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“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Today is the 5th day in Guate and I feel a little like Judy Garland in the Wizard of OZ…

Because I had to travel with our dogs during cooler weather on Wednesday and Thursday, I arrived in Guatemala a few hours before the rest of my family.  I was graciously taken care of by Paula and Fontaine Greene, missionaries, who picked me up from the airport, gave me a bed to rest and then took me back to the airport to meet up with my family.  I was so relieved and excited to see them walk out of the airport!

Living in Guatemala has its perks!  I get to practice my spanish every day!  Fruit and vegetables are SO fresh and inexpensive.  It’s basically spring every single day.  The average high temp. is 85 degrees and the average low is 65 degrees.  I LOVE the colors of the homes!  Deep red, yellow, blue, green…it is amazing.  I love that. The people of Guatemala are BEAUTIFUL!

This adorable girl was selling jewelry with her mother.  It’s not uncommon for women to walk 2-3 miles to sell for 10-12 hours to earn $7-$8 a day.

So absolutely beautiful!
So here’s the crazy stuff I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT living in a third world country:
#5 Stray dogs.  I cannot believe how many stray dogs there are!  I now understand why airport security at the Gautemalan airport thought I was NUTS to bring our two dogs into the country!  They asked me, “How do we know you will take your dogs with you when you leave?”  It’s sad and a little unnerving.  I don’t know how this problem will possibly change.

#4 Motorcycles.  They are EVERYWHERE!  They are loud and the drivers are fearless!  The great thing about motorcycles/scooters is that one of my dogs thinks each one is satan himself and feels that it’s necessary to bark at every one that goes by.  (Insert sarcastic shaking of the head here)

#3 The smell of smoke.  Guatemala has an interesting smell of campfire smoke.  All day.  Every day.  Right now, I like it.  I’m not so sure how I will feel about it in 6 months but for now it’s a reminder that thousands of Guatemalans are preparing meals for their families.  Most homes do not have electricity and food is prepared over a fire pit.  Most do not have proper ventilation which makes Guatemala one of the most researched countries in the world for asthma.
#2 The sheer number of people.  The population of Guatemala City is about 1 million but during the day, when people migrate from the surrounding villages, it swells to 3 million!  The traffic is CRAZY!  Traffic laws are a RECOMMENDATION!

So, what could possibly lead the list of crazy stuff I did not know about living in a third world country?

#1 (drumroll please…)
Yes, you read that right.  No flushing toilet paper.  “Soooooooo, what do you DO with it???” 
“Just put it in the trash.”

Yea, I’m not sure I’m ever really going to get used to that.  And the kids are not too excited about it either.  We’ve already had to use the plunger once.  🙁

For the next two weeks we will be studying Spanish in the town of Antigua.  The instructors do not speak English!  This is going to be fun.  I’ll keep you updated on our progress.
That’s it for now.  I will be writing another blog soon to catch you up on our day with Brock Johnson in the village of Buena Vista.  God is doing incredible things in Guatemala and we feel so blessed to be called to serve Him here.  
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
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  1. Wow!! So awesome to hear from you George. Y’all are in our prayers and I know God is going to use y’all as his hands.

  2. And you are off wih a postive start. Have fun all the way and change your trash routinely. This is how our house boat is and, well, the smell…. May have to ship you air freshener.

  3. So great to see the video of your family getting there! I’m looking forward to your next blog!

  4. Wow! That list is alot like Ethiopia!
    Check out this site it might be handy :);)
    (A bidet (US /bɨˈdeɪ/ or UK /ˈbiːdeɪ/) is a low-mounted plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the inner buttocks. It was originally a French word for pony, because you ride it like a pony.

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