Monday, July 13, 2009
Weekend Trips to the City, the 4th and Monkey's House
Wow!! We have been so long posting on the Blog! We went to Guatemala City the Weekend of the 4th and this past weekend and the computer was down for a few days in between. Sorry!
I have to say this about Guatemalans before I forget. They are the most creative business minded group of people I have ever met. For instance. Alot of the people where we live drive motorcycles. The problem is it is really hot here so the black seats become extremely hot when they aren't riding them. We saw a man the other day selling pieces of card board for them to put on their seats while they were in the store. When they came out they just discarded the cardboard because they couldn't hold it while riding. He would pick it up and re-sell it. In the city men will go stake out a block and tell everyone who parks there that they will watch their cars for them. Then when the people come out they tip them. They will also stop traffic for you to pull back out in the street. This is just a small example of what we see. This mindset is rubbing off on Brigham. That and spending his whole life living with Nate. Xela made a beautiful picture of a sunset on the river with a Guatemalan in a fishing boat. Brigham bought it for Q1. Xela was so happy. She was saying "I sold my first work of art!" Then Brigham turned around to me (because he had heard me praising Xela) and sold it to me for Q20s.
I have to try to remember back to the weekend of the 4th. I am so mad that I forgot our camera. It made it to the suburban but when we switched cars it didn't make it to the Rodeo for the trip. We stayed the weekend with one of Nathan's friends from the mission. His name is Carlos (Charly) Monteroso, but we call him Monkey. It is a nickname he picked up on his mission. The missionaries would give him a snickers bar if he would do crazy things like jump off of the roof of the church building. He has a business where he makes trophies and medals and plaques and metal name tags. He is the Bishop in his ward. His wife's name is Lorraina and he has 3 kids, Mohonri (12), Shazer (7) and Thunder(Antonio) (4). They have a great house in Guatemala City. It has a great layout. I was so amazed that they had a clothes washer that was also a dryer. I had never heard of this before. I got to try it out Saturday night. It was amazing.
On the 4th we went to a place near the City called "Aguas Calientes". It was so beautiful there. We picked up two buckets of wings from Pollo Compero for lunch. Yumm! The first thing we did was swim in the pool which Gabby loved so much! She is getting to be a little fish. She swam around with just arm floats this time. Then we took turns going in the volcanic sauna. The women enter through one entrance an the men through another and you go into a large room that has a big square hole in the floor with benches all around it. when you look in the hole you see rocks and boiling hot water from a volcanic hot spring. It was so refreshing to sit in the sauna. Then we went and ate wings and drank from coconuts and then we rented two family spas. They were private rooms with a hot tub and a private showering area. It cost Q20 an hour per hot tub which is $2.50. So worth it! It was so refreshing. Then we went and visited the zoo part of the park that had the most beautiful green parrots walking everywhere on the grass. The kids walked up to them and talked to them. Then a man came and they all started following him. It was the craziest thing, a man with 20 parrots following him. He walked them to their cages and they went right in. It must have been feeding time and he was going to feed them. Then we saw the monkeys. They had so much fun entertaining us. I wish so much I had had my camera! The monkeys in the pictures above were at the zoo the following weekend. They were fun to watch also but they were not near as active and vibrant. They also have a huge playground and a ride area for little kids. It was a beautiful place. I definately recommend it. When you come visit if you fly into Guatemala City we will take you there.
That night we went to the mall which was huge and fancier than any mall I had ever seen in the states. We went to see Ice Age 3 in Spanish. It was fun. We also got to go in some stores and I got some books (they were expensive though!) We were shocked to see that they charge $100 for x-box 360 games and $50 plus for DS games. I think we will have to come home for Thanksgiving to take advantage of the US prices for Christmas!@! And to see all of you of course!
We had a great time with the Monterosa Family. The kids all got along great and they were so hospitable. I felt so bad because they made us sleep in their room both trips to the city and they slept on couches. They fed us some awesome food also. Lorraina's Mom taught me how to make grilled chicken and steak Guatemalan style and told me how to make stuffed fried chilli rellenos! If I master it I will make you all some when we come home to visit.
We heard that tourism in Honduras is down 80% right now and packages are %50 off. So if you are planning a visit, plane flights to San Pedro Sula, Honduras are probably pretty cheap right now. Our neighbor just happened to fly to the states the day of the millitary coup and flew back the day the Pres was supposed to re-enter the country. He said there were no issues or problems.
Then the next weekend we discovered that we needed to go to the Capital again to get our passport extension straightened out. Some rude, mean, old ladies at the Belize border gave us only a 30 day permission which apparantly there is no such thing(We think they wanted a pay off). So we had to have someone change it to 90 days. The Monterosa family opened their home to us again. It reminds me of the old VA hospitality rule.
We had a great time again. They took us shopping. We went to a fancy thrift store that has pretty much all name brand things. I found tons of Gymboree and Children's Place clothes. Some with the tags still on them. There are places here called Pacas. They buy the clothes from the thrift stores in the states by the 100 lbs. This particular paca goes to the other pacas and buys the nice things and then re-sells them. I got the girls some cute things.
Then we went to a place called Price Smart. I am pretty sure it is owned by Cosco. It is also a membership store set up the same as Costco. I was so happy. They have a lot of the foods we miss (even raw almonds). It is still sold at a higher price than at home but cheaper than we can get anywhere else around here. The next day we went to a toy store to go B-day shopping for the girls. You wouldn't beleive how expensive everything was! I about died! No wonder the kids here in Guate don't have very many toys. Ughhh! We have to come home for Thanksgiving!! (Do you think Nathan is getting my message here?)
Saturday we went to the Zoo. You may have gathered that from the pics above. It was so fun. Then we went to Burger King for lunch! Yummy!!! That was my first whopper since moving to Guate! I wish we would get a Chick Fila here!
We ended up staying Saturday night also becuase we were too tired to drive home after the Zoo. We had to borrow clothes from them for church. It was quite funny!
Gabby learned how to ride a tri-cycle. The bikes and even tri-cylcles are over $100 here. It makes me so mad that I didn't make room for the kids bike in the cars or tie them on top or something!!
I also included pics of Gabby and Brigham playing together. They have become the best of friends.
Mama I took a picture of Xela drawing horses with her book you sent her. She is such a good little artist!
Everyone start thinking positive and praying we will be able to work out coming home for a visit in November.