The day before, we left the community at 3 pm and drove straight through to Estelí where we found a hotel to sleep for the night. This morning, we’re all grumpy and tired.
We eat breakfast at La Casita, a gringo-owned restaurant a little ways out of town where, when I was in the midst of language studies and home stays (16 years ago when we first started our MCC term), I fled as often as possible.
We eat fresh cheeses, brown bread, tomatoes and cucumbers, homemade yogurt and granola, fresh juice, and coffee.
The kids sleep for much of the drive to Managua.
Once back in the city, we unload our stuff at the guest house and then drive around downtown before heading to the Huembes market.
We get tailed by market boys selling doo-dads made out of tall grass. We eat Eskimo ice cream. A shoe-fixer guy patches my daughter’s torn flip-flop. I stock up on rosquilla and coconut candy (it’s fabulous in granola).
We spend the entire day trapped in a bus. (I think we get out three times.) We leave Managua at 4:00 am and arrive in Guatemala City at 8:00 pm.
The good news is that the bus is a double-decker! They provide food and movies (spy-torture-shoot ‘em up! yay!) (yay, not really) (when the next one starts out with explosions, I send my daughter up to ask for a kids’ movie and they put on a kid-friendly Jackie Chan), blankets and pillows, and useable bathrooms. When we get to San Salvador, we switch to a different bus and my two older children get assigned seats at the very front of the bus: great views and their own TV.
I have the joy of sitting with my youngest. He’s a whir of activity (for an example of what that exactly looks like, go here) for 15 hours straight. It’s not until the very last hour that he falls asleep.
When we arrive in the city, we take a taxi to CASAS and crash.
Fellow MCCer Nancy (along with Raul, the van driver) takes us on a learning tour of Guatemala city.
We visit the national cemetery.
The children are entranced by the house-sized graves and the busted open tombs.
Overlooking the dump.
At the far end of the cemetery, we examine the spot (some famous dude’s statue) for bullet holes where so many Guatemalan were executed, their bodies then tossed into the dump.
We have a brief team meeting before catching the bus back to Cobán.
We’re home by supertime. There’s no water and the house is dirty, but it’s home!
And thus concludes the exhaustive recounting of our epic journey of 2013.