Monday, July 27, 2009

Scorpions, Lizards and other Critters

So I already told you on facebook but I have to blog about it anyway because it is a new Guatemalan experience and part of the adventure.

Yesterday when I was at church I reached in my bag and pulled out a wooden puzzle. On the bottom was a scorpion. When my hand brushed against something weird I swished it off of the puzzle. It went flying. I looked and it was a scorpion. I screamed and grabbed the kids and ran to the other side of the room. Luckily the Primary President was in there doing singing time. She went over and calmly killed it with her heals picked it up and put it outside. I was shaking so bad, but soon became the object of much humor throughout the building. Apparantly it hitched a ride in my church bag because I pulled it out of the closet zipped it up and didn't unzip it until I went in for the puzzle. I bet you are all dying to come visit now! At least it is the only one I've seen in 4 plus months. Right?

My baby brother got married on Saturday! Congratulations Jared and Nicole! I wish I could have been there. Kelley was the only one to make it I believe. Everyone else is hoping to go to the Colorado reception next month. I don't think I will be able to make it. I'm pretty bummed but they are hoping to come see us at Christmas time. I still wish I could have been there to celebrate with them.

The first pics are of Gabby getting into the brownie mix while Xela was mixing up a batch. It was a mess but so cute I had to take a pic and post it.

The rest of the pics are of our trip to Livingston. We took the same trip on our Guatemalan vacation in 08 so some of the pictures will seem similiar.

We stopped about half way there at a bird island. It was like the one near our house except it had these huge bugs. They look like huge grasshoppers but have bigger wings. The kids and Nathan held them. I didn't of course, but they were cool to look at.

We then went into a Lagoon. I can't remember the name but it had lilly pads everywhere and if you look close enough you can see little birds on them. The water was so glassy. It was amazing. I can't quite describe it. The picture of the boys in the little boat was crazy because the water was so glassy it looked like they were about to go over a waterfall. It was illusion caused by the reflections but it freaked me out at first. I took tons of pictures because I thought the reflections of the nature in the water was so pretty. Maybe Xela will paint one for me one day. When we were coming out of the lagoon we saw children in little homemade wooden boats paddling frantically toward us. One was a little girl selling shells. We bought two from her. One is the one Gabby is holding to her ear. The little boys were selling crabs for a Q a piece. We didn't buy any then.

As we approached Livingston we saw all of the shrimp boats. Apparantly they go out at 5pm and come in at 5am. So the boats look abandoned. The cranes and pelicans perched on them add to the view. They were everywhere. In the trees on the boats flying by. It was amazing.

When we got to Livingston the girls got their hairbraided. Gabby was so cute. She felt so big. In the center of their park they have a concrete pool with crocodiles or alligators. I don't know the difference. We walked through town and checked out the vendors. I bought some coconut oil which was great because I had just ran out. They make delicious coconut rolls there. We walked down to the beach but it was cloudy so we didn't get wet. I had to take a picture of the pigs on the beach with us. It is so classic of Guatemala. Pigs and chickens everywhere. I don't know how the owner's have piece of mind w/out worrying about someone stealing and eating their chickens and pigs. Not to mention the stray dogs making a meal out of them. When we went to the restaurant the lady said they were out of bacon and she was having a hard time finding any in the stores around town. I wanted to tell her there was a bunch of it down at the beach.

There were two little boys practicing playing drums on old cans of various sizes and soda bottles on a stick. It was amazing the rythm they had together and that they could make it work with what little they had. Livingston can only be reached by boat and from what I heard it was settled by people off of a slave ship that swam to shore when the ship wrecked. The african culture is apparant all around you.

Gabby zonked out the minute we hit the river to head home.

We stopped at two places on the way back. One was a ecological farm that is also a college. It teaches the mayan youth two things. One - about all of the animals, insects and bugs that inhabit Guatemala, and two they train them in tourism and how to become business owners. They make and sell 100% natural crafts to fund the college. At this farm they have waterfalls to swim at. We were also given a tour of the trees. The picture of the tree with the red pods hanging off of it is the Cocao tree. This is where our chocolate comes from. These pods have nibs inside with a sweet white fruit on them. The nibs are made into cocao powder. The picture of the little white baby pods are cocao pods also, when they first appear. It was amazing to me that the pods grow right out of the bark. I also took pictures of a line of ants carrying huge chunks of leaves to their home. Our guide told us that they travel like that for 2km. Amazing! We also stopped at the Aguas Calientes. Ahhhh! Natural hot tubs are the best! A little stinky but so relaxing under the canopy of the jungle.

