Friday, October 15, 2010

3 Men & a Volcano

Remember a while back when I said I was going to back blog about some of the happenings from Guatemala that didn't get posted? Remember how after that bold statement I only made it this far? Well browsing through my archives, I came across this oldie but goodie. Since we're missing friendships a lot lately, I thought I'd post about this adventure that Ben went on with one of his best Guatemalan friends, Otto. First a little history.

Otto was Ben's co-workers at Aguas de Unidad. Basically Ben was his "boss" as he was head of the maintenance & technology department, but if you ask Ben about it he'll be the first to tell you that Otto was definitely the brains when it came to the maintenance on the water systems. Not only did Ben quickly learn to value Otto's experience, he also quickly began to value his friendship too. Day after day these two drove around Guatemala City from system to system, strengthening the bond of their friendship. Otto helped Ben with his "street" Spanish and Ben gave Otto mini English lessons & translated American music for him!

El Gringo y El Pengüino
(The gringo & the penguin...because Otto is always cold!)
Mejores amigos.

Honestly I often felt a bit jealous of Ben and his best manfriend. Their friendship was the kind that I wanted to have (and I did, just not with a Guatemalan). Talk about loyalty though, Otto was always there to help us out, even if it had nothing to do with work, like the time he accompanied Ben to the Honduran border to renew our car permit for Dewey. So when Ben put it out there that he really wanted to hike Volcan Agua, an inactive volcano right outside of Antigua, Otto was there in a heartbeat - and so was his son Cristofer (the awesome soccer player, remember?) Believe it or now, Otto had never done it either and it was also on his bucket list, so one Sunday morning while I was hard at work with a Common Hope team off they went.

They began in the village of Santa Maria de Jesus, the furthest drivable point up the volcano

And they hiked and hiked for hours up the dusty volcano path

Until finally they reached the top!
Hanging out high above the crater

Cristofer's 1st volcano!
Ben in his element.
By the time they got back to our place around 5 that afternoon they were covered from head to toe in dust & huunnnngry, so I treated them all to a giant burger, Cocolimonada, & delicious brownie at La Peña de Sol Latino, one of our favorite places to listen to live music and get a great bite to eat!

We have so many great memories like this volcano hike and there are times that we really wish we had never left Guatemala, so that we could continue to make even more memories. Honestly, most of the time we wish we never left, who am I kidding? Leaving was one of the most difficult decisions we ever had to make - much more difficult than deciding to go, but as we all know, good things can't last forever. And since sometimes you have to let something go earlier than you'd like to have it one day return to you for good, this is why we chose to end this Guatemala chapter of our lives. Albeit short, it was he most amazing experience of our lives to date, but there was something that didn't allow us to feel like it could be permanent - not yet. So now here we are struggling to find our place in this new chapter, looking forward to the day when everything feels easy so we can shake it up once again. We don't know when it will be, but we have faith that this opportunity will come back to us when the time is right and we'll have our Guatemala back for good, and God willing our friendships will still be there waiting.

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