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Kristen & Joe’s Guatemala Mission Trip: Ziplines & Babies

Today was another free day, so the group of us went ziplining in the morning.  Joe and I went ziplining in Alaska last year, but this one was longer, faster, and higher (also more scary).  In Guatemala, there are lots of volcanoes (most of them still active) that form mountains. T his adventure was a series of 8 ziplines set between two of those mountains.  None of the guides spoke English, but my faith was restored when on the 5th zipline the guide kept me from crashing into a rock at 45 miles an hour.  My hand slipped off the cable and I couldn’t break in time.  On the very next line, Joe almost crashed into a wall along with one other person from our group, so the guides must get alot of practice.  It was very very fun.

In the afternoon, we headed out to a village to visit a family whom Lloyd and Melanie support.  Two of the family members just had babies, so the group wanted to see them.  One of the babies was wearing an FSU Seminole jumpsuit.  In Guatemala.  Go figure.

Joe told me later if he would’ve known what we were in store for, he’s not sure he would have gone.  The communal area of the village was down by the main road, but to get to the homes we had to climb up a mountain.  Of course, there were no roads leading up, so we had to climb the mountain on foot.  Climb, and climb, and climb!  The house was located near the top of the mountain.  It was exhausting for all the Americans!  We then found out that one of the women had to climb it while in labor in order to make it home before her baby was born!  She climbed up the side of the mountain with a rag in her teeth praying to God she would make it in time.  Of course, when she got home, there wasn’t a nice epidural waiting for her.  No doctors or hospitals.  Everything was done the old fashion way.  I’m not certain the family even had clean water for her.  Most people have to go down the mountain to fetch their water.  Life is tough in Guatemala!

Anyway, after we played with the babies, we shopped!  The family had made many beautiful things–scarves, belts, purses, jewelry, etc.  The pricing was fantastic and went to a good cause.  I loaded myself down with more things than I knew what to do with, got lots of hugs and kisses from the family, and we headed back down the mountain.

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