The trip back down the mountain was a quite one for me. I was very sad, but also very happy that Alex's family had accepted him back with such open arms.
The greatest part of the trip back was listening to Aleeya and Sharon carry on a conversation. Aleeya would talk to Sharon in Spanish, and Sharon would respond in English!
We went back to Sharon's house. She then had her staff try to get in touch with our two sponsored students; Lucinda - who Jay and I sponsor and Josue who Jay's work sponsors.
They were able to get ahold of Josue's family by phone and ask them to come the next morning. Oto was going to have to go up the mountain to Lucinda's house just to tell them to come back down the mountain the next morning. I had nothing to do, so we decided I'd just go with Oto.
I was then informed that we would be taking public transportation. No problem - I thought it might be kind of fun.
Oto and I set out by foot (up a hill - gosh am I'm out of shape!!) to wait at the "bus stop." There was no way to tell that where we were waiting was a bus stop, but I trusted Oto. (even though we really couldn't converse as his English was very limited and my Spanish is non-existent)
All of a sudden a pick-up truck stops and Oto motions for me to get into the back. So, in a went. As I was trying to haul my big white butt into the back of this little S-10 pick up truck I realized the irony in all of this. I have said over and over and over and over and over and over and over again how Alex will NEVER ride in the back of a pick up truck. I have a friend from high school who lost her brother one day before his college graduation (he had a fiance, was graduating top in his class, had a job lined up - everything) because he jumped in the back of a pickup truck to go to the cafeteria, fell out, and hit his head. And, here I was, doing the exact thing I said that I would NEVER EVER EVER do. :)
Unfortunately, the wheel well that I was attempting to sit on wasn't really big enough for my rear end. So, I was holding on for dear life as we went up the mountain. Remember the stories about the crazy roads - winding around the mountains - yeah - I did that from the back of a pickup truck. :)
The great thing was the weather was perfect, and views were amazing without any obstructions.
I was sitting behind the driver and the window in the back of the cab was open so I could see the passenger, but not the driver. About half way through our trip, Oto informs me that the driver was drinking beer!!! Oh my gosh!!! So, now, I'm careening up the mountain in the back of a pickup truck with a "drunk" driver.
At this point I started to panic just a little bit. And then I thought, "There is no way that God brought me all the way to Guatemala to die on side of the mountain like this." I just couldn't believe that this was going to be the way that I was going to go. So, I decided to just not worry about it and enjoy the ride.
The walk from our drop off point to Lucinda's house was very short. When we got there, extended family was there, but Lucinda and her mother weren't there. The family immediately got their cell phones out and called Lucinda's mother. Before we knew it, they came up the walk.
Lucinda's mother is just this little thing, but she was just so cute!! And Lucinda, bless her heart, was SOOOO shy.
Here are some pictures. (and yes, my hair is extremely flat. I had no hair dryer in Pana and I didn't even have my mousse that morning - although I'm not sure it would have mattered after our trip in the back of the truck!!)
At this point, I was doing pretty good emotionally - until this.
Lucinda's mother brought me three pictures that she had of her daughter - and then insisted that I take them with me. I'm pretty sure that these are the only pictures she has of her daughter. I just about lost it.
Isn't she just too adorable?
We walked outside to take some pictures, and Lucinda started doing a hopscotch type game. The ground was hard packed dirt with some lines in it. I'm not sure if the girls put the lines in to play hopscotch, or if they were already there and they just made it work.
You should have seen the look on their face when I joined in. It was priceless!!
Here I am - Giant, White Woman again!! :)
For the trip back, we actually took one of the public transportation vans. These are 15 passenger vans that travel around the mountains taking people to where they need to go. At one point I counted about 35 people in, or hanging out, of the van. It was a trip, but we got where we needed to go, and as far as I could tell, very cheaply.
I went back to Sharon's place and just hung out. I really wanted to start organizing the donations I brought, but didn't know where to put everything. Sharon was still gone (she had an appointment). When she got back, she let me use her computer and her Skype account to call Jay. That was really nice and it was very nice to actually hear his voice. I also used her computer to check email and blog a little bit.
I eventually made my way back to the apartments to rest a little and get ready for dinner. Patti had all of us (Sharon, the three ladies from Canada and myself) over for dinner. It was WONDERFUL. Again - another night with great food, great wine and great company.
Thursday had been a very hard day physically. Friday was a very hard day emotionally - but what a great day I had!!!