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Kristen & Joe’s Guatemala Mission Trip: Casa del Mundo & Pana

Today was a fun day! This morning, we went over to Casa del Mundo–a beautiful hotel across the lake. Pana, the town we are working in, is situated right next to Lake Atitlan, a huge lake formed by a volcano. We had brunch there and had the rest of the morning to ourselves. Our team opted to walk to a tiny village close to the hotel. On the way there we looked for pumice stone along the shore.

The village was fascinating! It’s really amazing how little most Guatemalans live on, yet they seem so happy!! During our walk through the village, Joe found a couple of kids to do magic for. They

had never seen anything like it, and soon he had a crowd gathered. He only did one trick, but they followed us clear out to the end of the village.

After that, we just lazed around for a while. The hotel was gorgeous. It’s set in very lush vegetation with lots of terraced areas. Marjie and I both agree that it reminds us of the hotel in the movie “Mama Mia” with all the different levels.

We swam in the lake and laid in hammocks until one, then we boarded the boat back to Pana.

When we got back, we decided to go to the market. It was mainly a produce market but had other stuff as well. I had never seen so much fruit and vegetables in my life, and there were some things we hadn’t seen before. I didn’t take pictures of the meat section though. It was pretty gross. They chopped off sections of the animals and threw them up on the counter. Pigs’ legs, chicken feet, that kind of stuff. I think they had been sitting out for days and were turning a funny color. Several of us bought fruit. I bought mangoes and bananas. On the way back to Porch, we stopped at a bread store and bought several kinds of bread to try out.

At 4:30, we had a worship service at Porch. Lloyd and Melanie led the worship and Lloyd taught scripture about Palm Sunday. It was designed to be very social, so we met more people. After the service we shopped at the market. Joe bought a shirt and juggling balls, and I bought a really cute skirt and matching pants for Joe. We then all went to diner at Jose Penguino’s where we learned the story of the Mayan people, made our own tortilla, and had a special dish (I don’t know the name of it, but it had chicken, rice, and spices) served on special occasions like weddings. There was also a marimba band. I t was a lovely evening and the food was good. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and crashed.

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