Ohhh! We also stopped at the entrance of the lagoon so Nathan could purchase blue crabs. 20 for Q20 or $2.50. The last part of the ride was in a rainstorm but we got home just before it hit hard.

Sunday we were given a bunch of banans at church by our friend Jorge Garcia. I don't know how many we have but we have frozen a ton for smoothies and my dehydrator is going 24/7. I just hope they don't all ripen at the same time. We gave a lot of them to the guards and to Temio also.

We would love to hear what all of you have been up to, so please leave a comment letting us know!



  1. Hi everyone.

    Thanks again for sharing with us all of your adventures!! I love the first picture of Gabby! She was not looking very happy but she sure is cute!! Xela and Gabby - I LOVE your braided hair! It makes both of you look worldly and grownup!

    Okay Mel - I would still be screaming from the scorpion episode! Nothing like a good 'ol poisonous "bug" to get the blood flowing! I love frogs and lizards and such, but have very little tolerance for bug type creatures. When those big camel back crickets make their way near my house I call the pest control people and give them the speech about not caring if there is a fog around my house as long as the crickets are gone!! I know that is not good for my health or the environment but neither is me having a heart attack from a cricket jumping on me!! So I am sure you know how much I loved the pictures of the boys with those "things" crawling on them!

    Now I am loving the pigs!! I would have been right at home sitting on the beach talking and petting them!!

    Grandma Beanie turned 81 this past weekend. As usual her social calendar was packed but I managed to get in a Happy Birthday call!!

    The lagoon looks like it would have been so much fun - great pictures!

    Take care and have fun. Again, thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

    Hugs and Kisses - Cousin Robin

  2. Hello! We are getting ready for family reunion here. Dallin is going up tomorrow with Grandma and Grandpa and will be there 2 nights before we meet him there on Friday afternoon. We will be sharing a cabin with Grandma Beanie. So that's what we are doing.Oh I have been going to a friends pool a lot in July and Dallin now knows how to swim! He loves diving down to the bottom for things, he's reall doing well. Wheeeew! one down, 3 to go!!:) Love you,
    Aunt Hannah

  3. oh my gosh- Gaby is sooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!
    Xela- email me!!!!
    love courtney

  4. Melody- Xela is looking a lot like you now! Especially the picture where you can see only her profile! You have a twin! Gabby looked so cute with all of those braids! How long did they stay in?
    We are doing well, enjoying the summer. Swim team is over so we have a little bit more time now-it was a great experience for the kids I think they enjoyed it! Courtney had dance camp and Sam had soccer camp this past week. Courtney is going to continue her dance classes by going every other Tuesday night ( YW is on Tuesdays so we compromised!) Still trying to convince Eber to allow her to go on the cruise over spring break!
    We miss you guys and stay away from the scorpians!

  5. Summer,summer, goes that quick. We've been to water country,busch,Hatteras in June. Family reunion was fun. We went on Wed. Dallin had his first Grandpa/grandma camping trip. He was soooo excited. He was really good. We saw the half moon one night as we left the video arcade:-) I told him how Brigham(and Ammon,Xela,Gabby) were watching the moon because I was sending kiss's,hugs and love to bounce off it to them. He looked up quietly and blew a kiss. So cute! We did all the traditional things,putt-putt,swim,bike riding,shuffleboard,smores. We missed you guys so much. Dana and Hannah continued the tradition of late night games with Skylor and Steffanie. I taught Aaron how to swim. He took right to it. We're off to Hatteras 2 weeks from Wed. for a week. Everyone is coming for a few days. It's so fun to see the pics and hear of your adventures for me. To be honest not so much for Dad. He's still really trying to adjust to you guys being gone. I guess he loves you just too much:-)