For those of you that don't know "Chicken buses" are the super cheap transportation around Guatemala and especially between villages. They are painted really vibrant colors and designs and are rather cool looking...until you watch them drive. They are CRAZY!!!! Literally crazy...they treat all road markings and signs as meer suggestions. There are a ton of them on the road and they are all privately owned and as such compete with each other like its the Indy 500. They will pass on double yellow lines, near curves, hills...doesn't matter. They hardly even slow down to pick people up. Which is wierd since the passengers are the ones paying their livelyhood. I can't tell you how many people I saw run up as the bus was pulling away and jump on the ladder in the back. The drivers have a helper that handles luggage, tickets, etc...and they ride hanging out the door. We saw the helper climb to the top of the bus as it was careening down the road to get the luggage ready for the next drop-off. I tell you they are certifiably NUTS!!!! But then again I think every driver here is wacko...they will pass you on the left or right...doesn't matter if there's on coming traffic or not. There were probably 50 near head on collisions today on our way back from Lake Atitlan. I wish I was making this stuff up.
Just had to let you know that part of the trip first. To set the scene a little bit, so let me back up now. I think last time we left you we had just dropped of our Angel on Saturday. Sunday we took a half day tour of Guatemala City. The city is pretty much like every major city but has some pretty interesting history. Many very beautiful churches and palaces and squares. We've got some great pictures to show you when we get home. Then we spent Monday and Tuesday in Antigua. That is by far both of our favorite spots to go. If you ever get a chance to come visit Guatemala be sure you spend at least 2 days or more in Antigua. And stay at Casa Santo Domingo. This place definatly earned its 5 star rating. We spent about 4 hours just exploring the hotel itself. It has 3 museums and a world class chef. Muy Bueno!!
That night our amazing Foster Father Byron came to pick us up at our hotel in G.C. and drove us to his house to see our muchacho poquito (little man) again and to show us that they are taking good care of him for us. He speaks zero english and neither does Mama Ana (his wife). So it was an interesting ride. Luckily my Super Wife spoke enough Spanish that we were able to talk to each other. And it also turns out that his oldest daughter (Katie) speaks english fairly well so was able to translate for us. They live in a very nice condo type house that is in a gated community. It breaks our heart to have to leave him but we can at least rest a little easier knowing that he is very loved and all of his needs are being met. He will be their 6th baby that they have fostered, so they know what they are doing. They are so amazing and we are so blessed that they are in our lives now.Today we finished our Guatemalan adventure with a trip to Lago de Atitlan
We drove to Panajachel (aka Gringotenango..."The place of the Gringo") Very much a tourist trap but that's where we caught a boat and rode across the lake to Santiago. Very cool place but because a lot of tourists go there you are virtually assaulted by kids and people trying to sell you stuff. And they won't take no for an answer. The only way to deal with them is to completely ignore them but it is very hard and doesn't leave you with a good feeling. All in all though a very nice place to go. Highly recommended.
Well Beth and I are completely exhausted. We've had a roller-coaster ride of a vacation that would rival anything Universal Studios could imagine. With all the emotional and physical ups and downs...but we would do it again in a heartbeat. But we are ready to come home and share some great pictures and wonderful stories with you all.
Thanks again to all of you hoping and praying for us...
Sus amamos!! (We love you all!!)