to his town and helped us find a hotel because he wouldn't be able to work on the car until the next day. We were happy though because Manuel said he and his family would meet us in that town the next day and we could all go to the water park nearby. We went over to the water park the next morning and it was closed. They only open Wednesday - Sunday. The hotel had a little pool with a big slide so the kids and Nathan still had some fun swimming.

Manuel and his wife and two kids Deanna (12) and Derek (8) and his cousin Eric, who is a mechanic arrived and we visited for a little while and then went to check on the car. The mechanic had fixed a part but it didn't solve the problem, so we decided to have Eric drive the car to his shop and work on it and we would go to Manuel's house until it was fixed.

We had a great time visiting with this family. Manuel has been a US citizen for 8 years and has been working in the US separted from his wife and kids. He was able to come visit them every 6 months. Finally their papers went through and they are able to go to the states with him. They leave June 4th.

They rent a very nice 3 bedroom town house for only $150 a month! This will answer Jennifer's question to the last post. It does not cost much to live here. We do spend $500 a month on food because I still make a lot of American meals. Our electricity bill was high, $200, but I think this was due to the fact that the first month our water pump was working nonstop because there was no tank -- a very long story. As far as jobs go I am not sure about how you get one because we have not looked for jobs. Nathan just started his car importing business, but I know you could google it and find job opps. I see job advertisements on my face book page but they are in Spanish and I can't read them! Sorry. There is a school near here owned by Del Monte that teaches English and Spanish so I'm sure they need English speaking teachers. The homes near the school are in a gated community with a pool, tennis courts, golf course and pond and rent for only $200-$300 a month.

We did have a very nice weekend after all. On Tuesday we went to Lake Amatitlan near Guatemala City. It has a cable car that runs over the lake and up the mountain, but it was closed also on Mondays and Tuesdays. We will have to do that sometime and take pics for you. They also have a Mayan Castle we tried to visit but it was also closed.

We did however luck out and find the prettiest park. It is a national park and we had so much fun walking through it. There are tons of pics of this on the post. Then we went and picked up the car and went to the city to the mall and ate at pizza hut! UMMMMMM! McDonald's and Pizza Hut taste so good when you only have them once a month.

Wednesday we said goodbye to Manuel and his family and headed home. His wife cooks very very good! If any of my Utah friends want to try some good cooking I will hook you up! They will be living in Orem.

We hit the Hyper Piaz (which is like walmart) on the way home and ate Taco Bell for lunch! Yummmmy!

We did however start having car problems again on the way home. If any one has any idea what may be the problem please let us know. The computer test says something with emmisions? Eric is coming out at the end of the week to help us fix it. He is super nice and so serving. I love the people in Guatemala!

Then when we got home our boat motor starting acting up. They said it was the same type of problem. We are still smiling though. I think the boat is fixed.

Last night we had the biggest earthquake I have ever felt. Our house is an old boat house that was put on land on a foundation. Our bedrooms are in the top floor. I seriously thought our house was going to fall down. I said Nathan go get the kids! Then I said "No actually come say a prayer." Then I stopped him half way through and said "Nathan you need to go get the kids!" When he headed out I changed my mind and had him finish the prayer. It ended soon after. Xela, Brigham and Gabby slept through the whole thing! I have no idea how anyone could sleep thorugh that! We are safe though and all is good. I heard that it started on one of the islands in Honduras and was measured at 7.2. Only one death occurred but lots of damage near the fault.

We love all of our friends and family so much and appreciate your dilligence in keeping in touch with us while we are here! WE MISS YOU!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lu Lu and the dealership

I am so sorry I don't have pics yet of all that I am posting today. I forgot to take the camera with me yesterday.

Nathan took us to meet a monkey named Lulu. He met a guy who wants to buy a car and he has a pet monkey. She is so cute. You wouldn't believe how human like she is. Her little hands are so amazing. The kids had a ball with her! Xela was holding her on the leash the most and LuLu would grab the leash with her little hand and lead Xela here and there like Xela was the one on the leash. It was super funny!

