Kudos to Mama Lupe for helping me with my birthday bash. We toasted ingredients for my favorite dish, pepian de pollo. Below you'll see dried chiles, tomatoes, miltomates, bread, onions, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. It turned out fantastic! Oh I should mention that we started prep for this party on Fri May 28 (to have it on Sat), of course the two days that the tropical cyclone Agatha hit Guatemala hard.
More on that to follow.
I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life here.
Juanita's not in this picture but she was so great that she went out during the storm to pick the leaves from the corn stalks so we could wrap up tamalitos in them!
Picture with the family
So many of you might know what happened during Agatha, but if not click here. The storm came just two days after one of our active volcanoes, Pacaya, erupted, and caused immense destruction throughout the country with flooding, mudslides and even a giant "sinkhole". Luckily my community was spared from losing any people, but the park sustained significant infrastructure damage. Here's what happened to the hydroelectric dam... I have a post back in April that shows what it looked like before.
Our entrance was completely washed away and one of our concrete arches is now falling down because the land underneeth it was washed in to the river.
Here's the turbine and generator buried under mud.
We didn't have any power at the park for 5 days, so we all pitched in a hand to clean up. I joined the men fixing the bridge and entrance. Here Don Martin and I are exhausted from shoveling.
Luckily the roads got cleared a bit and I was able to head to San Antonio for a visit. I love these kids!
Randomly hanging out with my co-worker's mom while making dinner.
Each day brings surprises and new experiences.
Chico, Eddy and I took off on a Friday after work and class to hike up to a gigantic rock on the mountainside. Here we're taking a shortcut through someone's corn field.
My first baby shower in Guatemala. Exactly like the ones back home, except for the food (tostadas and tamales). We even played the guess the size of the mom's tummy game with string and the race to burst balloons between two people (below)!
We had the pleasure of hosting a group of Canadian tourism students for two weeks in the park. They were amazing volunteers and helped make signs, clean the trail, paint the office, plant trees, etc.
Fair in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Could not believe the men spent all day Saturday cutting huge pieces of plastic to make this decoration for their street. The design is a depiction of St. Anthony.
My dear friend Patty gave me this bag for my birthday. She tried to make it to the party, but like all of the volunteers I invited she also couldn't make it due to the storm, so we celebrated later.
So this was the craziest weekend ever...had a get together with the fam Friday night, took off Saturday morning for San Antonio to hang out with Patty and the old fam, left early Sun morning to get back in time for the baby shower, made cakes all afternoon and then spent the evening celebrating Johnny's 12th birthday.