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!



  1. Wow what a weekend!! Don't you love car problems?:-) You probably know already the safest place during an earthquake is in the frame of a doorway. Did you get any recipes? Write them down so you can share:-)Glad all's well with you. We were starting to worry. Maybe you should give our info to the owner of your house for emergenies,Pleaseeeeeeeeeee, Luv ya,Momma/Grandma

  2. WWOOOOWWW!!!! What a week you had...I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father has watched over you guys. I'll ask Joe about the car. I can't stand car issues. The pictures are beautiful! I especially love the picture of y'all looking over the valley, I guess. So, Grace is sitting up now. Its so cute! I took her today for her 6 month appointment and she's 27 inches(97% in height)(YES!), and 17 lbs(72% in weight). She's so much Fun! We love you guys and I'm so glad you're on facebook. hugs and kisses to you all...Kimbo

  3. I forgot to point out Xela making tortillas. It isn't as easy as it looks!

    Also - Nathan gets pulled over quite a bit because of our Suburban and because of the VA tags. They just ask him questions and check his paper work but this week was the first time I was with him when it happened. 5 armed cops with big guns jumped out of the car and surrounded the vehicle while another searched the car and the other asked Nathan about paperwork and all. This is just because of our car type and tags. Just imagine if we had actually broken the law! Yikes!

  4. Mel, Nathan and Kids - I thought about you guys when I heard about the earthquake. The internet news channel I was looking at provided a detailed map so I knew you were not real close. Car troubles are always a treat. I decided when I hit 40 that I will sit on the side of the road one time in a car. The second time it goes to the dealership on a flatbed truck and I just buy a new car!!! Steve is petrified I will put that into practice so he attempts to keep my car out of trouble!!! I love the pictures and it all looks so beautiful. Enjoy! Robin

  5. Kids and I just did this long post and then it got erased. EEEERRRGGGH! ALL AND ALL, we love you and it's good to read how you are doing and we LOVE seeing the pics.
    Hannah and kids

  6. haha I love it!I was laughing so hard when I read about your car. Not because you had car troubles...but I could just see it in my mind, your car putting along , trying to get up a hill and all these cars passing you on the road. funny image. That's nuts about the earthquake but thank goodness for prayer right! I can't believe how stinkin cheap it is to live there! wow, 200-$300 to live in a gated community? you cant even get that in the projects here! Its so good to see pic's of you guys, we miss playing with you all! Little Xela looks like a beautiful little girl and all the kiddies are getting so big! Me and Preston miss coming to see the kids play sports, but it seems like the church has lots of fun stuff going on over there. So do they not have candy over there? twizzlers, snickers,reeses,M&M' know all the basics? well I hope your shipment of goods from nathans mom gets there safe and sound! We love and miss you guys. lots of love and tell the kids we miss playing with them, we miss jumping on the trampoline! aloha!

  7. I am so glad you are all safe!! What an adventure you have had. I can just see mels face when 5 armed guys surround the car!!! I would have been terrified.
    Oh hannah i have lost so many posts on here. it has gotten easier for me though and i don't lose so many anymore.
    thanks again for all the wonderful pics. i really enjoy them.
    OK i just have to laugh at you guys getting fast food, chris and i love to go to Thai and mexican food places and you guys go to Mcdonalds. How many chicken nuggets can you eat? i can eat a million or so. ha
    i have a sore throat and am not feeling so well so off to bed for me.
    take care guys
    love ya more than.......tootie rolls!!!
    aunt jo

  8. FYI to those who lost posts!I too have lost a post after typing a long one... I have learned to copy it right before I try and post it. Then I can repaste it if it erases it.

    Mel... I have to say that I love seeing Gabby in her little duck floaty, those are such darling pics of her. The kids all look healthy and happy. I love the pictures of the ruins.
    I am sorry about your car, I hate paying for unexpected repairs. Now that we have the Toyota we have gone two and a half years so far with absolutely no repairs. I think I will never buy another used vehicle or anything other then a Toyota. This is our second in our marriage and it is the best of all the trucks we have had. No wonder the Guatemalans (sp?) love them.
    What kind of fruit was in the tree that Gabby and Brigham were holding on to? Bananas?
    Hopefully you all continue to be safe, I know Heavenly Father is watching over you all and we keep you in our family and personal prayers.
    Love you, hugs and kisses to the kids. Hugs to Nate and have him hug you for me.

    I love you,
    Kelley Jo

  9. Okay now! its June, we need to hear from y'all.....Please!!!!I'll send y'all some movies....Please!!! about chocolate...we miss you guys,love you--Kim