Then we went to the lot and hung out with Nathan and Temio. We had to go meet with the Gallo rep to see how our tienda is coming along. We should get it on the lot soon. I think Nathan may have sold the truck already. It was a great find mama and papa! The guatemalan's love the convertible feature. Nathan is taking it out to negotiate with the guy today. Guatemalan's love toyota pickups! I will get pics of LuLu and the lot and post them. I promise!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Is every one ready for a funny story?!

The weekend of Semana Santa (Easter) was also the weekend that Ingrid and Eddy started working here as guards. It is also the same weekend I decided I wanted to try to grow 2 avacado trees. So what do you do when you want to learn how to do something new? Turn to the experts on the net right? Well my expert told me to start them in cups of water with toothpicks to hold part of it out of the water and set them in the sun. They would begin to sprout leaves in a few weeks. So this is what I did. Well after 3 weeks or so I gave up and threw them out. Eddy and Nathan were having a discussion about religion and Eddy asked Nathan what kind of religious sacrifice I was making with the avacado seeds for semana santa. It was so funny! Nathan explained I was trying to grow trees and Eddy looked at us like we were crazy and told us if we want to plant trees just put the pit in the ground and a tree would grow. Duh! Then we asked him if we needed to start my Mother's Day seeds in the house and then plant them once they have started growing. Again we got a weird look and the same explanation. If you want to grow watermelon and cucumber just put the seeds in the ground and they will grow. Nathan asked him to show me. He took us up the hill and he and the kids (I was sick that day) dug little holes with the machette and dropped in the seeds. Sure enough - we have little plants popping up everywhere. I guess I shouldn't ask that question about a composte pit?!!

Our weekend was pretty busy. My birthday was friday. Nathan opened the car lot this day also. We went out to dinner when he got home and then came home and ate cake. I will add a picture later. It was a delicious cake that Nathan bought with fruit on top. Yumm! Then Saturday Nathan worked in the morning at the lot and had the boys come and help him clean it up and move things around. Then we had some friends from church- Ricardo and Elizabeth out for lunch. Then went to Morales for a RS activity. We were learning how to make chorizo (sausage) - which was fun because I bonded with the women but I struggled with the actual task. I don't have much of a stomach for raw meat. I hope it didn't show. Afterwards Ammon had YM (they meet on Saturday night here) and then everyone played soccer and basketball. Sunday Ricardo and Elizabeth gave me another cake which was also delicious! I got a fondue set for my birthday so we tested it out last night with chocolate. I had been really losing weight pretty fast but I think my weekend splurge may have put me at a temporary hault.

The goody truck came in today! We haven't found out if the fun stuff Grandma sent actually made it or not. Nathan just called and he said they have two lines for getting the vehicles a green line and red line. Last time he was in the green line and got the car very easily but this time he is in the red line which means it has to go through extra checks. I don't know if this is because of the extra items shipped inside. If so - I'm sure it will be worth it!

Adios for now.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Come on!!! You didn't really expect me to be on time with this greeting did you?!? Just Kidding. I really meant to do this post on Mother's Day but when we got home I was totally exhausted and couldn't do it. I meant to do it the next day but Brigham had the flu and we were out of power most of the day. When we did have power I was running around doing the things I couldn't do when we were out of power. Tuesday I came down with the flu and Wednesday Gabby joined me. I am so grateful to have older children. Nathan had to work because they plan to open the lot on Monday and have a lot of final touches to add. My kids were angels cleaning and cooking and taking care of me and Gabby. This morning Ingrid came in and helped them scrub the whole downstairs really good. That was so nice of her. I am feeling better now. Not 100% but I can be up and about for a few minutes here and there.

On a cheerier note - Can you guess what I got for Mother's Day from Ammon and Xela? The clue is in the pictures. In addition to their gift I got a milky way and a stuffed bear from Brigham and Gabby and Nathan gave me watermelon, cucumber and cilantro seeds. Eddy helped the kids plant them the other day. We'll take pics when we have something to show.

I hope all of you mother's had a great weekend.

