6 . 30 . 2013

I just had a wonderful sleep! I was so tired, I just snuggled right in. The planes were taking off and landing right over all heads- it was super duper loud! We could hear people shouting, cars driving, rain pouring, it was pretty cool!
     I was thinking. Guatemala City so far is a lot like the Asian country I went to on a short-term missions trip back in grade 5. It smells the same, feels the same, the buildings sort of remind me of it. The humidity isn't nearly as bad, but it's still noticeable. It's not too hot here- I was actually cold this morning!
     It's been raining all morning- smells nice. This whole hotel is like an old fashioned building- it has a lot of beautiful stone courtyards with tropical plants and fountains and stone statues. So beautiful!
Hundreds of kilometers of twisty roads, and many tiring hours later....     5:40pm
     Tactic is officially our home for the next week. It's beautiful here. I love the humidity and the heat. We are at the house, and supper is being prepared.
     I am sitting on the roof. It has an intricate stone fence around it. There's a tin roof, and a hammock.
     I think we will have a storm tonight. We've heard the majestic thunder, and the warm winds are really picking up. The skies have darkened at the air is damper than normal (I think).
     I am relieved to be here, and so very excited. The driving was insane and the roads were crazy, to say the least. But the whole way up from Guatemala City, I could not keep my eyes closed! The others were sleeping or talking but me, I had to see everything! I didn't want to miss anything. I couldn't stop my enthusiastic remarks either; "Oh! Look at that!" "Wow, did you see those...?" I hope I wasn't being annoying but everything was so exciting, I couldn't contain myself!!!!
     We saw military officers a lot... they carried rifles. I can't say that it made me feel totally safe.
     Rewind to this morning:
     We packed up and went to the market. It was the very center of all of Guatemala. It was the government building. In front of the huge gates was a bronze plaque on the ground. It signifies the heart of Guatemala. All distances in Guatemala are in relation to that plaque (How far away from the plaque they are).
     Megan and Mrs. Brown had a cockroach in their bedroom last night... haha poor girls.
     *More thunder*
     When we arrived in Tactic, we met Rita Peters. She's a wonderfully cheerful woman. After we settled into our rooms, we had a safety talk. I knew Guatemala was dangerous- but it was scary hearing it from a woman who's lived here for almost 13 years. She warned us to always stay with the group, and never have a group of just women, no matter how big. She said it was super common for girls to be grabbed off the street, pulled into a vehicle, drugged, raped, and then left on the street where they were found. It's scary! Even this morning when we were walking around Guatemala, a car willed with men slowed down and whistled at us. I just kind of freaked out. We were safe with our group though, so it was okay.
     Rita said "Tactic is probably not as safe as you think it is." Up where we are, they don't really even have a police force! If someone is murdered, it's never investigated. It's just left alone and forgotten.
     We went on a walk up the mountainside, it was AMAZING. I took so many pictures. I said 'hola' to a lot of locals... it's so fantastic- heartwarming- to see these "poor" people so content and happy. Why do we convince ourselves that we need so many luxuries? Because we don't!