June 4, 2010

On Wed., June 2, we took veteran missionaries David and Helen Ekstrom from the capital back to their home in Huehuetenango. On Thurs., they celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Happy 60th, David & Helen!

I was able to go with them to their anniversary breakfast at a local restaurant. (Ken was sick, so wasn't able to go.) I made rhubarb pies for lunch, using rhubarb from their garden! Yum!

On the trip to and from Huehue we saw a lot of the destruction that tropical storm Agatha caused in the highlands of Guatemala. The Pan-American highway has MANY landslides, blocking two lanes of the highway, or has simply been washed away.

Landslide covering two lanes of traffic

Someone lost their crops!

One section of the cement road disappeared.

This was NOT caused by Agatha. Nevertheless, we had to be careful!

On Friday morning, we left to return to Patzun. (Ken was still sick, so I drove.) Within five minutes after we arrived in Patzun, we got a call from our gardener in the capital saying that thieves had climbed our wall, beaten him, tied him up and broken into our house. We left immediately to find our home ransacked and our Caravan gone.

We couldn't walk into our bedroom, because of the mess they had made.

Our bed - where they looked for jewelry.

Remnants of my bell collection.
They must have thrown them across the room where they broke hitting against each other.

We lost many things, but are thankful for God's protection for our gardener and us.

May 27-30 2010

On Thursday, May 27, a group from Tulsa, Oklahoma, came.

A few hours after they arrived the airport closed because the volcano, Pacaya, near Guatemala City erupted, raining black ash over the city. (Usually, when Pacaya erupts, the ash is blown southward out to sea. However, sometimes the wind blows it north over the city. This has happened two times in the 20 years we've lived here.)

Cleaning up the ash at our home in the capital

On Friday, Tropical storm Agatha started pounding Guatemala with rain. We had probably 18-20 inches in about 48 hours. That's a LOT of rain. The group was able to get some things done, even with the bad weather.

Wet workers!

The group preformed a drama for the school, and the church.

As a result of the rain, many landslides occurred. One especially affected us by washing out the road beside a one lane bridge on the road between Patzun and Guatemala City making the road impassable. When the group was ready to leave on Sunday morning, May 30, Ken took them as far as the bridge. He and a couple of other men walked over the bridge, got a ride to the nearest town, contracted a bus, that came and took the group into Guatemala City. (They walked across the bridge, with all their luggage!) They had other activities to do in the capital until they returned home. Getting back home was an ordeal. Since the airport had been closed for a week, they bought bus tickets to El Salvador, and flew from there. (One family had to go on to Honduras to get a flight.)

The rains showed us once again, that our room in Patzun has many leaks. Besides the roof having problems, the wall against our bed was wet. Water got down between the wall of Alfa & Omega, and the neighboring wall. The two walls make a dam, which when full, seeps water down on the floor in our room. That is the reason our floor stays moist, moldy and dirty.

One of the things Ken had hoped the group could do while they were there was to put a new water tank up on the tower. However, the tank did not arrive until the day after the team left Patzun! Thankfully, men from the church were able to help Ken.