Our ward had a big party for the moms on Saturday evening. It was so fun. The men cooked while the mom's participated in many various sports and games while the kids all watched and cheered us on. It was super fun once I got over the embarassment. We played a game with a long string that they ran back and forth with and we had to duck under or jump over. I did actually injur my foot slightly on that one. I will have to get limbered up before the next mother's day celebration. Then we played the broom game. We split in two teams and had numbers. When our number was called we ran out and grabbed a broom and hit the ball across the other teams line. I have to say I scored both of mine. Then we did a relay with coats and water. Then a waterballoon tossing game and then we played basketball - I scored twice! I guess it pays to live in Guatemala where height really helps in the game of basketball. The dinner was yummy! It was huge, thick flour tortillas with steak and coleslaw on it. It is my favorite meal served in Guatemala. It was a great party.

There is a picture of my kids standing with their friends and a little boy in the back in a green shirt. His name is Gady (short for something). Gabby has really bonded to him. She thinks his name is Gaby also and he pays her lots of attention. He will talk and talk to me in Spanish and I will talk and talk to him in broken spanish. We don't get very far which he thinks is pretty funny. I usually end up pulling Nathan in to help me out.

There is also a picture of Nathan with some other men. The one with the glasses served a mission with Nathan. They were never companions and don't remember eachother from the mission but had a lot of the same companions and areas. So they had a great time talking about it. He got us a room in Morales so we wouldn't have to drive back to Rio Dulce and take the boat late at night and then get up early and drive back to church. It was a nice place. He works for Del Monte and can rent rooms on their property for free. We had five beds. Guatemala hotels cater to big families and often have more than two beds. I think it is pretty funny in the picture how all of the men are talking with their hands. It is really easy to figure out how a guatemalan feels about a subject by watching their facial expressions and hands.

There is another picture of 3 little boys sitting on chairs. The one on the left is a cutie. He reminds me of pictures I saw of Nathan when he was little. Maybe it is just the hair cut but whenever I see him I see little Nathan.

Brigham was looking at the pictures I was posting and said "Hey, where's the one of me in the hammock." I showed it to him and he said "Yeah, I knew it would be cute." He is definately a little Nathan.

My kids walked up the hill in back to the jungle with Ingrid and Eddy to set a baby parrot free. They found it several weeks ago and have been caring for it until it got big enough to go free. Brigham kept telling me they had a baby chicken. If I had known it was a parrot I would have definately taken a picture.

Gabby got really tickled about the nemo comment from Grandma and although he tried to play it cool Ammon really liked the muscle comment. I haven't read comments for several days but I will try to go back and look for questions soon.


Monday, May 11, 2009

"Let it shake"

This post is in memory of Junie Chandler. We heard about his passing. We couldn't help but be happy for him. He is finally free of pain and has a free spirit - free from a handicapped body. We wish we could be there to celebrate his entry to a better place with all of you. Give Grandma lots of kisses and hugs for us. I'm sure this is a little hard for her. She is the last of all her siblings. They are all up in heaven partying without her. They will have to wait for her though. We aren't ready to let her go yet!

Love you guys!

Mel, Nate and Kids

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Really I can't lie I'm really only putting another Post Because my other one's got pushed back from April and, I want to be able to hear from all of you.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


We made it back over the Castillo de San Felipe and took a tour of the tower/fort/jail. We found out that the Spanish kept their gold in a town called Mariscos on Lake Izabal and pirates were constantly coming up the Rio Dulce and trying to steal it. So they built a watch tower first to keep an eye out at the entrance of Lake Izabal. It then was expanded to a fort and then included a prison in which all of the pirate prisoners eventually died (supposedly from illness). I jokingly asked the guide if they ever see the ghosts of the pirates. She very seriouusly told us yes that they hear the chains rattle and the cry of the pirates. Spooky! I wouldn't want to be there at night!

We decided to check out Mariscos on Lake Izabal. It was beautiful. We ate at a restaruant overlooking the lake and then swam. The water at first was clear and beautiful and people were swimming and there was a banana boat going but then everyone cleared out and the water got choppy and rough. I wander if it is like the Xocomil on Lake Atitlan. Everyday on Atitlan at 2:30 or 3:00 everyone clears off the lake because a heavy wind blows and the water becomes choppy.

We rented some tubes for Q5 a piece and had a blast. And Gabby got in the water! Yeah Gabby!

We can't wait to take you here!