Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friends re-united

We met Izzy and her parents in Guatemala this June.  When we introduced ourselves we were pleasantly surprised to find out we live about 40 minutes away from each other.  Today, we were able to get the girls together for a playdate.  There were a lot of giggles - especially at the park!







And, just because she was cooperating today, here are a few more of Grace.





Thursday, August 18, 2016

Interview with a 4th grader

Grace is a really sweet, creative, thoughtful young lady.  She cares about people and animals, loves to learn about the world, and always wants to be helpful.  Lately, she is learning to make herself some snacks like mac 'n cheese, oatmeal, scrambled eggs.  She likes to drink iced tea and has been experimenting with how to make it taste best with sugar and lemon or milk. Grace has a great sense of humor and often teases us.  She has started calling me "Lynnie McFinney" which cracks me up every time!

The night before school started I asked her some questions to interview our new 4th grader.

  • What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at school?  Watch TV
  • What is your favorite program?  "Best Friends Whenever" (which I have never heard of).  It's a Netflix series.  


  • What do you think about having a male teacher? I'm a little nervous.  I have had man substitute teachers before but I don't know what I will think about seeing a man at school every day. 
  • What is your favorite subject?  Science because you can do lots of activities like make solids, liquids, and gases which all have molecules floating around in there. 
  • What are you most proud of? I have a huge heart.


  • If Buddy could talk, what would he say?  Let me go!
  • If you could change the world, what would you change and why? I'd make cars fly to get places faster. 

  •  If you could change your name, what would it be?  Hazel because it is a strong name. 


  • What is something you know how to do that you could teach to someone else?  Play piano 


  • What is the best thing that ever happened to you?  Getting Buddy


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finca Filadelfia and an adventure in the trees

Finca Filadelfia is a coffee plantation and resort in Antigua.  They offer tours of the plantation and coffee factory and horseback riding.  But, we went there in this vehicle...


...to ZIPLINE through the trees and over a canyon with a view of one of the volcanoes.


The plantation seemed to be on the outskirts of Antigua as it took about 15 minutes to get here from our hotel. Then, we drove up, up, up a winding road to get to the top where our adventure began.


Ziplining has been on my "bucket list" for a long time but I was probably the most nervous about going.  Kyle had been before.  Grace is a daredevil.  Nana? I am not sure what she was thinking.  But we all did it!


There was a series of 8 cable lines.  The first one was very short - you could see the platform on the other side.


They got longer and longer until the one that was over the canyon.  They said that one was about 800 feet long and we were supposed to turn our body around to see the view.  The guide went with Grace on this one since she was not heavy enough to get all the way across on her own.

Here's Grace flying through the trees:

And Nana running and leaping off the platform:


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The crocodile

Jade is one of Guatemala's natural resources.  We met a man in Parque Central on day who was selling jade jewelry.  He showed us this piece he had and pointed out the color variation from dark to light.


When we walked over to the jade museum we learned that jade found in Guatemala comes in a variety of colors and shades - white, lavender, green, and black. The Mayans attached meaning to each color. White is for children, lavender for love, and black for strength.


They also looked up our Mayan astrological symbols. I am a rabbit. Kyle is a woodpecker. And Nana is a monkey.  Grace's astrological sign is called "Imox" (/ee-mosh/) - the crocodile.





The crocodile symbolizes beginnings.  Crocodiles are clever, creative, assertive, and full of energy. Crocodiles are likely to be the first to initiate new projects, make changes, or take a stand. They have outstanding protective instincts and make great caretakers.


Photos were taken at Frida's Mexican restaurant, named after the artist Frida Kahlo.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

To market, to market...

There never seems to be enough time to explore the Guatemalan handicrafts markets. The colors of the weaving, paintings, jewelry, and wood carvings rival that of any markets in the world.




No matter where you go in Antigua and Panajachel, people are on every corner trying to sell their items for a "good price".





You are supposed to bargain, but, truly, the first price they offer is so good by US standards, it feels "wrong" to try to bargain the seller down!






We were thoughtful and careful about the items we selected like this Umbro soccer jacket and backpack for Grace.  The jacket would easily cost $30-40 at home.  We paid $7.





I prefer the street markets like this one at El Carmen (which is only open on the weekends) because you can feel the energy of the city while you shop.  Sometimes the stores and indoor markets can seem dark and hot - not the greatest for spending money!




Next time we go to Guatemala we are going to rent a house or apartment so we can live more like the locals.  But, I am pretty sure we won't be buying chickens! Looking at them is enough!


These girls can "shop 'til they drop".  We all certainly helped the Guatemalan economy.

Nana bought this necklace in Guatemala - it has coffee beans mixed in with the beads!